Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunta, 2017 tyre test, 2016

Drivers ‘will really feel they’re in a race’ with 2017 tyres

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says F1 drivers “are really going to feel that they’re in a race” next year with the higher performance tyres.

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Did Ross Brawn’s departure from Mercedes mean we’ve enjoyed a better contest between their drivers over the last three years than we would otherwise have had?

I’m fine with how things have turned out at Mercedes particularly with their equal treatment of their drivers. Brawn was involved in the one-rooster concept at Michael Schumacher-Ferrari which I thought and will always think is the wrong way to go for the audience’s sake, and if Brawn would have made Hamilton the one rooster it would have been more of the same with not just one team dominating but only one driver allowed to win.

Of course I can’t say if that is something Brawn would have pushed for had he stayed, but as I say I have complete and utter respect for Mercedes who get that taking the harder road of managing two roosters is by far the better way to go – the respectful way for the viewers, and both drivers.

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Ayrton Senna clinched his third and final world championship title on this day 25 years ago at Suzuka.

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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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  • 44 comments on “Drivers ‘will really feel they’re in a race’ with 2017 tyres”

    1. With Tooned back, does this signal Ron is out now?

    2. I’d not be surprised if Ron is “asked” to leave. He said they’d have a title sponsor after Vodafone and we’re still waiting, he joined forces with Honda and that’s not going as expected, big names have left them (Tag Heuer chosing Red Bull over them) and have not been replaced. And then there were the contradictory declarations between him and Alonso regarding that accident at Barcelona… and all the constant promises, all the interviews with Boullier, Arai’s hopes that never materialized…

      McLaren is enjoying a calmer 2016, which is easy to say considering what a complete mess they were last year. And Dennis must be responsable for part of that, if not all of it. It’s his team afterall!

      At least they made a great Tooned version of Alonso!

      1. Correct me if wrong, but Whitmarsh signed the deal with Honda, not Dennis.

        1. Yep you’re right.

      2. I’m surprised that there are people that still think that getting Honda was a bad idea. If last year’s Red Bull’s engine “crisis” taught us something is that it’s very unlikely that a factory team would allow a customer team a solid chance to beat them to the championship. Given how strong Mercedes is, and my guess is that it will continue to be, if McLaren is to become a championship contender again, this can only happen as a “works” engine team.

        So looking for a new engine supplier was the correct thing to do, even if it’s not working out for them, yet.

        1. And so, how has Red Bul beaten Renault? @afonic

          1. Obviously Renault is not in a condition to challenge for wins, it can’t even get into points. If they ever get back to their winning glory, right along Red Bull, the situation might get nasty.

        2. @afonic not saying it was a bad idea, I actually agree in the principle behind it. You can’t beat a works team with a customer engine, so Honda is their only option and they know how to design an engine. It was because of the current regulations that it was a mountain to steep to climb in the short time they had.

          But you can’t deny it’s a failure of a project right now. And it must be damaging to McLaren’s image which wasn’t handled well by them.

          1. @fer-no65

            I agree. The philosophy of being a factory team was the correct decision, but then again it was an absolute no brainer decision that Mclaren shouldn’t be a customer team.

            Everything that followed that decision though, has been an absolute disaster. They picked the wrong engine partner, wrong philosophy of PU development, wrong time to start developing the engine, wrong season to introduce Honda in the sport and wrong person leading the engine development. The only thing they managed right was the driver line-up.

            Honestly, Mclaren has hit it’s low point in for the first time in Formula 1. They haven’t won a race in 4 seasons… and going by Honda’s performance and improvement levels, it would be next to impossible that they will ever win another race as Mclaren Honda. I feel that there only hope is that there is another engine regulation change, and Mclaren ropes in another engine manufacturer to turn things around for them.

            Given the current situation Mclaren find themselves in, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ron Dennis is sacked by the end of this season or the next.

