Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

“These tyres are a disgrace for F1”: Over 300 Mexican GP team radio messages

2018 Mexican Grand Prix

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The Mexican Grand Prix was a race of tyre saving for many drivers. “These are the world championships in driving slow,” complained Nico Hulkenberg in a race he summed up as “lame” after the chequered flag fell.

A frustrated Kevin Magnussen went further, labelling Pirelli’s tyres a “disgrace” on his way to 15th place on a poor weekend for Haas.

Lewis Hamilton had a better result to celebrate, clinching his fifth world championship. But Mercedes struggled with tyres throughout the race as well as he could only manage fourth.

Race winner Max Verstappen had plenty of causes to be happy, bouncing back from a disappointing Saturday to repeat his 2017 victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Here are a selection of the best team radio messages from the Mexican Grand Prix.

Sirotkin:Are you blowing any kind of liquids on me? Because it smells so bad in here. Something like a glass cleaner I guess.
To Gasly:Usual reminder: Pit limiter on until pole position.

Max Verstappen grabbed the lead from team mate Daniel Ricciardo at the start. However for the second race running a first-lap incident led to Fernando Alonso’s retirement.

To Verstappen:Nice job my friend.
Stroll:Magnussen cut the track.
Hartley:I’ve got a big flat spot, guys, I’m going to have to box.
Hartley:I’m going to have to box.
Hartley:Do you copy?
To Hartley:Box, box.
Hartley:Pit lane.
Alonso:I hit a front wing from Ocon in turn four. Maybe it’s OK?
To Alonso:Understood we have checked the data, everything looks OK.
Ocon:I have damage, front wing.
To Ocon:Keep going and we’ll see what it’s like.
To Ocon:So you will be pitting, Esteban, you have half the front wing missing. Keep pushing all the way in.
To Ocon:Pit this lap, pit confirm.
To Ocon:You’re missing half the front wing. Hartley ahead, ultra-soft tyres.
Ocon:Hulkenberg or Sainz completely closed the door.
To Perez:Checo get some cooling on the left-hand side of the car.
To Perez:Checo if the car’s too snappy go diff mid eight.
To Perez:DRS is active.
To Perez:Checo energy’s really free at the moment so use it when you want and get core combustion early.
To Perez:Checo caution with front lock.
To Perez:Checo just watch out for chin strikes in turn eight.
To Alonso:Fernando we are hot level two, continue what you are doing, other cars are also struggling, Perez in front.
To Alonso:DRS has been enabled.
To Alonso:Fernando plan A, looking to extend.
Alonso:OK, copy.
To Alonso:Just some information for you, Hartley and Ocon have both pitted, Ocon onto his second backup.
To Alonso:OK Fernando we need to stop the car pull over to one side in a safe place, please.
Alonso:OK, stop. Sure?
To Alonso:Stand by.
To Alonso:Yes we’re definitely sure. Pull over to one side and once you stop, P1, pause P0. Sorry mate. I’ll explain later.
Alonso:OK P0.

Romain Grosjean was at risk of a one-race ban if he collected two superlicence points and as a result seemed more sensitive than usual to other drivers’ racecraft.

Significantly, Ferrari drew the conclusion Red Bull would have to make a second pit stop, though that later turned out not to be the case.

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Grosjean:Williams just drove into me in the straight. I think he hit my front wing.
To Grosjean:OK understood we’ll check the data.
Grosjean:From what we have right now front wing looks OK. How’s the balance?
Grosjean:I don’t know, traffic everywhere. But that was very dangerous. He just drove into me.
Grosjean:Understood we have reported it.
Grosjean:Mate the fucking driving everywhere is a mess.
Grosjean:Copy that, copy.
Grosjean:The Toro Rosso just pushed me wide and then changed direction on the braking.
Grosjean:DRS enabled, spark two.
To Ocon:You can use white button turn four for rears if you’re worried about rears. But we really need to try and catch up the group if we can.
To Ocon:So Esteban we’re trying to push into the pit stop window of those hyper-softs ahead so we do need to pick the pace up if we can.
To Ocon:The cars on the softer tyres are now starting to grain.
Ocon:Yeah my front-left is not great either, unfortunately.
To Ocon:Well, stop lift-and-coasting, then, do not lift and coast.
To Bottas:Just confirm tyres still OK.
Bottas:Small amount of graining, front-left, rear-left.
To Bottas:Copy.
To Bottas:Chassis dash set position three. If you can just close the gap to Vettel so we’re not under threat of undercut from Kimi.
Bottas:The graining is getting worse.
To Bottas:Copy that.
To Bottas:Just confirm you’re happy with the flap adjust planned.
Bottas:Yep.
Bottas:Actually an extra turn.
To Bottas:Copy that extra turn.
To Bottas:So push hard now.
Bottas:Copy.
To Bottas:And strat 10, box box.
To Hamilton:So Verstappen car ahead, Raikkonen car ahead of him, he is yet to stop.
To Hamilton:So Raikkonen 1.9 ahead, he is yet to stop, used ultra.
To Hamilton:And Ricciardo car behind.
To Hamilton:Ricciardo at 0.6 behind us.
To Hamilton:And Ricciardo has come through as well.
To Vettel:It’s very unlikely that Ricciardo will go to the end with these tyres. As you know engine one is available if you want to close on him or open, save the tyres.

