Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

F1 may have to accept more one-stop races in 2019 – Pirelli

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1 teams are likely to continue using one-stop strategies to win races next year despite changes to tyres, according to Pirelli.

The sport’s official tyre supplier is considering whether to be more conservative with its selections for next year. Pirelli’s sporting director Mario Isola pointed out that its move towards more aggressive tyres this year largely failed to encourage teams to make more pit stops.

With next year’s tyres already designed, Pirelli now has a week to decide its tyre nominations for the first race of the season. But Isola said it isn’t clear what F1 wants from its tyres next year.

“The range and the construction are defined,” said Isola. “We cannot change it now, what we can change is the selection. I discussed that with drivers and also with teams, but there is no clear indication on the direction to take.

“That’s why I want to involve them and the teams in the selection, because it is not clear what we have to do for next year, if we have to go a bit more conservative.”

Isola suspects that picking more conservative tyres next year will be better for the racing.

“We have seen this year we have most of the races with one stop. We went softer and softer and teams were managing the pace more and more. So is it good that we continue with this approach? Or we just accept that we have one-stop races but maybe we go one stop harder and teams can push, drivers can push?

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“If you ask me, my personal opinion is it’s better to go in this direction. So we accept that we have one-stop races, but at least we give an opportunity to drivers to push.”

Tyres, Yas Marina, 2018
What’s changed in Pirelli’s new F1 tyre range for 2019
Changes to the cars for next year could also improve the action on track, which Isola says is another reason to lean towards more conservative rubber.

“Next year we will have a new aero package. It is not clear if it is making a big difference or not. If you talk to the teams somebody is saying there is a difference, somebody is saying that in a couple of races it’ll be the same. They are the expects so I’m just collecting the feedback.

“They will have more fuel, five kilos, so that means they can manage a bit less the fuel. We know that in some races they have to manage the fuel because there is not enough to finish the race. So we have to consider all the package. With more fuel they can push more.

“At this point it’s probably better to give them more consistent tyres and they push and fight on-track instead than overcut, undercut and trying to make places during the pit stop. The pit stop is part of the race but I think in this room everyone likes more overtaking on track than when the car is in the pit lane.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 39 comments on “F1 may have to accept more one-stop races in 2019 – Pirelli”

    1. Pirelli are really on the ball with their product!

      Boy am I glad they’ve got a 4-year extension on their supply deal.

      1. Well @proesterchen, as @bascb says, let’s be glad that Pirelli at least brings it up; if that’s how it is, better to know it and try to adjust a bit than have it surprise us and create shocked headlines pillaging F1/Pirelli (hm, I can see how that might feel good for some entities though).

        1. @bosyber, I for one will not be complaining, unless Pirelli screw it up with slow but still melty tyres.

    2. Good that Pirelli keep bringing this up. I think they should go somewhat more “conservative” i.e. bringing tyres that will mean less stretching them out to make it to the finish, so that we have a chance of more teams actually trying to go for overtaking on track instead of just playing the tortoise.

    3. More stops does not automatically equal better racing. What’s the obsession with multiple stop races?

      1. I seem to recall Brundle saying that statistically throughout the years the races that have been rated as the most exciting have happened to be 2 stop races.

        1. Discounted races in the rain?

        2. @robbie, Those exciting 2 stop races would, I suspect, be ones where a safety car (or drying track?) towards the end of the race had everyone out on new rubber racing for position without fear of their new tyres melting before the race ended.

          1. Very likely you are right there @hohum. The best races are those where things do NOT go as expected and we get a surprise fight for the win.

      2. I think most people want drivers in different strategies – being fast during different times in the race.
        Today, tyres and pitstops are the only variable available to do so, as even fuel flow is regulated.
        Thus the “obssesion” with pitstops.

    4. More stops mean more opportunities for each car to run in clear air.

      They’ve got to mandate using all three tyres in a race or we’ll have boring one stoppers again.

      1. Yes, there is nothing more exciting than seeing cars running in clear air.

        1. @hohum: Indeed. Cars dicing with each other for position on track is so much less exciting than watching a single lonely car blasting through the clean air.

          F1 could solve so many problems with a simple rule tweak – ban Sunday races – time trials only. Reduce the field to 3 teams with 6 cars each, painted to look like 9 different teams. Clean air, clean budgets.

          ;-)

    5. But it is not a tyre problem.
      Stopping for new tyre do not pay off as it does not give enough advantage in time or speed to recover the track position lost.
      It is only sensible to save tyres, as it is the “faster slower” race.

    6. If the aero changes for next year have worked and there is a substantial reduction in following distance and an increase in overtaking, you will see more multi-stop strategies. That is the main hold-up: at the moment, track position is simply to important to risk.