            1. @todfod In fairness, you say they chose the wrong supplier, in fact thye chose the only supplier which was available. These engine regs have been an absolute catastrophe – they were meant to attract new suppliers and yet only one company was prepared to enter the sport. The fact they were nowhere compared to the others is hardly surprising given how far behind the curve they were, starting a year behind everyone else.

              It was hobson’s choice. Either remain a customer and never win another race, or take the one supplier going. They probably expected Honda to be better than they have been though. Honda have been an embarrassing failure.

            2. @mazdachris @todfod I get the skepticism of course, but let’s not forget the token system is gone, and the cars are about to change dramatically.

              Of course neither McLaren nor Honda expected they would be this uncompetitive. Aside from the PU issue, which they were understandably behind on, these tires have been very tricky to get working properly even when the other ducks are lined up. A format that discourages racing and favours more conservation over more aspects all at once than ever before in F1, is a hard environment to improve through if you are already on your hind foot.

              I suggest let’s see what next year brings for McHonda with the big changes. They might surprise us with some PU development that is no doubt already under way, unencumbered, on better tires that I bet will have the likes of Alonso feeling way more confident in the car.

      3. At least they made a great Tooned version of Alonso!

        They should stop messing around with silly gimmicks and focus on the car instead.

        1. It’s not the F1 team that works on Tooned, you know.

          1. Resources are limited.
            But even from a racing perspective I think the animation is a good idea:
            – attract young viewers to both McLaren and racing
            – give (potential) sponsors other exposure
            – both attract (in theory) more money
            – thus more money for development

          2. I assumed they were not working for free….

      4. @fer-no65, since you bring it up, there is actually some debate as to whether McLaren did actually lose anything after TAG-Heuer switched to Red Bull. What is forgotten is that McLaren also agreed a new sponsorship deal with Chandon, and both TAG-Heuer and Chandon are sub-brands owned by the same company (LVMH) – McLaren is still effectively receiving the same money for carrying a different name from the same company, so it’s nowhere near as much of a deal as was made out at the time.

    3. spafrancorchamps
      20th October 2016, 0:25

      If this happens, if they fire the man who has basically build this team. I’ll no longer consider myself a McLaren-fan.

      1. Ron’s moved aside before into a different role within McLaren, and it’s entirely possible he will do so again if he thinks that’s what McLaren needs. I would be inclined to believe that’s the path that makes most sense of these stories.

      2. By doing so, they’d fire a man who incarnates the worryingly inhumane side of motorsport like no other.
        I’d say there’d be a little chance of myself having non-negative feelings about McLaren without him.

    4. You’re supposed to go in your suit but I can’t do it!

      Just don’t make the mistake I did and do a Google search for images of ‘race car diapers’ …

      1. @charleski a diaper with a 2007 Ferrari printed on it? that’s what I’d buy my son!!!

    5. My guess: somebody is unhappy, somebody else said No to a recent offer to buy out the company.

    6. Great COTD. Hadn’t thought of that. Would have switched off the last 2 years much earlier had that been the case.

      1. Agree with the COTD as well.

      2. Same for me, we did see how it worked in one race in Malaysia, where nowadays Nico would have possibly been allowed to attack, so it is quite possible the COTD is spot on there. Good point made @robbie

        1. Well thanks folks, and thanks @keithcollantine for cotd.

      3. Very good point in the quote, but didn’t Brawn have the open fight between Button and Barichello as Brawn GP? I don’t recall any one rooster during that time period. I believe the Schumacher era mentality was driven more by Ferrari’s will and need to win the Championship.

        1. My recollection of the first Brawn GP first – second places race was Brawn coming onto the RT and telling Rubens to maintain position, because Jenson Button was in first place and Rubens was second, and I think Rubens was wanting the first place to be his.
          Regarding Michael Schumacher, I find the team orders that said Michael was nearly always first and Rubens second is one of the big disappointments I have whenever I hear records he has broken, because there is a sort of feeling of “manufactured” about them.

      4. This is one of the rare instances where the CotD manages to adress an aspect that I hadn’t thought of at all without being even remotely outlandish.
        I’m not sure if I agree with it, but it’s definitely food for thought.

