Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Yas Marina

Leclerc would be “extremely happy” if Pirelli reduced tyre degradation

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Charles Leclerc, who was told 50 in the Mexican Grand Prix times to back off to save his tyres, says he hopes Pirelli produces more durable rubber for the 2019 F1 season.

What they say

Leclerc was asked whether he finds tyre management “frustrating”:

I don’t find it frustrating, I find it quite interesting for us drivers to just try and push the limits, not going over because obviously you kill the tyres.

Obviously if they are putting any tyres that are harder where we can push more on them I’m also extremely happy about it. It’s just different tyres of driving.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

View this post on Instagram

Yes I had fun at a party.

A post shared by Kimi Räikkönen (@kimimatiasraikkonen) on

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Would you prefer not to know what the chosen compounds for each race are? Should the teams be told?

Missed opportunity. There’s should be no announcement at all. If F1 want more unpredictability they should not let the team knew which compound number they use for Soft-Medium-Hard.

Let them found out themselves on Friday and prepared for race and qualifying tyre strategies from there. It will push the team to run more laps on practice sessions.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Debaser91, Ryan and Miguel Bento!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

59 comments on “Leclerc would be “extremely happy” if Pirelli reduced tyre degradation”

  1. Charlie says- “always choose a durable rubber” (Miaow!)

    1. Quite true – it lets you push harder and longer, without as many consequences.

  2. With just one brief season in F1, it seems Leclerc is tyred of Pirelli.

    1. Aren’t we all, F1 is supposed to be about racing not tyre preservation.

      1. Dunno know. The ‘Pinnacle of Tyre Preservation’ makes an appealing (low profile) case. When F1 morphs into a 12 Hour endurance format.

        1. Will it still be + – 300kms ?

          1. @hohum: Well…yeah…no re-fueling. Have to make that 105Kg last the full race distance…er….duration.

  3. “We need more than one pitstop per race!”
    * * *
    “We must stop tire degradation”
    * * *

    1. Perhaps what we really need is less than one pitstop per race.

      1. Why can’t they see it? It would provide real strategy for the first time in a very long time. I can’t believe I am still watching F1. I’ve quit wives and girlfriends for less than the travesty of these contrived pit stops. We’ve got a nice race going here why don’t we slow the cars down one at a time to 50 mph.

      2. @hohum That should be a good idea, but then everyone will start on the harder compounds (possibly even sacrificing qualifying) and nurse them to the end. I don’t know if that improves racing. After all, seeing cars struggle on incredibly soft tires is part of the entertainment, which will be lost without mandatory stops.

        1. @f1infigures, Except the guys on the harder compounds won’t be able to nurse them because the guys on the hardest compound won’t need to.

          1. @hohum Unless these tires are rock-solid, there will always be some tire management because it is ultimately faster, but that’s not the point. If starting on the hardest compound is clearly beneficial, it will have a negative impact on qualifying (especially on Q2 as no-one wants to start the race on the now-redundant softer tires).

          2. @f1infigures

            That’s because of the start the race on quali tyres silly rule. Just get rid of that too.

            Too many rules instead of allowing things to occur naturally. DRS culture.

  4. LOLing at that unapologetic Kimi tweet. Perfect morning-after response to that video!

    1. Good to see Kimi is really enjoying life, isn’t it @phylyp

      1. @bascb – quite true. That said, I’ll be happier to see him racing enthusiastically at each race next year, instead of just phoning it in as he sometimes does. He could very well become the midfield camera magnet in 2019, now that Alonso has gone.

        1. Yeah, I really hope he chose to race with Sauber so that he can enjoy just going for whatever the car will allow @phylyp. Not hampered by any considerations about team mates having to score more points to win the championship.

  5. You and everyone else Charles.

  6. Bernie up to his old tricks, trying to upset payment negotiations between Liberty and Silverstone?

    Or Silverstone stonewalling him for “personal” reasons?

    Or both?

    1. Purely speculative, but could Bernie have pushed Silverstone into near bankruptcy by forcing them to spend 50,000,000 gbp on upgrades, in the hope that they would indeed go bankrupt allowing him to swoop in and buy it up for pennies in the pound ? Of course not, not good old kindly uncle Bernie.

  7. Thanks for COTD, Keith…
    I forgot to add that F1 could let viewers to place bet on “Official Guess Compound Number” on Saturday.

