Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

New F1 tyre range is more confusing – Hamilton

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he finds the ‘simpler’ tyre compound range for the 2019 F1 season more confusing than the old one.

What they say

We have all these different names of tyres: C5, C4, C3, C2, C1 which is for me personally more confusing than all the colours that we had.

But anyway we’ll get used to it and it will be the norm.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Should Ferrari give up its unique and highly lucrative Long Standing Team bonus payment? Lyle thinks so:

The Ferrari bonus shouldn’t exist, simple. I know McLaren and Williams (Red Bull and Mercedes too?) Also have a bonus but why is Ferrari’s higher? When’s the last time they won anything? If they quit, they quit. I don’t watch F1 for Ferrari, it would be a sad day yes, but I’d rather it was fair.
Lyle Clarke

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44 comments on “New F1 tyre range is more confusing – Hamilton”

  1. The season is about to start why not any thread about the Predictions?

    World Champions, rookie of the year..etc
    Also some predictions about the pecking order at the start of the season would be interesting.

    My pecking order prediction:
    1) Ferrari
    2) Redbull & Mercedes
    4) Renault
    5) Alfa Romeo

    1. Ok, I’ll play.

      F1 World Driver Champion: Charles.
      FIA Overtake of the Year: Charles.
      Laureus World Sports Awards: Charles.
      FIA Annual Prize-Giving Awards Best Dressed: Lewis.
      2019 Best Comebacks and Funny Insults: Kevin.

    2. Neil (@neilosjames)
      9th March 2019, 2:15

      I’ll go with:

      1) Ferrari
      2) Mercedes
      3) Red Bull
      4) Haas
      5) Renault

      Champions: Vettel & Ferrari.
      Rookie of the Year: Russell.

    3. @amg44
      1-2 Mercedes/Ferrari in whichever order
      3. Red Bull
      4. Renault
      5. Alfa Romeo
      6. Racing Point
      7. Haas
      8. Mclaren (5th if they can get their act together)
      9. Toro Rosso
      10. Williams

    4. 1) Mercedes
      2) Ferrari
      3) Red Bull
      4) Renault
      5) Alfa Romeo
      6) McLaren
      7) HAAS
      8) Torro Rosso
      9) Racing Point
      10) Williams

      1. ( that’s my guess for the end not start, I’m wrong more often than not when it comes to these >.< )

    5. 1) Ferrari
      2) Mercedes
      3) Alfa
      4) Renault
      6)Racing Point / Haas
      8) Torro Rosso
      9) Williams
      10) mcLaren

  2. No, number should always be easier. Maybe color assignment is confusing, but in few years we going to realize that hyper, super, ultra doesn’t make sense.

    1. I already realise that there is no logical hierarchy between hyper, super, and ultra.
      And bring colourblind did not help me either ;)

    2. This is why I wish Michelin was the sole supplier.

      We’d have: Crotte Ture, Crotte Solide, Croissant, Souffle, Guimauve.

      Far more appetizing range of compounds, other than the first two.

      1. This remind me of Gordon Ramsay in Graham Norton Show talking about French girl.

    3. Last year the race commentators said teams never referred to their tyres using the official jargon, they always had their own names for them. I don’t see 5 different tyre types, each with their own team designation, as being difficult to remember.

  3. Watched the first episode of Drive to Survive and quite enjoyed it.
    Great to get the behind the scenes on the Haas rise and fall in Melbourne. And how good was that big grinned car mechanic.

    This is the perfect warm-up for season start.

  4. I don’t think Hamilton gets it, or at least I hope the broadcast team remember the idea is for them to be called soft, medium and hard no matter the compound selection for the weekend. If they try to explain the whole c1-c5 and refer to them as that then I’ll take super/hyper-soft too. But it should be a lot simpler for the target simpleton watching at home, whether they remember that purpose or not is another question…

    Great to see Brawn doing a media round. Wished it happened more often but he’s saying all the right things. Sucks to see him talk so much about the commercial aspect but I guess he’s giving Carey the backup he needs against being so doubted as the new guy. Can’t wait to see details on the technical regulations. Seems extremely confident about them being done by the middle of the year.