Renault startedon the unfancied hyper-soft tyres and to their surprise lapped quickly and for long enough in the opening stages to make a one-stop strategy work. But they, like Sauber, would have to treat their rubber very delicately after pitting to make it work.

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Hulkenberg:Tyres stage seven.
To Hulkenberg:Nico we are one second quicker than the cars on super-softs. This doesn’t make sense.
To Hulkenberg:Nico you must not stop.
Hulkenberg:Copy.
Hulkenberg:But the graining is real, I’m just telling you.
To Hulkenberg:Our pace is good. Leclerc four-tenths slower this lap. Perez seven-tenths slower.
To Ericsson:VSC, VSC, follow the delta, we stay out, mode FL.
To Ericsson:OK remember the line under VSC.
To Ericsson:And maximum attention on your delta, please, you know what to do.
Sainz:Who are you going to pit?
To Sainz:Pit window closed for both cars.
To Magnussen:And we stay out.
Magnussen:I think it should be quick.
To Magnussen:Yeah should be quick because it’s just protecting the cars. Should be very quick.
To Ericsson:OK Marcus situation: We are currently P14, ahead of you is Vandoorne and behind you you have Sirotkin, Hartley. Ahead of Vandoorne and Ocon there is Magnussen and Grosjean, they still need to stop.
To Ericsson:Oil button.
To Ericsson:OK you’re doing a good job so keep focusing on your delta and your driving line under VSC.
Ericsson:I don’t understand how he can be so close to me? It’s not possible.
To Ericsson:Copy we are investigating.
To Ericsson:Virtual Safety Car ending. Mode push and use overtake.
Ericsson:They restarted right in my gearbox.
To Ericsson:OK, focus on the job.

Renault were on course for a strong points finish when Carlos Sainz Jnr’s car suddenly stopped.

Grosjean:If he could stop moving back to the right into turn four that would help me a lot. Because I can’t attack because he’s just moving back on the racing line. I know my front wing is next to him but if I’m going for it I’m just going to crash into him.
To Grosjean:Understood, understood.
To Magnussen:One K1 is available, one time.
To Magnussen:Sainz behind you just pit, super-soft, he’s one-and-a-half seconds behind.
To Magnussen:Left toggle off.
Magnussen:You’re giving me these messages too late, after I do it many times.
To Magnussen:Copy.
To Magnussen:Sainz has DRS.
To Magnussen:Left off.
Magnussen:OK, stop giving me messages about the toggles, please.
To Magnussen:OK understood.
To Magnussen:Let’s settle down and we target Ericsson, Romain is two seconds behind you. And he is under threat from Hulkenberg.
Grosjean:Not fair where does he want me to go? I leave the door open so there is no crash and he just fucking pushed me off.
To Grosjean:Understood, we’ll pass it on.
To Ericsson:OK Marcus we need still more management, I’m sorry but…
Ericsson:More management, keep position, save brakes, it’s not a nice call guys.
To Ericsson:I know, I know, do your best. Target 24.5 lap time.
To Gasly:We need 10 seconds overtake button.
Gasly:Problem.
To Gasly:What are you feeling?
To Gasly:What are you feeling?
Gasly:False neutral, I lost power on braking.
To Gasly:Keep going, we are checking.
To Gasly:Fail red three fail.
To Hulkenberg:44 laps to go at the end of this one.
To Hulkenberg:Gap to Verstappen is 3.5, Leclerc is eight seconds behind.
To Hulkenberg:Verstappen two seconds behind.
Hulkenberg:Fuck me. Different world, eh?
To Hulkenberg:It is indeed.
To Hulkenberg:Leclerc’s been given a lap time target of 24.8.
To Hulkenberg:Blue flag, Nico, blue flag.
To Hulkenberg:Hamilton is 11 seconds behind Verstappen and struggling a bit. So you have a breather.
Hulkenberg:Oh shit, what’s happening with Carlos?
To Hulkenberg:Don’t know, Nico, let’s keep focused.
To Hulkenberg:VSC Nico, you know what to do, staying out.

