F1 to scrap high degradation tyres in 2017 – Pirelli

2017 F1 season

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Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has confirmed Formula One will move away from using high degradation tyres in 2017.

Formula One’s official tyre supplier has been required to produce tyres which degrade rapidly since it arrived in F1 in 2011. However Hembery told the official Formula One website that will change next year.

Poll: Should F1 scrap high degradation tyres?
“We will have much less degradation in 2017 and tyres will – if we achieve what we are trying to achieve – have a wider operating window,” said Hembery.

High degradation tyres have been used in F1 in order to increase strategic variety between teams. However Hembery accepts that is likely to reduce next year.

“Yes, that in itself will take away some level of strategy – or at least variations between teams. Having said that, we will still try to achieve some level of degradation.”

Pirelli is developing a new range of tyres for 2017 which will be wider at the front and rear in a bid to reduce lap times.

“What we definitely will see is faster cars,” said Hembery. “We expect a three to four second improvement in performance, which is clearly quite substantial.”

“So the tyres will be working very hard and the compounds will be working hard – and that will cause degradation, so we will still have a good level of strategy.”

Hembery also denied Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes’s rivals will be disadvantage by not being involved in the 2017 tyre testing programme.

“I don’t believe there will be any disadvantage,” he said. “All the teams that are not testing have full data access to the results.”

“And to make it clear, the three teams that are testing will not even know what they are testing, so we will end up mixing and matching the solutions so that even if they see something that is working well, it might not be the thing that they will get in 2017. The teams will just be testing blind – and as I just said, the data will be available to all the teams.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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137 comments on “F1 to scrap high degradation tyres in 2017 – Pirelli”

  1. Finally a good reg change. drivers can now push the tires to the max for longer.

    1. So there will be less rubber on the track at the end of a race so much less weight can be added to the car before they are weighed. It looks like the teams will have to consider this when they consider the end of race weight of the car. OH the minutia…

      1. A lot of rubber down now is just marbles which does nothing for racing except effectively narrowing the track.

  2. Good. I’m fed up of these ”designed to degrade” tyres. 2017 keeps sounding better and better, apart from the halo.

    1. And I wonder if this will see the return of Alonso and Hamilton’s old driving styles. I loved watching Alonso’s aggressive sawing at the wheel and Hamilton’s drifts around corners.

      1. I suspect the current tires moderate the advantage strong racers have over goods racers. Once you are in front it is easier to keep a faster opponent behind.

      2. Depends if the balance shifts forwards again or not as back then cars were very pointy, my guess with the amount of torque they’re putting down they may want to keep the balance rearward but then again if they’re not worrying as much about tyre deg why not be pointy on the front and let the driver lay down some rubber on exit!

        My fear is that the teams have learnt all this about tyre temperature and they’re not likely to unlearn it so even though the operating window might be wider teams may find sweet spots within that that they want to utilise anyway forcing the drivers to drive like grandmas like they do now.

      3. If you happen to be talking about when Alonso drove for Renault this will have nothing to do with it, that was all down to the car’s balance…

        1. omarR-pepper
          15th July 2016, 21:45

          @satchelcharge and how to forget the mass damper

      4. @ultimateuzair, as SatchelCharge notes, it has been the best part of a decade since Alonso drove in that manner, and that was mainly because of the way in which cars like the R26 behaved.

        I remember how Brundle commented back in 2009 that Alonso’s driving style had changed quite radically over just a few years, such was the difference in the way that the R29 handled. His style had become extremely different by the time that you came to the more recent Ferrari’s, in part because the front suspension geometry and design of the front wing tended to induce understeer.

        Similarly, Hamilton’s driving style has shifted over the years as well as he has become used to different cars – if anything, most commentators have noted that, in more recent years, Rosberg has tended to be more aggressive with his steering inputs, particularly on the corner entry phase, than Hamilton has been.

        It is hard to tell what might happen in 2017 – as Alec notes, the handling balance is likely to shift (most probably slightly forwards, given that the relative increase in width will probably have more of an impact on the front tyres), but it is hard to tell whether that will tie up with the aerodynamic balance shift (which could shift rearwards given the reduced front wing, the increased rear wing and the increased dimensions of the rear of the diffuser). In reality, with the number of variables going into the way the cars might behave, I expect that we will probably see most drivers shift their style accordingly, but not necessarily reflecting how they drove with very different cars a decade ago.

        1. That’s a shame. Everyone’s driving style seems to be the same old boring tyre management driving. Alonso and Hamilton’s old driving styles were very entertaining IMO.

    2. Nope. They will still degrade a lot, just less than they do today. Drivers will still be nursing the tyres.

  3. This is greatest news for several years now! I was fed up with these cheese tyres for five years, they are no great for F1.

    The other question is – will Pirelli be able to produce such tyres that not degrade. Because there are reasons to doubt their technical ability. I hope pre-2009 racing will be back next year. And the DRS should not be as stupid as it is now.