    I’m about to sink my teeth into Drive to Survive. Big talk about the promotional aspect but I wonder who’s paying who what for this… Netflix would obviously pay FOG a pretty penny for the rights, but is that getting paid back to the teams for the access? or is the exposure to their sponsorship payment enough?

    1. Netflix would obviously pay FOG a pretty penny for the rights, but is that getting paid back to the teams for the access? or is the exposure to their sponsorship payment enough?

      @skipgamer – very good question!

    2. I would assume, but do not know, that some sort of licensing arrangement would be made with each team.

    3. I am sure a contract with FOG would be wholly enough though @skipgamer, @alianora-la-canta, @phylyp, simply because the SIZE of the column 1-3 bags of money result from FOM’s turnover minus cost, so having higher income for FOM directly boosts the teams budgets a year down the line.

      1. Not necessarily. If the deal was made directly with FOG, I don’t think that gets included in the pool, because the pool consists (in addition to track income) of broadcast income for the race footage FOM records… …and most of this is third-party “B-roll”, which wouldn’t be counted that way and therefore would require a separate deal. In the same way, F1-branded merchandise doesn’t count for the main multiple-bilateral pool, as far as I know, and would also need an additional deal if its income is distributed between the teams at all.

        At least TV shows generally do have the expectation of licensing fees for things like the right to record third-party “B-roll”, and Netflix isn’t a pirate outfit likely to flout that sort of idea in the way of, say, BeOUTQ…

  5. Could not disagree more with the COTD. Formula 1 needs Ferrari more than Ferrari needs Formula 1. They’re the only irreplaceable team and deserve every penny. If they left, Formula 1 would just be a crap version of Indycar.

    1. Yeah I thought that was figured out last year when Ferrari were posturing to leave for FE or wherever if they didn’t get their bonus payment. It’s my understanding that Liberty basically conceded… It was all over the news that they were going to retain their bonus payment. What’s changed since then? They lost Marchionne. That says more about Ferrari than it does F1.

      CotD suffers from “I don’t watch F1 for Ferrari therefore Ferrari doesn’t matter” but enough people not only watch F1 for Ferrari, but also compete in F1 to compete against Ferrari for it to matter, a lot.

      1. Ferrari is f1. You love them or hate them. If they left f1, f1 would lose heaps of fans and the sport would not be the same. Less drivers would have a dream to get to F1 and drive for ferrari. They are always towards the front of the field. When was the last time they won anything cotd? Try 6 races in 2018. I know in non speaking countries they have far more respect than English speaking forums.

        1. David Morgan
          9th March 2019, 7:21

          F1 would maybe lose some fans if Ferrari left F1; but think how many it would gain if the sport actually became competitive. No team is bigger than the sport and to give one team a huge financial advantage just because they threaten to throw their toys out of the pram is quite frankly ludicrous.

        2. What he is talking about in terms of “winning something” is in reference to the 12 year gap since last winning a WDC and the 11 year gap since winning the WCC.

          Whilst Ferrari are always at the front of the field, there will be those who argue that position comes from the fact that the sport is bending over to accommodate them in order to make sure that they are at the front of the field. It’s that feeling that their success is built on getting built in advantages that rankles with people – the sense that they’ve become this behemoth because the sport wanted to ensure that the deck was stacked in their favour.

    2. It’s interesting that Bernie, who was known to be a pretty hard negotiator, set these up, which suggests that even he placed a value on having Ferrari in F1.

      Also interesting that the head of the FIA and Ross were both at Ferrari when it was the winning team so to a degree Ferrari are still in a good position to win favour. The LST may not be as big when the current agreement runs out but I expect that there will be some form of payment designed to keep them in F1.

      I also expect they’ll need to do the same for Mercedes as I doubt F1 would survive without both of them.

      1. Bernie used that payment as a crowbar to get ferrari on board as part of his divide and conquer tactics @dbradock.

        As for your argument about Ferrari being in a good position to win favour, equally you could say that with Brawn on board and the Todt at the FIA backing them it is easier for FOM to get access to Ferrari to convince them to play along.

    3. Without that extra 100 million Ferrari get just for showing up, they would soon be down there with Williams. Give that cash to Williams and they’d soon be back at the front. Seems like a poor way to go racing.

  6. With all teams asssiting the research group developing the new 2021 car design, I wonder how many are providing input whilst simultaneously working out just how they’ll be able to exploit the design principles they’ve suggested.