Hamilton slipped behind Vettel and came under threat from Ricciardo as his second set of tyres began to fade.

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To Raikkonen:Don’t close too much on Bottas, Kimi.
Raikkonen:OK but who is going to the end?
To Raikkonen:We think Ricciardo, us and Bottas.
Raikkonen:Yeah well we need to get past him. It’s not help to sit behind.
To Raikkonen:Kimi if you think you can make it easy do it but take care about your tyres, that’s the priority.
To Bottas:So Valtteri if we’re going to go back to the other tyre can you just confirm you are happy with the total flap adjust we did for this one? Just want to keep some load in the front.
Bottas:Yeah I want to add some flap. Plus one or two.
To Bottas:Yeah copy that.
Bottas:The front tyre was ripped apart from lap one from the middle of the tyre. I think there’s something wrong with it, it’s not wear it’s just shit.
To Bottas:Yeah a lot of cars are getting graining. We think it’s quite shallow but we see it on other cars.
To Hartley:Virtual Safety Car. You can stay where you are with the mode, the battery is full.
Hartley:Oh that sucks I was just about to overtake.
To Hartley:Yeah we have to do that again. He is much slower than you. Save fuel if you can.
To Perez:Stay positive once in each marshalling sector. Currently plus 8.5.
To Perez:Checo you’re currently positive 6.4.
Perez:Yes mate but I have Hamilton ahead, man, I can’t overtake him, I’m going to his speed.
To Perez:Understood.
To Hamilton:Gap to Ricciardo 3.8.
To Hamilton:So Vettel now the car behind, 4.1 seconds.
To Ricciardo:Vettel does have DRS now.
Ricciardo:What a fucking joke, these guys.
To Ricciardo:Yeah understood, let’s just cut through them.
To Ricciardo:Alright let’s just try and get him back.
To Ricciardo:OK mate I know we got fucked over there just remember you need to keep looking after that left-front, that is the main aim.
Hamilton:Feel like I’m driving bald tyres.
To Hamilton:Copy, understood.
To Hamilton:OK Lewis so SAN mode two. Target minus 12.
To Hamilton:So Vettel 1.3 behind.
To Hamilton:Vettel at 0.9.
To Hamilton:Lewis we’ve got Ricciardo behind, six seconds, he was 21.5 last lap.
To Ricciardo:OK so about six seconds ahead of you Vettel has just passed Hamilton. Hamilton isn’t very happy.
To Ricciardo:Hamilton’s pace ahead, he can do 21.8s. He’s now 5.3 ahead.
To Ricciardo:Hamilton’s last lap 21.8 you were one second quicker than him, let’s go after him mate, let’s have him.
Hamilton:How’s it gone from six seconds to 4.4?
To Hamilton:Ricciardo’s pace is picking up so the fronts may have cleaned on his car.

It wasnt a good race for Force India: Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly tangled, and Sergio Perez retired.

