Guenther Steiner, Haas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

F1 is “the championship of the tyre working range”

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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The challenge of getting Formula 1 tyres to work in their ideal operating range is dominating the championship at present, according to Haas team principal Guenther Steiner.

While Haas have had severe difficulties optimising their tyre use in some races, Steiner believes every team on the grid has experienced similar problems.

“I think the car is better than last year’s car,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “It’s more consistent, the balance is better.

“We cannot get the tyres to work but I wouldn’t say that if you look int the paddock everybody has a complaint about these tyres being in or out. That is the biggest thing, and I think actually distracts from how good the car is.

“Our car was good in a few places, completely useless in other ones and we know exactly why but we don’t know how to fix it because we cannot get the tyre to work. And it’s not only that we have got that problem everybody has got that problem and you can see also in the midfield everybody is very close together but it doesn’t really show you how quick the car is, it shows you more who got the tyres to work and who not. It’s a championship of the tyre working range, who can get it and who not, at the moment.”

Steiner believes the problem is lessened when Pirelli chooses its softer tyre compounds. “I think people are getting closer and it seems like the softer family of tyre is helpful towards this. But I think you can ask anybody up and down here, nobody’s really happy or has got a hundred percent understanding of what the tyre is doing.”

Steiner met with Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola following the problems they experienced earlier this year, but admits there is little the sport’s official tyre supplier can do to change the situation this year.

“It cannot improve, it’s more of an understanding going forward what can be done and explain him where we struggle. [Pirelli] cannot, by regulation, change tyre. That’s [how] it is.

“The only thing they can change is which tyre they bring to the track. Do you bring from C1 to C3 or C3 to C5? That is the thing what they can change. Maybe they saw that they brought the harder tyres and should go softer. That is the only thing they can do.”

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25 comments on “F1 is “the championship of the tyre working range””

  1. The summary is this:

    Steiner believes every team on the grid has experienced similar problems.

    But his words come across a bit ambiguous:

    “We cannot get the tyres to work but I wouldn’t say that if you look in the paddock everybody has a complaint about these tyres being in or out.”

    “I wouldn’t say that if you look in the paddock everybody has a complaint”: Is he saying that not everyone has a complaint?

    “I wouldn’t say that [we cannot get the tyres to work because] if you look in the paddock everybody has a complaint [about the tyres]”: Or that he wouldn’t say Haas can’t get the tyres to work, because everyone has a complaint?

    1. There’s a full stop missing. Or more to the point the quote could have been cut.

      “We cannot get the tyres to work but I wouldn’t say that. If you look in the paddock everybody has a complaint about these tyres being in or out.”

      There’s a couple other quotes that solidify his opinion

      “And it’s not only that we have got that problem everybody has got that problem”, “I think you can ask anybody up and down here, nobody’s really happy or has got a hundred percent understanding of what the tyre is doing”

      He’s talking for a lot of people when he says everyone has this problem. And he’s been saying it for a few races now, surely other team principals would be making some noise if about him being wrong if so.

  2. DAllein (@)
    7th June 2019, 7:33

    Look, Mr.Steiner, the issue of tyres and usage of tyres emerged the day Pirelli came to F1 years ago. There’s nothing new this year in that regards.
    If you can’t make your car work… well… build a better car.

    I am not justifying Pirelli’s tyres, not at all, I hate them, but there’s no need to moan about them and try to say that your car is good, but only tyres are holding you back. Half of your car is a rebranded Ferrari, blame them if you wish to blame someone.

    1. @dallein, Harsh. Build a better car ! for what, a sunny day in August or an overcast day in April/October, compound 1,2,3,4,5 or six, do the math the number of permutations is enormous, it’s a lucky dip. Bernie’s sprinklers would be far simpler to design around.

    2. Actually there is. Pirelli are constantly changing the compounds and how they work, tgis year was no exception

      They have done this mid-season last year too. So there is something different, and by the year the tyres are even more ridiculous.

      Tyres shouldn’t work within stupidly narrow windows, what’s the point in that?

      1. So True,
        I wish we could go back to the compound they used around 2013/14
        Where the tyres just would randomly explode during the race.
        IMO, This was always a far better option than the sprinklers to liven up a race,
        and was a time when drivers/teams could really show their strategist strengths.

    3. @dallein

      If you can’t make your car work… well… build a better car.

      It’s not like they build their own car… so I guess he can’t help that either.

      I’m not surprised that Haas are clueless. Heck, they don’t really have their own engineering team. They outsource all car chassis and development functions to Dallara. They source the rest of the parts from Ferrari. How on earth are they supposed to understand tyres made by Pirelli when they don’t even understand a car made by Dallara/Ferrari.

  3. Wrong audience, if he believes there’s nothing Pirelli can do about it within the regulations why not talk to the regulation creators? I just don’t see the point to crying to the public about it.

    What can we even do about it anyway other than say F1 is rubbish because of this and that and walk away. It’s not exactly the message to be sending.

    1. Well, he’s not ‘crying’ let alone ‘crying to the public’ he’s answering a question from Dieter in an interview. I’m sure he has also been taking to the ‘regulation creators’ too.

      The message he is sending is that they indeed have built a better car but the ridiculous tires hold them and other teams back from showing that other than on fleeting occasions depending on the stint and the track.

      The tires and getting them to work are way too overwhelmingly a factor. A negative factor.