    For as long as I can remember, someone has always been able to “interpret” regulations to gain an advantage. Surely that’s what racing is about.

    In the Hybrid turbo era, its not necessarily the aero that has been the issue. Yes it hasn’t helped that cars have been unable to follow closely (although some drivers seem to have been able to), but in reality, two teams with “party mode” have dominated qualifying so comprehensively, most of the racing on sundays has been all but over before the race has even begun.

    Teams (or more specifically A team) with the consistently best aero haven’t really been able to compete, not because they couldn’t follow, but because the other two teams have been able to turn up their PU’s to 11 and outrun the others at the start and at any time during the race when threatened.

    Again, this is not new. It’s part of racing.

    I’m looking forward to the new regulations, both financial and technical, but I’m not naive enough to think that it will be a panacea that will “fix” things. Some teams will do well, some won’t. All we can hope for is that they’ll be closer together across the board and that (as was the case last year) a driver with supreme skills triumphs by sheer skill rather than outright technical superiority.

    I suspect that 2019 may be one of the closest fought seasons we’ll have had for years, which suggests 2020 may be as well. If that’s the case, this fixation on “changing things to make things better” might just backfire.

    1. @dbradock Interesting points, I share the same views to an extent.

      1. @dbradock I too agree with some of what you are saying like about the party mode and two or three teams running away from it etc etc.

        Wrt the new era coming, I see it as very different from what we will have this season and next. It remains to be seen how close the cars will be able to race together for how long this season. Some have noticed a difference, some have not, and I think we and they will only know once they all have their Australia race packages on the track.

        But I still envision these cars are inherently very clean air dependent, built for these poor tires, and built for drs. There is only so much they can do to tweak them and this wing change was never intended to be a sea change. That will only come with the 2021 ground up restoration.

        I don’t see how the extremely well researched changes to the cars will possibly backfire. The new cars will be designed to be much less clean air dependent and to make much less wake. The regs will be much different to now such that even if a team wanted to try to innovate their way back to today’s levels of downforce and ability to create dirty air for the car behind, they won’t be able to get anywhere near what they have now.

        Bottom line for me, no matter what the racing is like this year and next, these cars have to go, for they can only be tweaked so much, and not enough to get F1 to where it needs to be and where Brawn is taking it. The new cars will need very different tires, and of course will have the 18” rims, which will change the suspension greatly, and they won’t have drs. The new cars will not be relatable to today’s cars. To me there is absolutely no way there can be a backfire. It’s not a ‘fixation’ on making things better…it’s an absolute necessity. These cars have to go.

        1. @robbie, I would be wary of saying that “there is absolutely no way there can be a backfire”, as Symonds has noted that there are still areas which are fairly challenging.

          He picked up the front wing as one area, as inevitably the first piece of bodywork that hits a turbulent wake will always be the most adversely impacted. Now, he has noted that some minor deviations in the design can very easily change the performance, and I would not be surprised if there were some variations in design that they might not capture.

          With regards to the comment about “make much less wake”, that doesn’t seem to be what they are trying to do, as they are rather limited in that regard. The historical baggage the sport has means that they have to stick with open wheels, which is the main wake generating body on the car, so they’re not really able to reduce the wake by much – it’s more of a case of trying to find ways of moving the worst of that wake away from the trailing car.

          It is also the case that some of the rule changes might end up introducing new issues themselves. Increasing underbody dependence is one possible route they may go, but that does have some risks due to the possibility of increased instability. Pitch sensitivity can be a significant issue with underbody tunnels, and if the airflow becomes disrupted if the car is too close to the ground, the process of that airflow becoming reattached is often much slower than the speed with which it detaches – so whilst it might be more robust to a point, the loss in grip when it does let go can be much more dramatic.

          I would strike a slightly more cautious note, as the possibility of unforeseen consequences could be rather wide reaching.

          1. @anon Fair comment again. Without knowing what they have learned in their wind tunnel I admit I am taking some license with some assumptions. That they moved to non-outwashing front wings this season to reduce wake is part of the reason for that assumption on my part.

            I take your point about unwanted consequences of changing this or that, but am trusting that that is the very thing they can tackle ahead of time due to their nose to tail wind tunnel testing.