To Hartley:Keep left in brakes turn four, turn 12 if you don’t overtake.
To Hartley:Copy.
To Hartley:Ericsson reported big problems with tyres.
Hartley:Yeah but he’s got big straight-line speed.
To Hartley:If you cannot do it in turn one, think about middle sector. And keep managing your brakes.
Gasly:He pushed me off the track.
To Gasly:Copy Pierre. Focus.
To Gasly:Blue flag for Verstappen behind. We reported to Charlie, Pierre.
Gasly:Didn’t leave me any space.
To Gasly:He pushed you off track, we saw that, we will report it. Radio off.
To Leclerc:Look after the tyres, look after the tyres and try to keep Perez behind.
To Leclerc:But remember we need tyre saving.
To Leclerc:You can use overtake button to defend.
To Leclerc:Behind Perez is Bottas, blue flag for him.
To Leclerc:So let him go and focus on tyre saving. Focus on tyre saving.
To Leclerc:Back to spark four.
To Leclerc:Brake saving, stage two.
To Leclerc:So now it’s again Magnussen behind and maximise focus on tyre saving.
To Leclerc:36 laps to go.
To Leclerc:Tyre saving sector two.
To Leclerc:Increase the gap to Perez to four seconds. We need more tyre saving.
To Perez:Checo caution on combined traction with this tyre. 35 laps to go at the end of this one.
To Perez:Checo we cannot stress enough this is the main bit for management. We can’t take risks now.
Perez:You need more? You need more lift-and-coast? What else I do? I’m doing my best? I’m doing maximum I can. How much more you need?
To Perez:In traction, we need more in traction. Raikkonen is the car behind, 1.5, we need more in traction entry turn 10.
Perez:Copy. I’m have a very long…
To Perez:Blue flag Raikkonen. Blue flag Raikkonen. Blue flag Raikkonen.
Perez:Copy.
Perez:I’m having a very long pedal, man, very long brake pedal.
To Perez:Checo, understood, see if it improves with a bit of brake cooling after you’ve been behind other cars, maybe brake cooling helps it a bit.
Perez:There’s no braking. very, very long.
To Leclerc:Increase the gap to Perez, we need more management.
Leclerc:Guys I think he has a problem. His brakes are fuming and he’s braking very early. So I cannot go as slow as him.
To Leclerc:OK, try to get him, we give you one lap so spark two and use overtake button.
To Leclerc:OK well done Charles, back to full tyre saving, spark four.
To Magnussen:So Leclerc is managing tyres to go to the end. If we can overtake you should do it. K1 is available and you are very close to his DRS zone.
Magnussen:Thinks about the strategy, guys. Not sure about these tyres.
To Magnussen:Copy, understood your message.
Magnussen:And Leclerc unbelievably strong in turn 16 exit.
To Magnussen:Understood, understood your message.
Magnussen:So I’m not going to overtake.
To Magnussen:Clear.
Magnussen:And the tyres, especially the fronts, are getting worse. It’s not stable.
Perez:I have no fucking brakes, man.
To Perez:Checo, understood, we’re going to have to retire. Keep going and we’ll give you more info on this lap.
Perez:It’s very long and it goes rearwards massively.

Charles Leclerc was becoming increasingly frustrated by Sauber’s repeated calls for him to preserve his rubber. These are excerpts of the 50 messages he was given telling him to slow down to save his tyres. Magnussen was also fuming about the state of his Pirellis.

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To Leclerc:We need more tyre saving, more tyre saving.
To Leclerc:Target lap time 25.0.
Leclerc:Honestly from 20.5 to 25, it doesn’t do any difference for the tyres, we are so much under the limit. I don’t know what you want to do, if you really want me to go 25 but it’s risky. Vandoorne could overtake me.
To Leclerc:So we are 22 laps to go.
To Leclerc:You can reduce brake saving, brake saving stage one.
To Leclerc:Oil button.
To Leclerc:We need a bit more tyre saving. Last lap time was 24.2. Target is still 25.0, 20 laps to go.
Leclerc:I need to know, the target lap time that you are giving me, is it until the end of the race or do you want me to push again at the end of the race?
To Leclerc:We need this lap time to go to the end of the race and we have 19 laps to go.
To Hulkenberg:OK Nico last lap you were one second quicker than Leclerc, you’re already seven tenths up on this one. You can easily afford to lose half a second on your current lap time and still be faster.
Hulkenberg:Jesus. These are the world championships in driving slow.
To Hulkenberg:Affirm, Nico.
To Leclerc:Still a bit more tyre saving sector two.
Leclerc:What about Hulkenberg? How far is he?
To Leclerc:He is quite far ahead so don’t care about him at the moment.
Leclerc:How far?
To Leclerc:He is now in turn seven already, turn seven.
To Leclerc:So just about controlling the gap to Vandoorne behind. Three-and-a-half seconds behind. More tyre saving sector two.
To Leclerc:Virtual Safety Car, Virtual Safety Car. Mode FL. Follow delta.
Leclerc:Let me know about Hulkenberg. What was the lap time he was doing and how far is he exactly? Don’t worry about the tyres. I know how, I feel the tyres, they are fine, don’t worry.
To Leclerc:He is more than 15 seconds ahead, super-soft, he was lapping 24.8.
Leclerc:He is lapping 24.8 [unclear].
To Leclerc:Charles he is now in turn one so we have just nine laps to go and we need this level of tyre saving for us it’s important to control the gap to Vandoorne behind.
To Magnussen:VSC deployed. Stay positive on delta.
To Magnussen:Mode slow. Yellow where you are, one, two, three.
Magnussen:These tyres, these tyres, man.
To Magnussen:Yeah understood, same comment from Romain, go to mode slow please.
Magnussen:I am.
To Magnussen:OK, thankyou I see it now.
To Magnussen:Any axle that is worse just to give you some help?
Magnussen:No. These tyres are a disgrace for Formula 1.
To Magnussen:Stay positive on delta. BC3.

Incredibly, Ricciardo retired from the race again. Meanwhile Toro Rosso switched their drivers, though Hartley made it clear he expected the position to be reversed again if his team mate didn’t make any progress.