    7. ”because there is not enough to finish the race.”
      – That’s because they continuously under-fuel the cars for the races to save weight. The maximum allowance isn’t the problem.

    8. Well then get rid of the mandatory stop and allow teams to run the full race on a set. At least that would bring some uncertainty.

      How complicated does all this have to be? They keep trying to manufacture uncertainty, just take a step back for a change and let it happen naturally.

      1. Sorry, I should have said ‘engineered insanity’ there… my bad.

      2. I don’t think I need to say I agree, but I definitely do.

      3. Let me once again pitch my brilliant idea to solve tyre rules:
        Each Car gets a seasons supply of tires assigned. These are distributed via some (equal for all cars) key over the tyrerrange. Teams are, however, totally free what to bring to what race (except total Number of sets of course).also, no mandatory change.
        Great: different Strategies.
        Greater: while totally equal for everyone, big teams have to be sensible to be competitive all season. This opens the door for smaller teams to snatch the odd Podium or even Win by doing a race-optimal tyre strategy, Running out of Hyper softs by Monaco.

        1. @mrboerns I personally wouldn’t want to see this in F1. I want teams to have the same tyre options evrry race weekend. Imagine if in a specific weekend, Ferrari are running low of hypersofts, and they have to bring a harder compound. In that case, Mercedes is basically guaranteed pole position as there is no competition. Equally, a lot of victories will be decided by what tyres teams have left. And I don’t want unpredictable results based on factors based on a uneven playing field on a given weekend. And you fail to bring safety into this. There is a reason Pirelli doesn’t bring hypers to Bahrain or Spa.

        2. @mashiat the thing is, it is NOT an uneven playing field. It is Strategy, and varying strategies will lead to variyng results. Everybody moans about all podiums and wins going to be big three, everybody in their right minds does not want success ballast, well there you have it. a system that is equal for everyone but opens the door for teams out of the championship to have their glory days as well. Merc won’t be able to just have more hypers than ferrari (except if ferrari do something dumb) without it having been an advantage for ferrari at an earlier point, as both teams would have to make their tire calls with an eye on the whole season.

    9. I believe that at some point in the future we will look back at this point in time and laugh at the time when we used tires that were deliberately designed to be worse just so we can have 2.5 seconds of entertainment and teams can plan a race around a weird rule. Everybody produces the best parts they can except Pirelli. Degrading tires, along with DRS, instead of finding a good aerodynamic (or less aerodynamic) solution, will be something we laugh at in the future.

      1. @eljueta, and talking about budget caps while flying 10 teams of 20 tyre changers all over the world to provide that 2.5 seconds of entertainment.

        1. @hohum: Hey. They’re not just tyre changers. They’re the highly skilled, choreographed synchronized swimming… er… spinning entertainers. A vital part of the show, like paddock celebrities, but without as many instagram followers.

          1. @jimmi-cynic, Errr yeah but they could do the pitstops at the first test session of the year, record the times and just replay those stops all year, while the drivers drove into their pit-box and stopped for the recorded time, to please all those people who think mid race tyre changes are entertaining.

      2. I know I’m in the minority but I have no issues with DRS whatsoever.

    10. The races that seem to be working well are the ones where there’s a mix of all three tyre compounds on the starting grid, and in particular the top 10 are not all going the same way off the line.

      The worst ones tend to be where one of the compounds is just completely ignored all weekend, even in practice.

      That’s all from memory though, I haven’t crunched the numbers behind that.

      I’m also not 100% convinced getting the teams to pick their selections, and pick them months in advance, is beneficial.

    11. Can the tires really ever suit the cars & drivers since they are designed well before anyone really knows how the 2019 aero rules will affect the cars? Here’s your cart, now let me hook the horse up behind it.

    12. There is absolutely nothing wrong with one-stop races. What’s important is what happens before and after the stop.

    13. The issue is telemetry not tyres. If there was no live data from the cars the engineers would not be able to coach the drivers to the perfect strategy. All variables are eliminated with clever telemetry. The way tyres are maneged is an effect. Telemetry is the cause.

      1. YES… this is the answer. Keep the teams in the dark, they can manage the tires too well thus the racing is boring. This will make the drivers skill come threw too.

    14. Pit stops are horrible in my opinion. If however Pirelli were to make the most durable tyre in existence and teams manage to chew that up and need a pitstop, now that would be something to see, but these pathetic tyres designed to only last a short time is just dumb. Why is it dumb? Because teams drive slow because of these tyres, pathetic, top level of racing going slow because of rubbish tyres.

      1. While I agree that they shouldn’t make them last too short and need to be balanced, tire saving as a concept is a natural part of a lot of autosports.

        This is real life racing, not an arcade game where you can pedal 100% all the time and not expect any dentrimental effects

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