    1. And the reason to doubt about their technical ability is…

      1. they make poor tyres!

        They are poorly made, low quality tyres. Explode without reason because of debris. Only work in a small temperature window. Don’t dare slide them or race hard on them for more than 2 corners of they overheat and can’t be cooled down.

        How many weekends have they given predictions for things ie: delta between tyres, or stint length & they really have no clue.

        How many cuts have been reported by @GTRacer ‘s friends every weekend. Way more than with Bridgestone.

        Do you really think if uncle Bernie didn’t wag his finger at the drivers they would sing Pirelli’s praises?

        Wet weather tyres….horrendous with no grip, push the tyres for 2 laps, they are dead so you have to overly conserve to make it to the required stint length. So much can be said about Pirelli.

        They have been in F1 since 2011, people need to stop using the “testing excuse”

        1. Totally agree, the tyres weren’t a patch on the Bridgestones from day 1 and when they went away from the Kevlar construction to cut costs it got even worse. Can anyone remember what we were meant to get with this year’s tyres? Pirelli added a second harder compound underneath the main compound in the hope that when cars wore through to it performance would drop, totally hasn’t been mentioned since preseason testing where they admitted that it hadn’t worked.
          In their defence, they didn’t have a tyre war or any other reason to really spend anything on R&D so haven’t, F1’s purely marketing for which they’re probably getting a good ROI.

      2. The last 5 years have taught you nothing, John Snow.

    2. Hm, I agree that this is good news @osvaldas31. I guess that given that Pirelli has confirmed they are going to do this, and that they are testing the compounds this year, they will be able to make durable tyres.

      But I certainly do not hope that we get “pre-2009 racing”. That was quite boring never passing outside the pitstops for the most of it.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        15th July 2016, 13:03

        We won’t be getting refuelling, will we? If not, we’re going to 2010 racing. Which isn’t bad, since that was the season five drivers had a shot at the championship.

        1. There was next to no overtaking.

          Which I think is good. Overtaking has to mean something.

          Oh wait, right, DRS…

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            15th July 2016, 18:20

            There was more overtaking in 2010 than any year with refuelling.

          2. Interesting, 2010 keeps getting held up as this pinical year for F1, as we had no refueling and tyres that would last. So I picked a race at random and compared lap charts (spanish gp)

            2010 Lap Chart


            2016 Lap Chart


            Now I know it’s only once race, but it really does look like we lined them all up in order of speed, gave them tyres that would last a race and sent them off

            I personally think there are going to be a lot of disappointed people next year, not least because of this rule change

          3. CG, I would put Barcelona on the list of tracks to be excluded for a “random selection”, it is notorious for giving little chance for a following driver to pass, even in the DRS era.

        2. Agreed – best rules F1 had in the last years.

  4. Okay, F1. You have my attention.

  5. So no pitstops next year?

    1. I think we can still expect drivers to use two compounds in the race. Probably a faster tyre and a not so fast rubber.

      It would be good if strategies would come down to, I will use a faster tyre and need to make at least one stop, or I will use a slower tyre, never stop and gain track position. Unfortunately I don’t think that will be the case, and everyone will be obligated to go into the pits

      1. I think you’re right – the degrading tyres were brought in to make sure teams pit-stopped during a race to “increase the spectacle” – if the rubber is going to last and last now it will just be a new rule mandating (as you have said) the use of more than one compound, or at least one pit-stop in a race.

        1. The rule requiring the use of two compounds has been in place since Bridgestone was the sole supplier. Recall in 2010 when Kobayashi pitted three laps from the end only because the rules required it.

          1. Or Vettel in the penultimate lap in Monza. Or Alonso in the first lap in Monaco just to get the soft tires out of the way when he had to start from last place. I really hope they will scrap that rule.

  6. I’m so happy with this announcement. I agree that degradation has made some races more exciting, but after all these years I just want to see something ‘real’, I want to see the drivers pushing themselves and their machines. This is a step in the right direction.

  7. You are all crazy if you think this is a good thing!!!!! F1 will be a procession lap after lap, with 1 pit stop every race…that to me is dull…Faster Tyres great! But low degredation, in this current formula…where is the action going to come from?

    1. I don’t care how many pit stops there are as long as the racing is good. I’ve seen great races where the winner made three stops, I’ve seen great races where the winner made two stops, I’ve seen great races where the winner made one stop, I’ve seen great races where the winner never stopped.

      I’ve never understood why some insist drivers must be forced by rules or high-degradation tyres to make two pit stops or more. That just seems to me to be reducing the potential for variability and unpredictability – two things which do create exciting races.

      1. @keithcollantine You’re forgetting Button’s 6-stop (okay, okay, 5 + drive through) strategy in Montreal 2011. Now that was a great race (despite a gazillion laps behind the safety car) :)

        1. To get really pedantic about it it was 4 pit stops, a drive through penalty and a change of tyres on the grid at the red flag!

      2. @keithcollantine, when did the winner not make a pit stop?

