Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2018

Hamilton urges Pirelli to end “ridiculous” one-stop races

2019 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton has called on Pirelli to create substantially softer tyres for the 2019 F1 season to encourage drivers to make more pit stops during races.

The Mercedes driver says the tyres need to be several stages softer than those being used this year. He also urged F1’s official tyre supplier to use the thinner gauge rubber which appeared at the Spanish, French and British rounds to reduce blistering.

“I’ve really got to keep pushing Pirelli because the tyres feel great here but this whole one-stop business is just ridiculous,” said Hamilton, who was quickest in both of today’s practice sessions.

“Next year I reckon they’ve got to go three steps softer. Swing them all lower so we have to do at least two stops per race.”

Out of the 16 races so far this year, 13 were won by drivers who used one-stop strategies.

“It’s going to make it a little bit more challenging, and more grip, naturally as you go to softer compounds. And then the thinner gauge so you have less of the thermal blisters that we see and maybe we can be able to follow and have more racing.”

Pirelli softened its tyre range for 2018 and introduced the new hyper-soft tyre to encourage more multiple-stop tyre strategies. However motorsport director Mario Isola said earlier this year teams have become so good at managing tyre degradation they can usually make their rubber last long enough they only need to pit once.

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72 comments on “Hamilton urges Pirelli to end “ridiculous” one-stop races”

  1. I thought I would never say this but I agree with the garishly tattooed and pierced fashion man.

    1. Garishly tattooed and pierced fashion man? Got me thinking. Hamilton-4 times, probably soon to be 5 times WDC. Rossi-9 times MotoGP Champion and probable MotoGP GOAT. Tai Woffinden-2 times (soon to be 3 times?) World Speedway Champion. Maybe there is something in this tattooed and pierced thing?

      1. Sam Hill just won his 2nd consecutive EWC title (to add to his multiple downhill MTB titles) and he has LOADS of tatts. Gotta be something in it!

        1. EWS but yea :P, Sam Hill rocked it!!

          Something in the tats!

      2. Even those friendly guys with team jackets riding Harley choppers seem to have joined the bandwagon ;)

        I wonder when they’ll get a hook as hand and parrot on their shoulder.

      3. The championships is what got their heads.. Some get tattoos and some do other things the public has yet to uncover…

      4. Rossi and Hammy have one thing in common…if you know what I mean….

      5. “Racing stickers”.

    2. Woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof

      1. Perhaps they are using Flow-Vis ink.

      2. Yes, woof woof woof woof woof indeed.

    3. You will get over it… or not.

    4. No one cites Kimi’s extensive tattoos as a mark against his character.

  2. One-stop races aren’t necessarily always straightforward.

  3. He’s right. We all knew from the beginning of the season, as soon as Pirelli introduced the “super hard”, they were playing a massively conservative game. People keep defending them, saying they are only producing what the FIA specification gives them – But wasn’t the goal from the beginning to guarantee 2-stop races?

    Pirelli aren’t stupid, and they have A LOT of data now, this should have been fixed over the summer break, with new/adapted compounds introduced. But instead they just keep bringing the same over-cautious rubber to tracks and underestimating the lengths teams will go stretch a compound to last 40-50 laps…

  4. One stop races aren’t the issue.

    It’s Mercedes dominance. It’s killing the sport.

    1. You sound like a cry baby. Give it a rest.

    2. Wah, wah. Somebody wins a race. It’s not fair. How is a team / person to win a championship if they don’t win races? I really don’t get the attacks on teams for doing a better job and winning. If you can’t take it stick to dice games where everyone has a random chance of winning. Leave competition to grown ups who understand how the real world works.

    3. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz 😴😴😴😴😴

    4. You told me you loved me
      Why did you leave me, all alone
      Now you tell me you need me
      When you call me, on the phone
      Girl I refuse, you must have me confused
      With some other guy
      Your bridges were burned, and now it’s your turn
      To cry, cry me a river

    5. We used to say that about Ferrari!

  5. So he could drive slowly like Singapore.

    1. You’ve got a point. One stop strategies are really boring, but does softer tyres really improve things? they’d need to conserve tyres even more, and that’s not something the drivers want, is it? they complain a lot about degradation and newer tyres having such a big delta to the worn ones.

      Besides, that’s not solving the inherent problem: if they still can’t overtake each other, who in their right mind would pit for fresher tyres and drop down the order? you can’t make the time back like they used to in 2012 for instance…

      If the cars can follow each other and pass each other, then someone eventually and naturally will pit for fresh tyres and it’ll spice up the race.