To Hartley:We will have a five-second penalty for the clash with Ocon, end of race we will have a five second penalty.
To Hartley:Driver swap turn four.
Hartley:Yeah copy.
To Hartley:I think he has blue flags mate so maybe the next lap. You tell me.
To Hartley:This lap, this lap, turn four.
To Hartley:Don’t impede Ricciardo and Vettel behind Gasly.
Hartley:OK I’m going to have to stop…
To Hartley:Watch your mirrors for Ocon, Ocon is behind Vettel.
To Gasly:Driver swap in turn four. Hartley will let you by before the blue flag.
Gasly:OK let Ricciardo by now.
To Ricciardo:Fail 38 fail.
To Ricciardo:OK mate we may have a bit of a problem, we’re looking into it.
Ricciardo:[Unclear] fail.
To Ricciardo:Yeah understood you’ll have very heavy steering. Stop the car.
Ricciardo:Oh, man.
To Ricciardo:OK there is a gap down there on the left. Sorry mate I don’t know what to say. You did a brilliant job.
Ricciardo:Me too.
To Ricciardo:P1 please and then P0. So sorry mate.
Ricciardo:I’ll save it.
To Ricciardo:Yeah understood.
Verstappen:Check my engine, if you need to turn it down, turn it down.
To Verstappen:Understood.
To Hartley:Ocon was two-tenths faster this lap.
To Hartley:Yellow turn one, Ricciardo stopped outside the track.
Hartley:OK mate if I open up the five seconds I want my position back.
To Hartley:Virtual Safety Car, follow the target.
To Hartley:Copy.
To Hartley:Charge on.
To Hartley:No need to save fuel.
Hartley:Yep. If I open up the five seconds I want my position back, guys, if he doesn’t make the overtake. it’s only fair.
To Hartley:10 laps to go.
To Hartley:When the Safety Car ends, when the Virtual Safety Car ends, we’ll need to use overtake to drop the battery.
To Leclerc:So at the moment you are increasing the gap to Vandoorne, slow down a bit more, more tyre saving, we are safe position, we are P7.
Leclerc:How far is Hulkenberg?
To Leclerc:Charles forget Hulkenberg, our target is to stay ahead of Vandoorne. You can slow down, slow down. We need more tyres.
To Leclerc:We need much slower pace to go to the end. Five laps to go.
Leclerc:Do we have a problem on the car? I really don’t understand. Please explain. The tyres are in good shape. I’m the first one to [unclear] once there is a reason but honestly the tyres are in good shape.
To Leclerc:Charles, Hulkenberg is lapping 21.5 as well so there’s no way we’ll get him at the moment it’s just to bring it home now, four laps to go.

Out in front on his own, Verstappen kept himself occupied by trying to set the fastest lap of the race. However he was thwarted by Valtteri Bottas making a late pit stop for a set of hyper-softs.

To Verstappen:That was purple sectors two and three. We don’t need it, mate. Vettel looks like he’s either given up the ghost or his tyres can’t handle it. Six tenths loss in those two sectors. His last lap was a 19.7.
Verstappen:I know we don’t need it but it’s nice.
To Verstappen:We have now turned the engine down, Max, for reference.
To Verstappen:Yeah, OK Max, that’s purple, that’s purple. Please slow it down. Five laps to go.
To Verstappen:Do you copy now? There you go, Bottas on a fresh set. It’s out of reach. Don’t worry about it, bring it home.
To Gasly:Last lap.
Gasly:I’m trying but, fuck, too fast.
To Gasly:Use the button now.
Gasly:I tried but they are too fast in the straight. Even with the DRS, like I almost don’t catch up.
To Gasly:Yeah Pierre we saw. Save fuel and mode 11. Cool the brakes. Multi B six K brake position 13.
To Gasly:Multi A 10 ALS position 13. Cool the brakes.

Verstappen took the win, Hamilton took the title, but most of their rivals were unimpressed by their afternoon at the wheel.