    7. I hope those ostentatious tire labels do not appear on next years’ tires. That main photo is proof that asthetically speaking, those label-less tires are already a step in the right direction.

      1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        20th October 2016, 11:21

        Of course they will be, how will we know what tyres drivers are running?

    8. Just pee in your racing suit……I could never get the answer to that question, now that I have it that’s gross. Imagine you get to spray the champagne on the podium so the suit smells like that and pee…..

      1. And do a shoey? Ugh.

      2. F1’s not the only sport where this would be considered a best practice. It’s in the nature of competitive sports that normal, everyday considerations are cast aside if there’s any chance of them interfering with your chances of success. Peeing in your suit is a relatively harmless example of that.
        Also, I’m not sure if one should take Hamilton’s statement at face value. Outside of the cockpit it’s still a taboo subject, and you don’t wanna be the guy everyone knows pees in his suit. Image is what earns you millions, and it wouldn’t be wise to risk losing any of that by making such a silly mistake as saying the truth.

      3. It is very difficult to pee while you’re exercising. Adam ruins that.

    9. They will “feel like they are in a race” …GOOD.

      1. Which begs the question, I wonder what they feel like now?

    10. i miss the old hockenheim. it had a brooding sense of history which is sorely lacking in most tracks these days. i loved the contrast between the gladitorial stadium section, with the stripped back cars skittering round the slow corners, and the scary flat out blasts through the dense forest. there was always a slight edge to it, perhaps because of the history with Clark, but i think also because of the atmosphere. the new track has lost all of that.

    11. It may be an unpopular opinion but I have no issue with Ron Dennis losing control of McLaren-Honda. Sure I respect the guy’s achievements – it could be argued under his leadership McLaren isn’t sinking quite as badly as it was and under him they enjoyed much success in the past.

      But, I remember 2007. I remember watching the interviews with him declaring McLaren were not cheats, that nobody had used Ferrari data and they’d fight the accusation. Even when they got found out and fined he still refused to admit McLaren had done anything wrong. It wasn’t until after the season they quietly admitted they had. So to me all I see is a cheating liar that lied to the FIA and public and continued lying even when he was caught.

      Since they joined up with Honda I can’t shake the feeling they’re still talking and acting like they’re a frontrunning team when they’re still struggling to score points regularly, and that is from Dennis. Their behaviour towards Perez, Magnussen and Button left a poor taste – again, Dennis.

      Personally I don’t like the man though I can respect and admire his achievements – 2007 aside. I think McLaren will be better off without him in the end.

      1. As far as I know @rocketpanda, McLaren didn’t use Ferrari data to upgrade their own car in 2007. But they used it to ban Ferrari’s floor that was breaking the rules.
        In the end, they got access to secrets from Ferrari so the punishment was deserved, but it wasn’t a case of IP copy from McLaren.

        1. I recall Alonso and De La Rosa referring to what The Red Cars were doing in respect to data, so the information was shared inside the team for the driver and reserve driver to be able to have a conversation about it. There was IP infringement.

          1. dbHenry, the thing is, was that infringement any more severe than what has happened in the past or subsequent to 2007?

            What is also forgotten is that, back in 2007, Ferrari successfully prosecuted Mauro Iacconi and Angelo Santini, former employees who went to Toyota in 2003 and took technical drawings and aerodynamics testing data for the F2003-GA with them with both men found guilty of industrial espionage. Although Ferrari did not bring charges against Toyota (though the charges against Iacconi and Santini meant that Toyota’s offices in Cologne were raided for evidence), there were strong rumours that the rear suspension of the TF103 was based on drawings that those two men brought of the rear suspension of the F2003-GA.

            Other manufacturers have made some very serious accusations in the past. Back in 2001, Renault were hit by a targeted hacking attack that was used to steal drawings and test data on their engines in an attack that, being so precisely targeted on just that specific information, was strongly suspected to have been ordered by another team (although the perpetrators were never caught in the end).

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