      1. I think if the tires were as soft as LH is suggesting, then there is no way the teams would be able to make them last and last and last. I think we all know by now that all the top tire makers know a hundred ways to combine rubber compounds with varying traits, as they see fit. Next year the cars should be making less wake to some degree, and that should help with closer racing. But meanwhile they will still be quite aero dependent, so super sticky tires that don’t get ruined in dirty air would certainly give drivers way more confidence to race, and they could sustain an attack for way longer, with reliable mechanical grip throughout more of each stint. If said sticky tires need changing more often, that’s fine, as long as while they’re on them they’re actually racing, not hanging back monitoring everything…drivers being told by their engineers how to drive.

      2. digitlarurouni
        5th October 2018, 14:39

        Exactly I don’t think squarely blaming Pirelli to make super soft tires will be beneficial. I mean don’t people complain all the time they can’t push on the tires!?!? The race pace is already slow enough compared to the quali laps. If they make egg shell tires again the cars will be even slower in the race. And the same problem will happen – no one will want their tires wrecked. Hamilton developed a left rear tire blister trying to pass Vettel in just one corner push lol and then they had to switch places with Valterri. I don’t think softer tires is the solution.

  6. I don’t know if it’s entirely Pirelli’s fault here.
    The regulations allow for teams to qualify Q3 on Hypers and then run Ultras and Softs in the race.

    1. They had a rule “start of tyre used for fastest time of Q3” for a while but then the back-end of Q3 felt that it is better to not set a time, have a free tyre choice and more importantly start on new tyres.

  7. I hope the fans (and Hamilton) realize that it is not in Pirelli’s hands to give 2 or multiple stop races. They provide the same 6 tyres for every weekend.

    It is the teams that change their cars improving them so that the cars can manage the tyres better without losing pace. The teams also change how much they want to push the equipment (engines, tyres) at different stages of the race depending upon race strategy, gap to others.
    It is the tracks that change throughout the year varying in their wear characteristics.

    Given these moving goal posts and no freedom to Pirelli to change their tyres, how are they supposed to guarantee a 2 stop race every time. Ridiculous expectation people have.

    1. While I agree Pirelli can’t just do what they want, there is no reason they can’t be mandated to do as LH, and likely many other drivers too, would like. And if the tires were made soft enough, it is likely the teams would never get their cars or their knowledge of the tires to the point of making an extremely soft tire last for two thirds of a race. Not unless they were trundling along at a walking pace in which case a pit stop would be warranted and cost less time than staying on the tires and trundling along.

      1. the teams would never get their cars or their knowledge of the tires to the point of making an extremely soft tire last for two thirds of a race

        What? Really? You are questioning that F1 teams are not smart enough. They well and truly are. They are smarter than the regulatory body and the tyre maker because of which we are in this situation.

        Not unless they were trundling along at a walking pace in which case a pit stop would be warranted and cost less time than staying on the tires and trundling along

        You are assuming that the teams will have to shave off a lot of pace to make tyres last. Won’t happen. Teams would learn to use the tyres differently so that the speed loss is minimal.

  8. More stops (and less on track overtakes) is NOT what the sport needs.

    More stops only works if the time lost due to a pit stop is radically reduced and cars can follow through turns.

    1. LOL, we were thinking on the same lines at the same time 🙂

      1. Yes and that is likely what LH is suggesting and I agree. As they work toward less dependence on clean air, less aero downforce, closer racing and speeds in corners can be maintained by very sticky tires. They also need to make them tread wear degrady and get away from the limiting temp sensitive tires with which they’ve been saddled. It has nothing to do with amount of time to pit as that is the same for everyone. Even if they could somehow lose 5 less seconds when pitting, they would all pit quicker. Even if a bloke felt incentivized to pit because he wouldn’t lose as much time as we have become accustomed, the bloke that needs to react to that will do so, and his lost time pitting will be closely the same as his rival.

        1. Lol meant to say no I don’t agree about number of stops not being an issue, as much softer tires bring with them more stops needed. So more stops to me equals sticky mechanical grip tires that we need badly, as long as they aren’t so temp sensitive. Shortened stops would be the same for everyone.

        2. Right, I think Lewis’ comment represents a bandage over the high-deg tyres Pirelli. If the revised regs over 2019 and 2021 can allow cars to follow more closely the tyres will need to be engineered to let the drivers push for many laps without this overheating and blistering nonsense we see today.

        3. Even if they could somehow lose 5 less seconds when pitting, they would all pit quicker.

          @robbie It’s not really the point though. The question is whether going onto a faster tyre is worth the risk for the time lost and perhaps the positions lost, not only in the pits, but also having to retake some positions maybe. The issue is that now none of the teams thing it’s worth an extra stop. That’s partly down to the fast degradation on the fastest tyres, so it’s better to preserve harder tyres (meaning drivers aren’t pushing them, meaning less speed and less racing) and partly down to the impossibility of passing at certain tracks. Monaco was absurd this year – Ricciardo winning in a sub-performing car because nobody could pass and nobody willing to risk putting on newer and faster tyres.