To Verstappen:Well done mate P1, well done.
Verstappen:Oh, what a great Sunday.
To Verstappen:Well done Max that was a very good drive. Nailed it on the first lap. Fantastic drive. Enjoy the podium up there with your fellow Dutchie and don’t get set on fire this year.
Verstappen:Yeah. Great strategy as well and the car was behaving superbly. Thank you guys.
To Verstappen:It’s a shame because Daniel would have beaten Seb I’m sure on the one-stop as well so to lose him, we’re not quite sure what the issue is yet so a real pain in the arse not to have you both up there.
Verstappen:Yeah it looked competitive for Daniel with the one-stop.
To Verstappen:Anyway enjoy it and see you at the podium. Rocky’s coming up to get the constructors’ trophy today.
Verstappen:Nice.
To Verstappen:Yeah so mate other than one minor blip, one minor blip, this weekend has been absolutely perfect, alright? Been solid all weekend. And you had the right tyres available to you as well today. Took a little bit of a risk in quali but you had the right tyres today. That was it Max.
Verstappen:Yeah it was alright to be honest. Again the limitation is the left-front. Even though I found the second set was not as competitive as the first but still good enough.
To Verstappen:Yep, exactly. There was a whole world of trouble for most of the field. I think you were not far away from lapping Hamilton as well in P4. Obviously that clinches him the championship. I think you know where to park.
Verstappen:Yeah pretty much.
To Hamilton:That’s it Lewis! That’s P4 and the 2018 world championship! Five-time mate! Five times!
To Hamilton:Championship wasn’t won today, mate but it was won through a season of solid work and some fucking great driving.
To Hamilton:OK Lewis if you can go HPP eight to 13. And strat mode 12. You’ll be going to the stadium.
Hamilton:Thank you guys so much for all your hard work. That was a tough weekend but as you say it’s a whole year of great work.
To Hamilton:Yeah well done Lewis. Stop there in the stadium and take the applause of the crowd.
To Hulkenberg:There you go, Nico, well done mate, you did it. P6, we can’t ask for more than that. It wasn’t pretty but good job. Scenario 12 please.
Hulkenberg:Yeah, thanks guys. Pretty lame race but important points. Nice result mate.
To Hulkenberg:Yep.
Hulkenberg:Did Haas get points or not?
To Hulkenberg:Zero for Haas, P15 and P16.
To Leclerc:Excellent job Charles, very difficult race, very good job. P7 at the end. Remember to drive off-line.
Leclerc:Yeah, copy.
To Gasly:We are P10, good recovery Pierre.
Gasly:Thanks. That was a fantastic race. A bit disappointing but it’s still one more point. Hopefully with starting in our normal position in Brazil and Abu Dhabi we can score bigger points. Thanks for the strategy it was a great one.
To Gasly:Cool the brakes. Stop FIA bridge. P1, P0, master switch off.
Gasly:We need to see with Ericsson, he did one full lap with the blue flag. So… I mean, yeah of course I was right behind him, I could have tried something. When I let Kimi past after he stayed in front for one lap was the opportunity. I think he should be investigated or at least to know if we can do this in the future.
To Gasly:Yes we will.
To Ocon:So I think we have some more damage on the car, Esteban.
Ocon:I’ve never had a race where nothing works correctly like today. Just not a single time it was working right, anything.
To Ocon:Copy that, Esteban.
To Grosjean:OK, chequered flag, that was leader Verstappen.
To Grosjean:So we’ll just cool the brakes, please, cool the calipers.
Grosjean:Yep that’s the motto of the day.
To Grosjean:Yep understood.
Grosjean:Sorry couldn’t do anything there boys.
To Grosjean:No we just couldn’t keep the tyres in a good place and had too much managing to do. Thanks for doing everything we asked, though.

NB. As some messages will have been transmitted simultaneously the chronology of the above extracts is not exact.

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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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48 comments on ““These tyres are a disgrace for F1”: Over 300 Mexican GP team radio messages”

  1. All the tyre saving messages clearly to read again, and I also feel bad about it.
    As mentioned before, I don’t think the solution is in the tyres (there will always be complaints), but about the difficulty to follow (hence overtake), and the time lost in a pit stop.
    If F1 solves those 2 issues then the tyres become an interesting strategic differentiator. When you get it wrong you pit for a new set and go on the attack.

    PS – DRS is great if it were a system to follow closely in the curvy bits, rather than going faster on the straights (and available to all at all times). DRS becomes Downforce Recovery System.

    1. @coldfly No, it wouldn’t. DRS and corners together are a dangerous combination. Just too risky to be worth it.

      1. @jerejj, you probably missed this: ‘ DRS becomes Downforce Recovery System.’
        e.g. increase angle of front wing rather than opening rear wing.

        1. @coldfly No, I didn’t, but I just wasn’t sure about your point concerning the last sentence. TBH, I’m not so sure something like that would work in reality. I doubt about the achievability of DRS becoming a ‘Downforce Recovery System.’

          1. I doubt about the achievability of DRS becoming a ‘Downforce Recovery System.’

            Then let’s make it something electronically magically slowing down the car ahead: DRS => ‘Driver Retarding Spell’.
            @jerejj

    2. @coldfly, really, I see the doubt creeping in but still you have faith. I’ll concede that the tyres would be less of a problem if there was no loss of downforce when following, but that is not likely to ever happen and until it does high deg tyres are just making a bad situation worse. Sorry to keep nagging on this subject but it is a major part of F1s imminent demise.