        1. The last race where winner didn’t visit the pits was Barcelona 1993. Later in the season though, Prost won German GP where his only visit in the pits was stop/go for shortcut.

      3. So @keithcollantine – are you allowed to give yourself comment of the day ?

        1. omarR-pepper
          15th July 2016, 21:50

          @keithcollantine we need a real +1 button, taht would be a nice change… or you could choose your COTD and then you could show the most voted comment.

      4. It’s not so much having a lot of pit stops that people think will make the racing good. It’s having variety in strategies and a real opportunity to pass that makes for exciting racing. If everyone pits once between lap 20 and 25 with little to no passing before and after the stops, that’s not a good race. The worry I have with faster cars is that a lot of things that make the cars quicker also make passing more difficult, so we could see worse racing.

      5. Crazy idea – eliminate DRS, high-degradation tire…sorry..”tyres,” the two-compound rules, all of it. AND eliminate blue flags. You’ll see plenty of racing craziness. Furthermore, take a queue from NASCAR and throw in the occasional fist-fight :)

    2. That’s what they said prior to the 2010 season when they banned refuelling and we had Bridgestones that lasted forever. Turned out that 2010 was one of the best seasons of recent years with 5 drivers battling for the title, 4 taking it to the final round, and more on-track passes than for the previous 20 years.

      Clearly the cars were more closely matched in performance back then but let’s reserve judgement on next year until we’ve seen it. It sounds very positive to me and I’m looking forward to seeing the drivers driving aggressively again rather than simply nursing their tyres to the end.

      1. @sbewers The good thing about a durable tyres is that brings car that are not as gentle to them into contention, thus bringing back the pack together a bit. Hope that happens

        1. Or it let’s the cars with the most downforce drive away. Just look at what happened in 2012. Pirelli brought out a tire that had extreme wear issues and we had 7 different winners to start the season. After Red Bull campaigned to bring back the previous year’s tires in part because they claimed the tires punished them for making a good car, they dominated the second half.

      2. I disagree completely. 2010 was great… on paper, but the races were for the most of it incredibly dull. And this is what awaits us in 2017. Imagine if we had dull racing from 2010 AND Merc domination.

        We can only hope that the new regs won’t have a team dominating, so that we at least have some interest in the championship cause there certainly won’t be any on the track.

    3. I agree. The aerodynamic rules for 2017 appear to be designed to make overtaking more difficult than the current rules do because of the greater turbulence behind a car. So faster cars will find it more difficult to get within DRS range of a slower car or close enough to do a normal overtake. If next year’s tyres were the same as this year’s then a faster car would have to wait for the tyres on a slower car to degrade to the point where the driver can barely keep it on the track, or that slower car pits so the faster one can pass. Now add to this next year’s tyres will now have less degradation than this year, and you end up with the potential for hardly any on track overtaking. Faster cars just won’t be able to get close enough to overtake.

      1. @drycrust, sorry I can’t leave that unanswered, the main reason that faster cars have been unable to overtake for the last 5 years is because they can’t follow closely and attack the car ahead without destroying their tyres. If Pirelli do supply good, durable, tyres with a wide temperature range then drivers will be able to attack and try to pressure the driver ahead into an error, without the need for an extra pitstop to change tyres, this is real racing as once practised in F1 but now only seen in “lesser” series.

        1. There’s been a lot more passing in F1 in the last 6 years than there was before Pirelli brought in the high degradation tires. Yes, some o that passing has dropped off as the teams have figured out how to make the tires last in clean air, but that doesn’t change the fact that even in 2015 there were 50% more passes per race than there were in any season from 1994 through 2010. Passes per race jumped from 14 in 2009, last year of refueling, to 21 in 2010 with the very durable Bridgestones, the shot up to 60 in 2011. It dropped off to 31, but still that’s miles ahead of what it used to be. If you think it’s hard to pass now, just wait until the car in front never slows down.

          1. Oh for goodness sake when are people going to realise that these tyres simply even up the grid so the exceptional drivers do not completely outshine the average drivers?

            And Please – an overtake on a tyre compound assisted artificial degredation designed tyre is not a blasted overtake. Not ever. It’s a ‘strategy’ one that seems to have risen younger racers to god like status.

            It is simply a ‘show’

            Take a look at the build of people bought up in the ‘grip’ era!

            Now MV might just be a truly gifted racer but I am going to be really interested how he handles things when those that really can continue 75 qualifying laps with far more g force all the while actually overtaking (without a compound offset) other people that are not terrified to put up a fight in order to ensure that their tyres won’t make the stint? We will see.

            Overtakes did used to happen you know? Real ones. Look at LH flying past KR in 07 at the Italian GP? (08? – can’t remember) or any of the dozens of Alonso moves back before the ‘equalisation’ phase started.

            At last – apart from DRS – real racers will rule once again and if there is a gulf in talent? Tough, bring it on!