          The real ideal, of course, would be a tyre that gets better the harder you push, forcing drivers to wear tyres in, driving fast and stressing them to get better performance – speed – after some laps (which obviously at some point later would decline again).

          1. The introduction of (quite draconian in my view) pit lane speed limits has massively affected the ‘value’ of pitting. Even though the service times in the box have shortened dramatically.

          2. @asanator Reducing pit times would certainly make sense in general. The shorter time, the more marginal all the calculations would become with teams trying two or even three stops.

            Why not adapt or design circuits, where possible, so that the route is theoretically shorter via the pits, but with a variable entry (or exit) lane route, which could be adjusted to make pitting shorter or quicker for specific events. Or just place the speed limiter earlier or later on entry. That way, Formula 1 say, could actually adjust average pit times so that they gave the desired margin (say, 4-5 seconds, or 10 seconds, or 15, lost on a pit). That would be safer than allowing faster speeds, but would really mess with the strategists calculations. You could even leave specification of the route to a randomized last minute decision to really mess them up.

          3. As @asanator and @david-br suggested make pitstops faster and more exciting. And Liberty, like Bernie, want to improve the show…so…permit DRS in the pit lane and a 200mph speed limit. We have the Todt Thong, so driver safety is no longer a concern.

            Sure, there’s a high possibility of crew injuries and missing the pitbox when braking from 200 on worn tyres, but teams could work around that using wires and hooks like they do on aircraft carriers.

            Still not safe enough for nanny state racing? Fine. Bring the tyre change to the track using a flotilla of drones to pick up the car on track and robot arms to make the change. Drones could drop the car (not too hard) back on track without losing position. Simple crazy spectacle that not even Crashcar could top.


  9. Change the regulations to stipulate that its mandatory to do two stops on alternate tires throughout the race. No need to thank me.

  10. After the first pit stop, every pit stop should allow that car to use DRS in the clear for the next 3 laps (or so). One way to reduce the time lost in the pitlane.

    1. Hm, that’s an interesting idea. Not sure I quite like it, but it’s something of a solution at least.

    2. Even if a bloke felt incentivized to pit because he wouldn’t lose as much time as we have become accustomed, the bloke that needs to react to that will do so, and his lost time pitting will be closely the same as his rival.

      Good point @robbie , one that most likely halts this idea in its tracks.

  11. Bring back refuelling. There is no incentive to do a second stop anymore. If they get softer tyres all the teams will do is drive slower and stretch the stints into one-stop.

  12. More pitstops do not automatically make Grand Prix more exciting, strategic variety does. Forcing a certain number of stops (with essentially 1 mandatory stop because of the 2 compound per race rule) will result in what we have got now: 10 teams of very clever people working out exactly what the quickest way to run a race is, and then executing it. If you add to that the fact that it is difficult to overtake, teams will always err on the side of caution. Hence 1 stop races where drivers are asked to eek out tyre life by running to a set pace.

    1. Totally agree @geemac . No matter what set of rules you put up, whether it’s about tyres, pitstops or even types of engines to be used, the teams have so much data and are clever enough to converge to one single best solution.
      So I’m not sure how to get more strategic variety…
      I think the main idea should be to bring the strategy/tactics back to the driver on track. First of all by improving the overtaking possibilities; much less wings, narrower cars, … Second by taking away (most of) running the race from the pit wall. Only one way radio communication from driver to pit, for example. Or maybe no radio at all.
      Then it will come down much more to driver skills, attacking and defending, and specific car characteristics.
      Well that’s my 5 cents of armchair reasoning anyway…

  13. The solution is simple and does not cost a penny.
    Just use all three compounds during a race.

    1. Love it. Absent a fix for dirty air and reducing time lost in the pits, this seems the logical way to go.

    2. Sorry, I did not see your post before I did mine.
      But also just one set of each per car for the race and one set of each for each prior session ie P1 P2 P3 and PQ. (It is called qualifying practice in the regs) Teams would need more thought then in qually.
      No not impossible, just difficult, but then they get paid to be the best.

      1. Good idea. But the underlying problem is still that it is too difficult to overtake. Worth a try until 2021 anyway.

      2. Meant to be a reply to Erikje…

  14. As I recall Pirelli said that they have their own ideas about the tires, but make these compounds as FOM demands, so it’s FOM who have to change their approach.
    The whole idea of so many compounds is totally ludicrous, since the difference between strategies is marginal. The only reason they come in the pits is for the mandatory compound switch. Verstappen could have finished the race on the Softs he started on in Sochi.
    Reduce the number of compounds to 2-3 (excluding Inters + Wets), make the differences between them bigger and bin the mandatory change. That would result in much more action in the pits and on the track.