    1. I think you are on the point there with the COTD @ruliemaulana. The sheer amount of preparation teams can do on their simulators is one big factor in making races more predictable (and therefore boring, since no one simulates for excitement, they just want results). Not having tyre date up front would make at least that a bit of a “wildcard”

    2. I think that it isn’t really feasible though. A lot of people would know what tires are being transported to a grand prix and if that information got out it could really benefit the team(s) that found out.

      Imagine the conspiracy theories…

      1. Isn’t its great? More media coverage and lots of fans interaction before the race weekend….

    3. Or teams would just run the simulation for more compounds, further increasing simulator time and costs.

      1. This is what I’m afraid of. The less teams knew the more a team with sophisticated remote mission control facility had the upper hand. Maybe limiting paddock connection to 128kbps helps.

        1. Yeah for me I think the teams could likely figure out what at least two of the compounds would be, but I also think this would only advantage the have teams and disrupt the lesser teams whose cars already struggle more to make the tires work, as their cars are not WCC level. Sounds like a way to enlarge the gap between the have and the have not teams.

    4. Lets start with real durable rubber.. so the tires are lasting several races and you only receive a number of sets for the total season.
      Pirelli administers the storage in between races and the teams can use the tire they want from the pool for that year.
      Makes things more unpredictable and less environment unfriendly.

  8. Diverting a little from the tyre discussion, I heard Juan Montoya on Beyond The Grid yesterday, what he said with regards to the early 2000s F1 cars was so true. The cars were 130 kilos lighter, power output is close to now but they had grooved tyres. Like he said, if they had slicks that were this wide (and perhaps made by Michelin), their heads would have come off!

    I really fell that V10 era, up to 2005, was the best. Yes Michael Schumacher and Ferrari smashed it, but there was a lot of good racing, the grid was not too shabby either…most races you can tell the drivers were pushing hard. Like Mark Webber said a few years ago, in those cars, you needed pretty balls to take some corners flat.

    1. That Montoya interview was very good, it really made me appreciate him for who he is. But i cannot agree with you about the V10 era up to 2005 @jaymenon10. I stopped following after 2002 to somewhere towards the end of 2005. There were not many exciting races in that era IMO and Schumacher and Ferrari made a point of making things extra boring. Drivers were just running their fuel off, making the pitstop strategy work. Sure they were going fast, but the passing was mostly done in the pitstops.

      1. Yeah it was a terrible era of processions and the rules moulded for MS to dominate and not have to pass a single car other than through the undercut on too many occasions. Sure perhaps the cars were more fun to drive, or more thrilling for them, but that doesn’t mean the racing or the show was better.

  9. Call me devil’s advocate, but isn’t this one of the criteria for being the best racing driver in the world? The wisest and most skilled drivers should know exactly when to lean on their tyres for performance, and when to save them in order to make them last to keep the strategical plan intact. Lewis Hamilton does this better than anyone else, and that’s one of the reasons why he’s a 5-time World Champion.

    Charles is a fun driver, but I want to see him win races and win championships. That’s going to require him being as efficient as he can be on the Pirelli tyres he’s given.

    1. I agree with you, but the internet (though not necessarily this forum I hasten to add) is full of people who don’t care about the subtleties and nuances of this great sport…they just want to see colourful cars crashing and bursting into flames every two minutes.

      1. But as we all know, the need to attend to the tires all race long to the extreme they have to, is over the top. Yes tire management has always been part of the game, but it shouldn’t be the overwhelmingly dominant part of the game. I don’t tune in to see who is the best tire manager, or who has the best engineers that can guide a driver through a race wrt tire states, I tune in to see racers race in the pinnacle of racing. Btw I would have thought the trophy for best tire manager would have gone to Max, not LH.

        1. And why would it go to Max?

        2. The best tire manager tends the driver in the car with the most downforce.

    2. So in Austria Lewis forgot how to save tires and push when its needed?? At the beginning of the season too.. did he forgets how to do it?? I had the idea that it was mostly chassis and set-up dependent.. and then circuits with alter that too with the driver having less of a role in that… Max must be the dalai lama of the tire saving and pushing technique….

      Unless we get standard chassis, suspension and aero you won’t know…so you sould stop riding Lewis D..

      1. Simply we observed Max often going longer than most on the softer tires, sometimes surprisingly long while keeping up very respectable pace until the ends of races. The Mercs seemed to be harder on rear tires quite often. Max had to fight more, being in a non-pole level car, whereas starting from pole and running in clean air is a better way to preserve tires, yet with the racing Max had to do he still managed to get excellent life out of his tires in many races.