            Brawn has called the car they are developing hugely better in terms of how much performance it won’t lose behind another car, citing that it is currently a 50% loss in performance. I notice in the concept shots that have been published, the wings are smaller and less intricate.

            I do take your point about spouting absolutes, but I still am very confident that whatever they have come up with, let’s say diverting the wake as you suggest as opposed to reducing it if that’s the best they can do, combined with some under car work, and smaller wings that I am envisioning will be shaped like we have not seen in F1 before, and I don’t see how the cars cannnot come out less affected in dirty air…the exact thing they are studying and that Brawn has said will be a ‘huge’ difference to now. He has stated that aero downforce is still crucial to pinnacle-of-racing type performance, so the wings will stay, no surprise there, but smaller wings will mean smaller negative effect when said wings are hit with dirty air.

  7. I entirely agree with LH, and I also share similar views to the COTD.

    Regarding the Autosport-article: Why should Mercedes and Ferrari take part in the Netflix series if they don’t wish to take part in it? It’s their right to choose whether they want to participate in something like this or not rather than obligatory.

    1. Because they wanna compete in F1?

      1. But netflix is not F1.

  8. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    9th March 2019, 6:33

    I agree with Lewis. The names were plenty last year but we got to learn them quite fast (at least I did). This new way of baking the tyres seems baffling.

    1. David Morgan
      9th March 2019, 7:22

      Soft – Medium – Hard ??

    2. @panagiotism-papatheodorou The naming C1-C5 was only done for testing because all the compounds were there & from now will primarily only be used internally by Pirelli.

      During race weekends the 3 compounds been used will simply be referred to as Soft, Medium & Hard.

      1. I feel that it’s over simplifying it for the fans that care and the casual fans that are trying to understand what’s going on.

        Consider this scenario, as occurred last year where a team, say for example Mercedes, struggles on a particular compound.

        Race 1, Mercedes struggle to get the “soft” tyre into the correct operating window, and struggle all weekend.

        Race 2, Mercedes blitz the opposition, run the “soft” tyre and even manage to extend the “soft” tyre stint.

        Race 3, Mercedes struggle all weekend again on the “soft” tyre. Casual fan cannot understand what the heck is going on. Commentators and pundits attempt to explain the poor performance with useless sentences like: “Of course, this is the same soft compound they ran in race 1, which is different to the soft compound they were running in race 2″…
        Or “this soft compound, is softer than the soft compound that was run in race 2, but is just as soft as the soft compound run in race 1, and hence they are struggling”.

        So that clears that up then…

        Of course, the hardcore fans will look up the actual compounds that they’re running over a particular race weekend. In which case they may as well have kept the original naming or switched to a numbering system as per preseason testing.

        3 names for 5 compounds over simplifies things and hides the details, which sometimes may be important in understanding a team’s performance over several races.

        1. not really, unless they race at the same track twice the 5 compounds are irrelevant.

      2. I’m sure the technicians will soon work out which one they’ve been given, at which point the driver still has to remember C1-C5, even if the viewers at home don’t.

        1. Oh, I am sure that before long we will hear them mentioned as well, when the sky guys 1. try to explain why teams some races thrive on the “soft” and other races they are out of touch with the “same” tyres.

          It will get as messy as the thing with the colours and explaining got. To me this change was just nonsense because most fans shelling out the kind of money they ask to watch would want to know more details than the given race’s set of soft medium and hard.

  9. F1 would not be the same without Ferrari I feel. I wouldn’t stop following it but it just wouldn’t be the same.

    What upsets me about the bigger bonus is that I feel it makes Ferrari themselves look bad, especially when they threaten to leave the sport if they lose that bonus.
    It makes them look like spoilt little brats who won’t play unless they get special treatment.

    Such a legendary marque should be willing, and proud, to compete on a level playing field and I don’t believe that their true fans would either abandon them or be ashamed of them when they had a poor season.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      9th March 2019, 12:36

      sixh a legendary marque should be able to win fairly easily with all that extra money. It’s a bit embarrassing to see a team get given such a huge advantage and still be unable to win titles.

  10. we going to go racing. we going to have a racing competition. we giving 1 team 100million. the rest will have to find their own money. or get it on merit. thats a recipe that works soo well. i think! but please dont say we are favoring any team. the playing field is totally fair and transparent…

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