  2. Sirotkin: Are you blowing any kind of liquids on me? Because it smells so bad in here. Something like a glass cleaner I guess.

    Not only does the Williams stink at handling; it just plain stinks.

    1. I don’t mind having liquids blown on me …. so long as she is wearing thigh boots and a leather corset!

      I must stop posting here when i am drunk …. :(

      1. @nullapax – whatever floats your boat, mate. We’re not here to judge ;-)

  3. I love this, such good insight into the goings on during a race.

  4. Niels De Lathouwer
    3rd November 2018, 13:30

    The tyres have never been up to F1 standards. Their wet tyres are still crap after so many years. in all these years they have not even come close to Bridgestone. What a shame.

    1. Pirelli’s tyres comply with the tender put out by … well someone put out the tender.

      1. @drycrust They might comply with the fact that drivers actually to pit but how they go about that is horrendous.

        Nobody asked for tyres that overheat during a single quali lap, where the announcers say “has he used up too much tyre in sectors 1 and 2?”. Tyres that basically anti-racing because driver’s can’t attack or defend hard for more than a few corners before the tyres overheat. Nobody asked for a tiny temperature windows (especially in 2012), where if you’re outside of that temp window the tyres barely work.

        I could go on & I haven;t even touched their complete crap wet tyres. Don’t realize all the safety car starts we get now? Inmters and wets that are almsot useless, where it looks like driver’s are rally racing. Inter’s so poor that when the safety car goes in they go onto the “full wets” that still suck.

        1. @s2g-unit SC-starts haven’t been done any more for two years, though.

  5. Love it.
    Makes me feel a bit geeky to sit and read this stuff but I think it’s a great way to get into the drivers mindsets and personalities.
    Makes them more like individuals than just reading the PR guff ;)

    1. @nullapax

      Makes them more like individuals than just reading the PR guff

      Exactly. I see Lucas di Grassi on Twitter is encouraging Formula E to get rid of driver radio. I think that’s a bad idea, for exactly the reason you’ve just given.

  6. I am wondering if Pirelli should of brought the thinner threaded tyres instead, and whether that would of helped?

  7. What about groove tyres?

    1. @jeff1s Worse than slicks traction-wise.

    2. @jeff1s, No, the grooves allow more movement of the tread increasing heat build up, it’s the chemical composition of the outer layer that is the problem.

  8. Damn, Leclerc was itching to have a go at Hulkenberg. Some really interesting radio conversations. Thanks Keith!

  9. Love the way Verstappen just ignores his engineer and tries to set the fastest lap. “It’s nice”.

    After a long race of tyre management I imagine putting down some pace might be.

    Hulkenberg’s disbelief at the pace differential between 1 and 1.5: “Different world, eh?”

    1. @justrhysism – racers gotta race, and yes, respect to anyone who cheekily ignores his engineer at a time like this. I remember Vettel/Rocky having fun exchanges as well (“he’s on fresher tyres, and he’s going to obliterate your lap”) in the RBR days.

      To Verstappen: […] Enjoy the podium up there with your fellow Dutchie and don’t get set on fire this year.
      Verstappen:
      To Verstappen: […] Rocky’s coming up to get the constructors’ trophy today.

      Is Guillaume Rocquelin Dutch? From his name, I’d assumed he was French.

      Also, does anyone know what incident the “don’t get set on fire this year” is referencing?

      1. I guess the ‘fellow Dutchie’ was the guy spinning the records, @phylyp.

        “don’t get set on fire this year” is a below the belt, unacceptable, almost criminal reference to Max’ dad :P

        1. @coldfly – cheers, I forgot the DJ! Who also taught me a new phrase “EDM”. Also, ah, I would never have guessed that was in relation to Jos’ pitlane fire.

        2. @coldfly bit of an obscure reference/comment to make. I’m guessing it’s referring to earlier conversations outside the car.

          @keithcollantine we must get to the bottom of this as a matter of priority. Put your best investigative reporter on it 😁

      2. @phylyp looking for a reference to that fire from last year (haven’t found anything) I found that VER did the same thing as last year—got bored towards the end tried to set the fastest lap.

        Apparently RB had a financial incentive for setting an FL which Horner was thinking of abolishing.

        1. @justrhysism – thank you, that’s interesting to note that the RBR drivers have a FLAP reward clause!

      3. @phylyp No, he indeed is French.

        1. @rvg013 – perfect, thank you!