  15. Time for a regs change: For the race, all teams to get one set only of each type per car. All three types to be used.

  16. F1 has never resolved the pit stop issue since banning race refuelling. Unless a pit stop results in being able to pull back the 20-30 seconds lost stopping, theres no point, always better to keep track position and manage the tyres instead. There has to be an added incentive to encourage more pit stops, i’d suggets replacing DRS with a boost button, as the result would be the same, and give cars that do a pit stop 5 extra boosts. Means they can pull back the lost time quicker and encourage running softer tyres.

  17. I’d bring back refuelling.

    There is no variables anymore. All the cars start the same weight, use the same strategy and spend same length of time in the pits.

    Back in the bridgestone and Michelin they easily had the tyre life to make races one stop but running fuel fat was rarely the quickest strategy

  18. What about having an extra battery that can only be charged/changed in the pits that would give the driver a 20 seconds body advantage to use at any point in the race?

    1. 20 seconds ‘boost’ advantage. Not ‘body’…

  19. In my opinion, the tyres/tires are not the issue. They may be an issue, but messing with them or the qualifying format are not going to fix the underlying problems.

    1) Find a way to allow cars to follow each other. Cut the wings off, adjust aero (more or less complex, whichever works), etc. Until you get to the bottom of this, all the rest of this is fiddling around the edges. Yes, it would be great if teams could employ differing pit/tire strategies but does it really matter if one car cannot pass another on track?

    2) Find a way to bring the field closer. This one appears headed in the right direction, with planned budget caps and relatively stable regulations, but we’ll see when this gets derailed. Will likely also need to adjust payouts.

    3) Then start worrying about tires, pits, etc. I’m sure they want to appear like they are doing something while trying (if they are trying at all) to fix the big, complex issues. But messing at the edges just increases costs of getting to grips with minor details while not fixing the core matters.

    1. To be clear, I am not saying that I think the only way to make things better is to chop off the wings. Rather, whatever the solution is to allow for actual racing between cars, do that. Or at least be open to it. I feel like instead they look for tiny changes that are in line with the current formula rather than looking for actual results.

    2. Very much agree @hobo. Point nr 1 is the first to be fixed. Then in the medium term nr 2. Including taking away the Strategy Group blocking all decisions.
      Another issue is the, on average, insane reliability of the cars because of the 3 engine rule. Coasting to save the engine. Noone is doing a do-or-die stint resulting in a blow up… Not sure if the 3 engine rule saves much cost anyway…

  20. Just be able to race each other, to put pressure on each other, to follow closely and do several overtake attempts without ever having to back off to get clean air and protect tires… make zero pit stops if you wish, but let’s have a RACE.

    Marshmallow tires and several overtakes with a 4s lap time delta (the Merc doing 4 stops vs the Renault on old tires), no thank you, not interested on that.

  21. Then maybe we can be able to follow and have more racing

    Or more likely the car behind just burns up their soft tyres in twice the time due to following in the dirty air of the car in front!

  22. I disagree that one stop races are ridiculous, I want to see the racing/overtaking done on the track & not in the pits.

    I’d rather no stops at all to be honest, Or at least give them the option as used to be the case.

  23. Don’t agree. It’s the high-deg tyres & stupid tyre rules (Top 10 starting on tyres from Q2, Forced to run 2 compounds) that are ridiculous.

    Like I said yesterday, The more artificial things & gimmicks they throw at it the more reliant they will become on them & the harder they will be to get rid of.

    The only thing softer tyres & more deg/pit stops will do is force more management & produce an even greater use of pit strategy aimed at doing the undercut which will only result in less competitive passing on the track. One of the biggest flaws of F1 since 2011 with DRS/High-deg tyres is that while the gimmicks did produce a lot more passing, It certainly wasn’t competitive & therefore was certainly neither fun or exciting to watch.

  24. Wah wah wah. Tool.

    1. Was meant to reply to a comment above. Was not aimed at Lewis’ comments. Apologies

  25. I see no need for compulsory pitstops at all.

    Tyres should be able to last for the whole race and no pitstop should be mandatory

    Teams should be able to change tyres if they consider it to be to their advantage only

  26. 2 tire brands. Bring back competition. Why is evrything competition in F1 ? and only 1 supplier rght now! No need for artificial second pitstop.

  27. I feel a little sorry for Pirelli. They really can’t win. I remember all the complaints in 2013 when high deg tyres led to ultra conservative racing so they started to go towards more durable tyres. But now they have more durable tyres, they drive just as conservatively to avoid unnecessary pit stops. The only way I see the situation improving is if the forthcoming aero changes really do improve overtaking and make an attacking multi-stop strategy work.

  28. Kenneth e jefferson
    13th October 2018, 17:22

    Make tyres less degrading and u will have all the passing and racing u want without mandatory stops

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