  10. I’m not really fussed about tyre degradation.

    What we need is for the performance difference between tyres to be significant enough to make a multiple stop race actually viable against another team choosing a 1 ( or zero) stop option.

    If for example the hard could go all race but was x seconds slower on average than the soft (which might be only good for 1/3 race distance) and the difference was big enough, we might actually see some differing strategies.

    To do that there needs to be a consistent difference of 2 seconds or more (that seems to be the required delta to catch and overtake) – currently the difference isn’t big enough for teams to take the gamble so they opt for track position and slow laps.

    So let them, degrade (or wear might be a better term) without performance loss for a set length and then have them fall off a cliff over the next 3 laps. Let the teams decide that a gamble is worth it.

    1. @dbradock The problem with the current tires is that nursing them all race long is a faster and less risky way to complete the race distance. Basically the idea is to nurse the tires so much that the tires are still in good shape at the end of the race, so no-one will be able to gain ~20 seconds on track on fresh tires. Whatever grip advantage a softer tire may have over a harder tire is pretty much irrelevant as you can’t push the softer tire as hard in the race, so you end up in a situation in which all tire compounds perform similarly in terms of outright pace and degradation.

    2. You are spot on @dbradock, about where F1 should go. I also agree that a no stop should be a viable option.

      I don’t think though that the tyres are the culprit that we are not there yet.
      The issue IMO is that they need a 2s performance gap to be able to overtake. It should be (less than) 1s and then the current tyre gaps would be good enough.

      F1 needs to solve how cars can follow in the turns without losing grip (time) and ruining the tyres. They can then approach a car to set up the overtake on the straight.

      As suggested before I’d like to see DRS to move to a Downforce Recovery System where a following car can increase front and back wings in the turns to be able to follow a car without losing downforce.

  11. I was under the impression that Silverstone was one of the busiest race tracks in the world.
    There is something happening there almost every weekend isn’t there?
    I’m sure they will survive just fine without F1 though it will be a sad loss if that happens. It isn’t the best track but it is far from the worst in my opinion.

    Good to see Kimi with a smile on his face and the award looks a sensible size for a change.

    1. @nullapax Yeah that’s the same for a lot of the older tracks, it’s just that their activities the rest of the year only just allow them to pay the F1 hosting fee. It’s why they went to every two years at the Nuerburgring, it would take them 2 years of track days and day to day ops to be able to pay for a race fee and break even, obviously even that became impossible there due to the escalators on the hosting fees which Bernie negotiated at 5-10% a year dependent on circuit.

  12. People complain about everything really.
    Why is F1 still charging for your subscription? Because it is a annual subscription, read the terms and conditions. And why are we giving attention to that guy?

    BTW people, eat meat responsibly, check where your meat is coming from, in Europe there are pretty strict laws on how the animals are kept and you can trace your cuts down to the producer via the label, you should also check your Dr to access if your meat intake is too high and maybe reduce it, eat more fish (why don’t they have show us dead fish? They don’t sell as big right?) and veggies, it is good for you. You can also be vegetarian, there’s a choice, no one is better than the other due to their dietary habits, don’t let people make you feel bad, just saying. But remember if you choose to be one check with your Dr what kind of supplements you need (evolution is such a burden).

    Back to motorsports, I also had the wish to see a little bit more of Rossi in F1. He impressed me in his debut indycar season, and kept the high quality performances this year too. Always felt like a missed opportunity for Haas

    1. @johnmilk Additionally F1TV isn’t just about live content. You also get the archive stuff which currently includes 116 full races, 444 race highlights & 28 documentary programs with more to come.

  13. Hard compound = last entire race
    Medium = lasts half the race
    Soft = lasts 1/3 of the race

    I’m sure Pirelli can work out the performance to make each tyre viable.

    Oh and no more mandatory pitstops!


  14. I agree with Leclerc on both of the aspects he brought up.
    – I disagree with the COTD.
    – Kimi finally seems to have sobered up, LOL.

  15. I could definitely see a situation where if Bernie was to buy Silverstone, or any of the historical circuits, that he’d rustle up a circuit owners cartel and become a threat to Liberty quite quickly.

    1. Why? BE is the one that extorted exorbitant amounts of money from venues for hosting races, so why would they want to join hands with him? BE is history and would not be able to rally anyone behind him now that Liberty is talking about improving all aspects of F1 from the way BE left it.

  16. In reference to COTD I made a similar point not long ago in terms of what we as fans know. I’d stop coloring the compounds & providing the compound info on the TV broadcast so that we don’t know what compounds everyone is on.