  8. As a Verstappen and Kimi fan, yes. Tyre management should be an essential part of racing. Not as essential as it is now, but definitely something a driver who ruins them should be punished for.

  9. Those rears look like baloons :) cant wait.
    2017 sounds very exciting, but 2016 sounded boring and it has been the best season since the V6s, perhabs even longer than that. I hope it wont be a fiasco :)

  10. Someone should give Jarno Trulli a call. He’s a master at riding at the front of the train.

    1. He was doing a masterful job of train driving in the the only Formula Electric race I have watched, but since you mention it his driving style would have been ideal for high-deg tyres.

      1. Actually it wasn’t because with the high deg tires it was actually possible to pass. Trulli benefited massively from tires that didn’t help with passing.

  11. Could it be possible that low degradation is offset by the increased stress on the tires due to increased weight and the cars achieving higher cornering speeds?

  12. This will please Nico Rosberg.

    1. @abdelilah And why is that?

      1. @abdelilah he does not manage his tyres as good as his main rival IMO.

        1. @mashiat he does not manage his tyres as good as his main rival IMO.

  13. Will believe it when I see it. Wasn’t it 2014 they already said they were going to significantly reduce the degradation? But it literally never happened. The teams were just like *shrug* feel the same to us…

    1. Wasn’t it 2014 they already said they were going to significantly reduce the degradation?

      Not sure what you’re referring to there. There was a change in construction in response to the 2013 blow-outs at Silverstone and other tracks.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        15th July 2016, 13:06

        Well, in 2014 the tires were more durable, but still needed management. I recall Pirelli making that decision to reduce complications with the new formula.

        While this whole thing sounds good, Hembrey still says they’ll have degradation. He’s being vague, so I wonder if we’re going to see Bridgestone-type tires or just more durable Pirellis.

      2. @keithcollantine

        I tried to find some reputable articles (I know for sure it was covered on this site but can’t find it.)
        Instead here are some of the best I could find. My google-fu was weak.
        “It’s still early days, but so far we’ve seen both performance and durability from our latest P Zero tyres, which all feature new compounds and structures to maximise the unique power characteristics of the latest-generation cars. The contact patch is greater, to help put down the extra torque, and the working ranges are wider to reduce degradation.”
        “The with the advent of the new V6 Hybrid Turbo engines with their huge increase in torque due in 2014, Paul Hembery was candid stating Pirelli would not be the ‘F1 story’ of 2014 and the tyres would be ‘bullet proof’. ”
        (here they posthumously call it a success somehow off those figures) “in accordance with our brief, this year’s revolutionary new rules with turbocharging and increased torque prompted the need for more consistent and predictable tyres”

        I remember specifically reading quotes from winter testing round up with drivers being all disappointed as “they feel the same to me” (almost certain it was Button the first to speak out about it) but can’t find it :( It was a particular point of intrigue I remember commenting when it was announced as Webber was leaving just as they were supposedly changing compounds (I predicted he’d regret leaving), yet it never ended up happening (to great effect) anyway.

  14. The real question now is will we get rid of the silly start on your Q2 tyres and mandatory pit stops?

    1. Exactly! Low degradation and faster is all well and good, but what comes with it?

      1. More reliance on aero, more reliance on DRS to make passes on straights as following will be more difficult through high speed. Bigger tyres might help cars get closer at Tilke’s trademark hairpins as they’ll be less reliant on the aero exiting slow speed corners at least.
        If we could see a bead of sweat on a driver’s brow post-race that’d be one improvement on the current formula that I’m sure everyone will appreciate, I miss the ex-drivers talking about how much fluid they could lose at places like Singapore as it’s just not a factor any more.

      2. It’s not about degredation. It’s about heat biased degredation which essentially kills racing. You can’t afford to do so.

        None heat degredation means there will actually be those that choose to take a risk knowing they can fight and overtake on extreme strategies and because of their skills and not worry about nursing the tyres.

        This has only ever been about closing up the field and making the average the norm by neutering those that can quite simply, just drive faster than others.

    2. Q2 rule is silly but a mandatory pit stop is not bad. It will add to an intrigue when the tyres last the whole distance, you can run longer or shorter and make a move as well. Top teams rarely use different strategies.

      1. @michal2009b but if you have a mandatory pit-stop it is basically taking away the possibility of going to the end without stopping. It would be interesting if they still have two compounds, a faster one and a more durable, and let them do with those options what they want.

        In a track like Monaco for example you can gamble on a strategy that goes to the end with a slower tyre, but gain track position. Or in a track with plenty of opportunities to overtake use the faster tyre knowing that it will require change at some point. We just need those two simple things, and scrap the ridiculous amount of compounds, brand them all with the same colour, we won’t know what they will be doing, but neither will other teams, so let them and us guess what is happening, at least it will keep us engaged.

        Mandating things in my opinion doesn’t increase unpredictability, it takes it away.

        1. I love the idea of not seeing what tyre anyone’s on. Keep using the pitstop graphic to reveal who did what, but keep it mysterious.