  10. Thought the ‘telemetry’ debate was over and done. But this keeps popping up:

    Verstappen: Check my engine, if you need to turn it down, turn it down.
    To Verstappen: Understood.

    And later:

    To Verstappen: We have now turned the engine down, Max, for reference.

    Wasn’t remote control of various parameters from the pits banned? Did I miss the part where F1’s backseat drivers were allowed back in the driver’s seat?

    As @socksolid noted in this comment big data is the biggest part of F1. It’s bad enough the internet data-mines our privacy into packets for profit, but big data owns F1 too. Good thing Google/FB haven’t considered entering teams.

    1. @jimmi-cynic – I’m sure someone at Google/FB have been alerted to your comment, and are wondering “Good idea, why not?” Imagine the possibilities…
      – every time Hamilton wins, the screen on his steering can pop up an ad for a Merc car (which will be picked up by the shoulder camera and broadcast far and wide)
      – every time Vettel spins, up pops an ad for the nearest driving school
      – Bottas: An ad for the book “Behind every successful racecar driver is a #2”
      – Kimi: “Cat got your tongue? Learn how to be eloquent” for public speaking lessons
      – Max: A job listing for a spokesperson of Honda
      – Ricciardo: every time he breaks down, an ad for a competitors product
      – KMag would get ads for little blue pills
      – Grosjean would get ads reminding him the only rings he should make are smoke-free onion rings
      – Hulkenberg: the book “How to conquer the final 3 steps”
      – Ericsson – a year’s supply of anti-dizziness pills
      – Stroll – stock ticker of his dad’s portfolio

      1. @phylyp: Brilliant! Now every team can spend billions for those last milliseconds – of screen time.

    2. @jimmi-cynic FYI Verstappen was told “fuel four position two” between those two messages.

      1. Thanks, @keithcollantine

        He was told on radio, or by remote telepathic telemetry?

  11. These team/driver transcripts have become a must-read part of my F1 experience over the past seasons. The race ain’t truly complete until I’ve read all the back-and-forth bitching and moaning. Fun stuff. Thanks so much for publishing it, and especially for not censoring it.

    It’s too bad you don’t also have access to the communications that go on during the race between the teams and Charlie Whiting and his people. I’ll bet those are a hoot!

  12. So this is Kollantine’s agenda now. Tyres. Yawn. And sad.

  13. I have to admit I always knew Sebastian was the the best on the grid in terms of technical insights barely a single radio message on mods or Tyre management seems he already knew what to do and when to do it, I think Mercedes miss Nico Rosberg too In that aspect… But hearing all this and driving at the same time at great high-speeds, these drivers are really trying out there.

    We the fans have no idea what they go through in the car always changing stuff every now and then and racing at the same time I’d go crazy and be like leave me alone and let my drive lol 😂

    1. I think Mercedes miss Nico Rosberg too In that aspect…

      Quite obviously! :-)

    2. Here are a selection of the best team radio messages from the Mexican Grand Prix.

      …barely a single radio message on mods or Tyre management….

      I have to admit I always knew Sebastian…

      I don’t think you know as much as you claim ;)

  14. That Verstappen debrief with his team is bizarre. Imagine doing an entire weekend analysis on your cool down lap after a win.

  15. Are Pirelli tyres starting to become too much?

  16. FOM, FIA, all the broadcasters, Liberty, Pirelli, most of the teams & nearly all the fans agree that one stop races are much more boring than races with 2 stops or 2/3 stop split strategies … yet when Pirelli delivers what everyone wants, the primadonna drivers cry like spoiled children over the radio & the same teams who support multiple stops suddenly opt for tyre saving to minimise stops instead of racing like they keep claiming they want to.

    The drivers should be sent to their rooms with no dinner, and the teams should be spanked. Literally.
    And then they should all apologise to Pirelli on live TV.

    1. Not exactly.

      2 stops because of actual wear can be exciting.

      Not 2 or 3 stops because of graining since the Pirelli compounds are way too temperature sensitive.

      But, the FIA asked for these ‘Designed to Degrade’ boots. They didn’t state clearly enough how to accomplish the degrading.

      The 2013 compounds were ridiculed for being unsafe. Since then, Pirelli went with designs that can be only switched on within very narrow temperature parameters. And in the last couple races have upped the minimum pressure, which messed up most team’s big data.

      As with most things F1, be careful what you ask for.

  17. yes yes the TIRES are a disgrace…………………………………………………………………………nothing else………………………………………………………………………. cmon. there are much bigger issues. like issues that effect sporting value. its about climbing mountains not doing sunday driving with nice neat tires all the time.

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