    The more data like that we have been given access to, The less fun I have found watching the races has become because it’s now far easier to read how a race will play out & therefore far more predictable.

    If we didn’t know what compound everyone was running then we wouldn’t go into a race knowing what strategy they were running & again if we didn’t know what compound they change to during a race we wouldn’t know for sure how the rest of the race will play out & that would make things far more interesting IMO.

    The more older races I watch where we don’t have so much information the more convinced I get that having all of this information on the coverage now is playing into making things seem as predictable as they do. Even races in the past that were predictable in terms of car performance seemed less predictable because we didn’t have any idea what anybody was doing in terms of strategy & stuff & I think not knowing added so much to how fun races were to watch.

    1. @stefmeister I’m not so sure about that. I think it has been an awfully long time since we had no idea what was going on in a race with different drivers’ strategies. Usually the commentators have been there informing us of what they think is developing, for years and years now.

      The unpredictability I’m looking forward to will come when the teams are closer to each other and the cars able to race more closely together. When they have rid themselves of so much aero dependence, thus inviting actual sustainable racing throughout a race, and let’s say any one of 6 or 8 drivers could win on any given race Sunday, that will be all the unpredictability we’ll need.

      Cars on tires they can actually push for a time, that are far less clean air dependent, and make less wake to begin with, and the races and the racing will be much more enthralling.

      1. @robbie

        Usually the commentators have been there informing us of what they think is developing, for years and years now.

        True but they often had no more information available to them than we did so what they thought teams may be doing was no more certain than what we thought teams may have been doing.

        The predictability of a race is about more than how many drivers/teams are in contention, Or how close cars can run. A race with 6 drivers contending for a win all running 1-2 tenths apart can be just as boring & predictable to watch if you have enough data to know what there each doing & therefore read what the likely outcome is going to be.

        You can have a race with 6 drivers/3 teams in contention that are able to run close with overtaking been far more possible yet if you know know what tyres there starting on, How there likely to act & therefore know how drivers strategies will play out it immediately becomes far more predictable & you will be able to figure out how drivers races will play out (Spins, Accidents etc.. aside) before it’s even started.

        Same reason i’m against all these new ‘prediction’ graphics there looking at for next year, I don’t want to know/be told how things may play out, I want to figure it out for myself as the race goes on. I want to know less, Not be told everything.

        1. @stefmeister Fair comment. I do see your point even if I don’t entirely agree that 6 cars running within a tenth of each other can still be predictable just because we know some data. If they are having see-saw battles then predictions or probabilities approach 50% meaning it could go either way so stay tuned. There’s always the unpredictable human element that comes into play.

    2. Ignorance might be bliss for you, but not for the rest of us. If you need more “unpredictable” then don’t look at the tires, or go watching something else. But the rest of us have a genuine interest in RACING, not in watching blackjack on wheels.

    3. Depending on how long you have watched, do you remember the days when running wide would put you in the grass or gravel and end someones race? I miss that level of unpredictability. Heck, back in those days we didn’t know if an engine was going to last the race. There were times when 3-5 plus cars would either be eliminated because of missing a turn or their engines going up like a hand grenade. That was exciting. Todays levels of reliability tend to dampen the excitement for me. But i wear rose colored glasses I guess. :)

  17. F1 2018. Hybrid cars. No grid girls. Vegan world champion.

  18. I’ve just been watching old YouTube clips of what I consider to be the golden F1 years of my lifetime (1999 – 2004). I.e. the peak of naturally aspirated tech and lightweight nimble cars.
    Now I understand that we can never have that formula back in our more environmentally conscious times, but I have no doubt that LEC is onto something with his comments.
    Give this current generation of drivers durable tyres and the racing will improve massively.
    I just watched a clip of Button v Alonso from German GP 2004 and was struck by how hard Button could lean on his tyres in his pursuit of Alonso. The fact that the cars weighed only 600kg also added to the quality of the racing. Drivers could fling the cars into corners on different lines because of how nimble they were also led to better racing.
    Two simple things that could be done to improve the show in my view, is bring back refuelling to the current show, without lifting the fuel flow rate, and give these guys proper racing tyres.
    While I’m sure the teams would still find an optimal race strategy within these parameters, I think the option of having to refuel and use two different compounds of much more durable rubber, in a lighter racecar would lead to incredible battles on track, all while encouraging powertrain efficiency.

Comments are closed.