  15. It may not look like but currently we have a lot of tyre-saving during the race, maybe the most ever since Pirelli came to F1. Drivers are really within their limits during the race. Also the tyre pressures are going through the roof. I really enjoyed the first two years of Pirelli era but since then I think they did much more harm than good for F1. Maybe that’s because the there is no cliff so they simply cruise around the circuit and doing their strategy, not keen to race other people until late on. So I really like it. But no refuelling, tyre war or halo please.

  16. I think this was a knee-jerk reaction by Pirelli/FIA because the speeds with the larger tyres would have been to high, leading to dangerous accidents and deaths. So, SUDDENLY, with little warning, now they will make harder, slower, low grip tyres to reduce speeds and risk.

    1. Not sure what you are talking about.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        15th July 2016, 18:54

        neither do I; must be something to do with a chip and a shoulder.

        1. I mean, this was unexpected and very sudden. Rarely are such changes done for the following year. I suspect something weird going on behind the scenes

          1. It wasn’t unexpected, this BBC article from months ago quotes a mandate from the FIA that prescribes a move away from designed to degrade and also one of F1s greatest problems, degradation when following. I imagine that they have announced this now as testing has suggested that they can meet the mandate


    2. The 2017 tyres will be faster, Thats the whole point of the change & the whole reason ther egetting rid of the high degredation.

      They are simply listening to the teams, Drivers & many fans who said they wanted the tyres that allowed drivers to push harder for longer & that were designed for pure performance rather than degredation.

      1. I think what will be interesting to see as well is whether, if tires are no longer the main story of each race, Pirelli will still see the marketing impact. If the variety and unpredictability comes more from drivers being able to fight each other closely without ruining their tires, the talk should sway more toward teams, PUs/chassis, and drivers and away from it all being about what tires who is on and what state they’re in and how well the car or the driver is treating them. Michelin said in the past they preferred a competitor in the series so people would talk about tires. A big reason Pirelli agreed to be the sole supplier was because they also were mandated and agreed to make their tires the talk, the story, and the decider of F1. Much less so for 2017, so it will be interesting to hear from them as time goes on. I wonder if they’ll want out or want a competitor once their current contract runs out.

    3. Bigger tyres create more drag so top speeds will not increase without extra engine power, lots of extra engine power for a significant increase in top speed.

      1. I don’t think they want a significant increase in top speed. It’s all about cornering speed, which isn’t going to help passing.

        1. With any luck they might run less wing to ensure high straight line speeds, making them a little less dependent on wings and thus bothered in dirty air, in addition to having the extra mechanical grip to aid in dirty air. It’ll depend on the track too, of course.

  17. I’d also like to see them scrap the rules regarding mandatory pit stops & the rule that forces the top 10 to start on the tyres they used for there best lap in Q2.

    If a team/driver wants to pick a hard compound & try & make it last the whole race without stopping then let them, And at the same time if a team wants to run the softest compound & make 2-3+ stops then also let them do that.

    The whole thing with mandatory stops & forcing them to run 2 compounds is counter-productive in some ways as you then tend to get everyone doing largely the same thing. If you dropped all that then you would see a bit more variety & you would be giving those a bit further down some real strategy options/gambles, Just like you saw prior to 1994 when refueling was brought in & got rid of all that.

    Just look at how the 3rd tyre compound for this year has played into things (Something we may not have early next year BTW), Doing anything that opens up strategic options & gives teams/drivers more freedom/choice will only be a good thing from a racing POV.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      15th July 2016, 18:00

      Totally agree @gt-racer

    2. @gt-racer I agree 100% about freeing up the tyre rules. It’s horrendously over-complicated, artificial and riddled with unfairness.

    3. @gt-racer it does really disappoint me that they may get rid of the 3rd compound. If the durability of the tyres is going to limit available strategy then surely keeping the extra compound is a must to allow varying strategies and mix things up

      1. @3dom It’s not that there getting rid of the 3rd compounds, It’s just that Pirelli are unsure if they will be able to produce enough 2017 spec tyres to be able to provide teams with a 3rd compound for the 1st few races.

        IF that does prove to be the case then as soon as they are able to produce enough tyres then the 3rd compounds will return.

        1. That makes me feel better @gt-racer. I think the 3 compound reg has been one of the best introductions that we’ve seen for a while

    4. Agree, every one of Bernies brainfahrts, has been detrimental to the quality of racing, every one of them.

    5. They all did the same thing when the rule wasn’t in place. When they mandated that drivers started the race with the fuel they ran in Q3, the hope was that some would be slow in qualifying to run longer in the race, but everyone pitted at lap 10 because that’s what the simulations said would be quickest. Before that, everyone normally ran as far as they could on their first set of tires then made one stop because that’s what the computers said was quickest. If you gave them the option to not pit and that was the quickest way around, everyone would do it. If you know you can get enough gap on the softer tires to come out of the pits ahead of the no stoppers, then no one at the front will do a no stop.

  18. I wouldn’t get too carried away with this. It think the tyres will still degrade in the race. What he is saying is that the tyres won’t be designed to degrade, but they will anyway as they are now working a lot harder than they are this year.

    “So the tyres will be working very hard and the compounds will be working hard – and that will cause degradation, so we will still have a good level of strategy.”

    1. Tires have always degraded and always needed some degree of management, never moreso than in these recent years, but the good news is they will degrade differently next year and will allow drivers to actually follow and race without ruining their day, their overall strategy.

  19. petebaldwin (@)
    15th July 2016, 14:36


    Of course, this doesn’t tell us what we will be getting so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that it’s something that promotes drivers pushing hard rather than protecting tyres. In theory, this sounds like brilliant news though!

    1. Yeah at this point I’d be shocked if it was still about protecting tires, other than in a much more normal and reasonable way that has always existed in racing but never moreso than the massive extremes of the last 3 or 4 years.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        16th July 2016, 0:31

        All depends how they work. Low degradation is OK but if they only work in a narrow temperature window (for example), we’ll still see drivers have to be careful…

        I just hope they allow drivers to push hard for most of the race. Saving tyres to eek out a stint is fine if it’s a tactical choice but pushing 100% also has to be a realistic option.

  20. After a very boring 2015 season almost everything seems alright this year. There is a nice title battle and due to the extra tire compounds the races are fairly good in general. So major changes will likely have a negative impact.
    Low-degradation tires may be the worst change in quite some time. Remember the races in this Pirelli era when the tires didn’t degrade (Sochi comes to mind). Those races were incredibly boring. Of course we still have DRS, but still most action comes from different tire strategies nowadays.
    By the way, I hope they will abolish the 2-compound rule. If the tires don’t wear out I wouldn’t like to see the drivers make their mandatory pitstops without getting a performance advantage on their fresh tires. I’d like to see drivers finish the race on just one set of tires in that case.
    If tire degradation is low, then the performance gaps between the compounds should also be much less, otherwise the harder tire compounds are useless, as they their unique selling point (low degradation) becomes irrelevant. Creating four or five competitive tire compounds might then even be a harder task for Pirelli.

    1. @f1infigures I’d be shocked if they don’t degrade a fair bit during the races. With the cornering speeds and torque expected from next year, combined with the increased weights of the cars, I think degradation is inevitable. I think they are saying that they won’t be DESIGNED to degrade. The FIA mandate states that they want degradation to to be Linear and relative to the hardness of the compounds. And most important part of the mandate, in my opinion, is that the tyres shouldn’t lose performance when following another car. I’d be shocked if we have rock hard, full race distance tyres

      1. @3dom True, there will always be some degradation and maybe there won’t be much difference compared to the current situation. In the late 80s and early 90s, when Pirelli was Goodyear’s final competitor, the Pirelli tires already had more degradation than the Goodyears. High tire degradation and Pirelli are tightly linked though history apparently.
        Anyway, I don’t think the tires will become slower. They will just remove the degradation mechanism so we get some real high-performance tires, which is probably a good thing. Still I’m a bit concerned that the races will become less interesting without highly degrading tires.

    2. Can people not read?

      Of course they will degrade but it will not be the must nurse the tyre and not overheat it by racing ‘HEAT’ based degredation cycle that Pirelli use a chemical and material science to provide. Just to even the blasted grid up and make all the drivers seem ‘near equal’ a scenario so beyond belief but one that suited Bernie at that time.

      God forbid he fights the teams and the truly gifted drivers!

  21. Confirmation: now all the passing will take place in the pits.

    1. @photogcw, I think you must have your brain in reverse gear, try engaging forward. Alternately please explain how you believe the opposite of what is intended will happen.

      1. Nothing about the new rules is intended to help passing. It’s all about making the cars faster and giving at least the appearance of being harder to drive. Faster cornering speeds and more downforce has never been a recipe for more passing. At most, widening the temperature range and reducing the amount of degragation will mean a tire won’t permanently drop off after following closely. It doesn’t mean that following closely will be possible, however, and we only have to go back one decade to see when F1 was really processional.

        1. @GTurner38 As featured on Sky during the last race weekend or the one before, much of the added downforce is coming from floor and diffuser work, so from ground effects. This won’t necessarily hurt passIng like aero downforce does.

          Also, F1 is processional now. We don’t have to go back 10 years to see processions. The way I see it, even if they don’t quite get it right for 2017, the racing can’t be worse, and at least the wider cars and tires will carry much greater potential to be tweaked for a better ratio of mechanical grip to aero.

  22. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    15th July 2016, 15:41

    I’m not certain this is a good idea. I want to like it but I’m concerned.

    On one hand, it’s a great idea. Even if drivers still need to stop to change tyres we should see more of them driving ‘at the limit’ more often and less of teams saying their off-days were due to not being able to switch the tyres on.

    But on the other hand, won’t it just increase the processional races? No more drivers losing their tyres and slipping back into slower cars, no more drivers saving tyre life and using it to attack later or eking out more performance to last longer?

    Can’t help but worry that if next year the gaps between cars stay the same or at worse increase then this change will just enable the fastest car to stay the fastest and the races will become even more predictable. I mean sure the cars will drive ‘at the limit’ more but what’s the use of that if nobody can get close to them?

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Fingers crossed eh?

  23. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    15th July 2016, 16:31

    So the point of taking three compounds to each race is…?

    I honestly don’t know why F1 has fallen out of love with tyre degradation. The teams and drivers get four hours of practice, spend an hour diligently lining up the slowest and the back of the grid and the fastest at the front; without a variable like tyre degradation, why are we all so surprised when they greet the chequered flag in roughly the same order?

    1. @william-brierty I don’t think F1 has Allen out of love with degradation per se, it’s the manner of how it had been implemented, ie the thermal degradation model, where you have to “baby” the tyres so that they don’t overheat because when they do the compound’s structure changes and loses performance which can’t be gotten back. I appreciate tyre management, but what they’ve had to do over the last 3-4 years in particular is too much. In an ideal world you could have the mega fast drivers nailing the laptops and really working the tyres, the savvy drivers who are good at managing their tyres eking them out so they need fewer pit stops and both approaches being close in terms of time for full race distance. The problem over the last few years is there has been one option, and that’s to tiptoe on the tyres, and that not only has limited the approach for drivers and teams, but without the fast option it’s the opposite of racing

      1. @3dom Well summed up. The new tires are to degrade still, but in a different way. Moreso from wearing down the tread than from being lucky to get them in the right temp and keep them there to make them last any kind of reasonable time and still actually be able to push or race without taking them out of the temp window.

        I want to see the variable of tire deg as we have been experiencing replaced with the variable provided by the drivers by being able to race closely and providing us a show that way. It has been far too much about driver passing disadvantaged driver due to DRS or vastly different tires or tire states…not apples to apples racing. I think this new chapter has the potential for us to better compare driver vs driver. Eliminating DRS is something they should (read must) strive for too.

        1. “I think this new chapter has the potential for us to better compare driver vs driver. Eliminating DRS is something they should (read must) strive for too.”

          I agree @robbie , I suppose this depends on whether they get enough performance from the tyres, to allow cars to follow more easily. I think allowing teams to raise the noses to 2014 levels would help the following car also. DRS is an easy fallback for those who run F1, although initially a stopgap, it would take a significant change for them to scrap it

      2. At last – someone who understand exactly what we have been watching…

      3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        16th July 2016, 20:30

        @3dom @robbie – I am sorry, I simply don’t subscribe to the view that the speed differential made necessary by tyre management diminishes the spectacle. OK, I will concede that we’ve had the occasional farcically managed race – the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix springs to mind – but is this managed pace (which is slowed by the weight of the fuel versus qualifying anyway) much of a penalty versus a potentially processional race? If I remember correctly, the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix is highest rated dry race in F1 Fanatic history; a race that, without the tyre degradation creating an enthralling trade-off between two and three-stop runners, Vettel would have won at a canter.

        Also, with thermal degradation there is a theoretical trade-off between cars that can flare up a tyre for a single qualifying lap, and cars that bring the tyre in more gently and can eek more performance out of the tyre over a stint. And what good is a racing driver if he isn’t also a thermal engineer? You can have all the raw speed in the world, it will count for nought if a driver cannot manage tyre and brake temperatures. Sebastian Vettel is, for some, the greatest racing driver in the world: a driver who ascended to F1 greatness on the back of an apparent sixth sense for the tyre temperature window.

        In short, I feel Pirelli’s early iterations of thermal degradation offered an excellent spectacle, not infringed by the need to manage tyre life, and an excellent sporting challenge. In 2014 and again in 2015, Pirelli grew too conservative, and this news is yet more evidence to suggest that we might be relying on DRS and grid penalties to see any overtaking in 2017.

        1. @william-brierty Fair comment. You are a highly intelligent and well spoken experienced fan, and who is to say you are wrong for your preferences? I just hope you are, and of course mean that with the utmost due respect.

          I’ll reiterate I haven’t been enthralled with ultra management that limits the drivers and their cars from being pushed, and we have had just as many processional races with these tires and with DRS as we’ve had variety filled races. So if we’re going to still have processions next year and onward, as you suggest, which I think remains to be seen, then at least I feel the drivers will be taxed and performing greater feats that have more to do with pushing themselves and their cars to their limits, than monitoring tires slowly. And I also think and hope that if you are right and the racing is no less processional, then the wider cars and tires will at least carry more potential to be changed further in the right direction with a bit more curtailing of wing downforce while they’ve got mechanical grip of value.

          I just don’t think next year can be any worse, as we should be watching racers race, not be thermal engineers overwhelmingly first and foremost, so that they may (or often may not) get tires to a point of having a few laps here and there to race. I want the drivers’ struggle to be through driving skill, racecraft, and nerve, not through monitoring a slow mobile science project.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            17th July 2016, 13:41

            @robbie – I think you show yourself as similarly intelligent and articulate when you say it is a matter of preference – for me, F1 cars are spectacular at any speed, and watching drivers slow their pace to eek out more speed across a stint is no issue, especially when I’ve enjoyed an hour of white-knuckle running the day before. For me, Sundays have always been a more rounded, cerebral affair, that rewards versatility, improvisation, teamwork and more besides raw speed.

            I guess it all depends on the measure by which you want to define driving excellence. In 2011 and especially 2012, I welcomed the way Pirelli offered a broader challenge for the drivers; a challenge that came with an often enthralling on-track byproduct. Since 2014 and Pirelli’s move towards more conservative constructs, driving excellence has become more about the raw laptime achieved, and by that measure, and feel free to disagree with this, I feel Lewis Hamilton has been unmatched since midway through his rookie season. My ramblings aside, a quick glance at Hamilton’s tyre conservation in the opening stint in Spielberg probably makes him unmatched by any measure at the moment…

    2. This. Totally this.

  24. I appreciate i’m in the minority but this is a bad idea because we will just see processions because there is less variables. Next year we will see whether all of you on this website hoping for ‘a return to the old times’ are correct or not since we see faster cars and durable tires

    1. @lolzerbob I feel your pain. I won’t stop enjoying the races, far from it, but it is definitely taking some of the inputs out of the equation. But I am excited to see the new cars.

  25. This might be a good chance and in the best of worlds we will see some closer racing but i think the mainproblem with the Pirelly tyres was never the amount of degradation but the poor quality. They never where up to the promised specs.

  26. for the pitstops thay can do something like they have to use 4pitstop points in the race, 2for the hardest rubber 1 for the softest that means. I think THATS preaty simple.
    1.)H + H
    2.)S + S + H / S + H + S / H + S + S
    3.)S + S + S + S

    1. I actually love this idea.. it would be pretty interesting in practice.. I could see Force India going for the 1 stop H + H strategy and trying to beat the field that way..

  27. I’m just pleased they’re going to attempt to widen the operating window.

    I couldn’t care if cars have to stop once, twice, or three times as long as the drivers can push and follow in dirty air without melting their tyres in the process.

    1. @sparkyamg It’s kinda impossible to both have degradation AND tyres that are hard enough to not degrade significantly more when put under extra load.

      1. Not really. It’s about engineering them to degrade differently, as in from tread wear rather than them getting destroyed from being out of a narrow thermal window. So they use different chemistry for the rubber. It will be less crucial to get and keep tires in some narrow window of temperature that has often been elusive this year, so they’ll have more time per stint when they can push the tires without ruining them by taking them out of some narrow window. So…wider window, and a window less sensitive to what temp the tires are at, and they’ll surely be able to race longer and harder per stint.

  28. Thank You! It was like watching a marathon run by people in flip flops. Too bad it took them that long to figure it out.

  29. About time !

  30. I think the main benefit is now we can stop panicking over the tyres, once they get rid of DRS then the only thing we’ll need to focus on is why Mercedes is trying to screw up Lewis’ 2016 championship.


  31. And now pit stops and refuelling should be optional to really have open strategies and different designed cars.

  32. Sad sad news for Formula 1. We are going to get races like 2004 where you fall asleep inmediately

    1. Doubt it. We haven’t seen pre-98 size cars, with 70’s size tires, and current gen power units, so it’ll be a new game.

    2. No you will quickly see the real drivers using attacking strategies and unafraid to race because the purposely designed heat degredation cycle will have been removed.

      We will see a return of the men and the boys.

      1. Haha clueless

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      16th July 2016, 21:53

      I’d take 2004 over what we have now. Great sounding cars, drivers punished for mistakes, drivers pushing to the limits, the possibility of defending your position.

  33. Welcome back, Kimi Räikkönen.

  34. Interesting, 2010 keeps getting held up as this pinical year for F1, as we had no refueling and tyres that would last. So I picked a race at random and compared lap charts (spanish gp)

    2010 Lap Chart


    2016 Lap Chart


    Now I know it’s only once race, but it really does look like we lined them all up in order of speed, gave them tyres that would last a race and sent them off

    I personally think there are going to be a lot of disappointed people next year, not least because of this rule change

  35. Jonesracing82
    17th July 2016, 4:16

    strategic diversity will be easy to maintain, just get rid of the stupid “top 10 tyre” rule!

  36. why can’t they just make the fuel capacity out to about 150KG or allow refueling. Macca won’t achieve much next year if the cap is only 105KG. I bet that extra 5KG won’t even cover the new tires. And Merc will be even faster down the straights vs the competition next year. Just give the teams more fuel capacity, it’s a win win for everyone but Merc.

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