  4. So sick of the “blame pirelli” excuse. I mean maybe the reason haas and Ferrari are struggling so much is because their cars aren’t good enough. But I mean why take responsibility for your own problems when you can blame pirelli. Notice haas and Ferrari didnt have a problem with the tyres during testing.

  5. Nobody can get the tyres to work, there’s less downforce on the cars and still many lap records are being broken this year. Something doesnt seem to be adding up here..

  6. This genertion of tyres are very challening(heard from a guy on the inside), not only absolute temperatures are important, but also at what rate you get to those temperatures windows, how they behave if you get in and out of the temp window etc etc. If you didnt get into the correct temperature window at the correct warm up rate it might be over. However everyone is using the same kind of tyre, so its fair in that sense. But also important to understand why certain teams cant get it to work at certain tracks/temperatures/downforce levels etc

  7. As long as it’s the same tyres for everyone, I don’t see any real issues here, apart from him moaning it’s tough for everyone. But who said F1 was easy. Mr. Steiner, if you can’t raise your game, go home. Period. Stop whining. That’s what ‘bad losers’ do unless that’s your point.
    And Mr. Steiner, if you think you can’t do much, then you should start thinking of building your own car fully. If you want the success, you also got to want the cost. There’s no free lunch mate. Period.

    1. Touche.

  8. The tyre operating window is in the wrong place, favouring the top 3 teams paradoxically.

    If the tyres instead punished high downforce (overheating etc), it would be better than what we have now. Maybe it would equalize things a bit, forcing Mercedes to compromise/reduce downforce (they are the only ones able to generate enough of it apparently) and bring the field closer together. Hell, we might even see a different team winning sometimes.

    1. favoring the top 3?? lol more like favoring the top 1… since last year

  9. It might be cheaper for a team if they were able to get their own tyre supplier with tyres designed specifically for their car, than to spend millions on aero which is uselless if your tyres are not “switched on” anyway.

    1. @vjanic, alternatively, have only 1 or 2 choices with more constant behavior and the ability to do a full race distance*, that would give the teams a clear development path rather than the constantly moving target that is getting the Pirellis to work and last.

      * take MotoGP for example, and drop the 2 compound rule.

  10. @vjanik the cheapest thing would be to remove the minimum tyre pressures and let the teams run the tyres at the pressures best suited to get them into the operating window.

    Pirelli could publish its minimum recommended tyre pressures for each event and if any tyres let go, they could publicly refute any blame apportioned to them by pointing out that the team was running running lower than recommended tyre pressures.

    1. Agreed. This would be the cheapest. My point was that even the more expensive option of allowing them different suppliers would be cheaper than what we have now.

  11. I am so done with F1. I left during the treaded tire error, and I am leaving again. I wish Max, Newey, Horner and Hamilton the best of luck.
    In the 80’s they didnt have tire issues, and the sport wasn’t trying to make everyone even. During that era, some teams dominated, but not for the same duration as Mercedes today. Stable regulations, include tire performance, allowed others to catch up. F1 is either a development series with teams free to develop, or it is a spec series like Indy cars. As this modern error proves, you cant have both. Trying to have both becomes Psychotic. By changing tires and regs every year, they make it so that only the rich teams can adapt quickly. Give them good tires, stable regs, and let the teams do what they do best: develop their way to the top step of the podium. My friends here have been great, Thank you for your humor and insight.

    1. And I will never buy a Pirelli product. I cant help but think these tire regs are a cover for a bad company.

  12. G (@unklegsif)
    7th June 2019, 15:35

    I am so done with F1

    See ya then

    I left during the treaded tire error, and I am leaving again


    In the 80’s they didnt have tire issues

    Yes it did – Mansell – Adelaide? Just for starters

    I have said it many times before, but to me, the casue of the issue is not the tyres themselves, their compound, the warm-up phase or the “window” – its the shear volume of number crunchers, strategists and data processesing that teams have at their disposal now. Reduce this (and therefore cost) and not only do you level the paying field in terms of resources, but it will also increase competitiveness of the smaller teams

    Many strategists and data processing increases available knowledge and increases predictability

  13. I think that what Guenther and every other non-Mercedes principal in F1 should remember and use as guidance in having their respective cars built and set up is the fact that Perilli will construct their tires in a manner that pleases Mercedes. Since Perilli has a monopoly the various constructors have no choice and must use the ” designed for Mercedes “tires so the intelligent path is to accept this and modify their equipment as well as they can .
    I say that Perilli will construct their ties and thus all F1 tires to suit Mercedes because that appears to be fact .
    Note that in 2018 long after all tires testing and practice was completed and all F1 teams made their build and set ups based on the tires they were given pre-season Perilli made a substantial change to the tires. This change was made after Mercedes failed to win any of the first 3 races ( Ferrari won the 1st two and Red Bull won the third ) and it seemed clear that Ferrari had a speed advantage over Mercedes beased in part upon Ferrari’s ability to get the tires up to temperature quicker than Mercedes could .
    At that point Mercedes complained to Pirelli and to the powers that be in F1 and as a result of that complaint a substantial change was made to all of the tires Pirelli supplied to F1 . In essence the tires were trimmed so as to make them thinner . This allowed Mercedes ,whose cars took longer to get the tires to proper temperature, to get the temperature up quicker and caused the tires to wear slightly quicker rather than just forming blisters . The thinners tires were better for Mercedes while hurting Ferrari . The shift back to Mercedes dominance was made .
    This year again and as always all teams were given samples of the tires that would be used during the season and all teams made their build and set up adjustments accordingly . Now , after several races and according to Christain Hornner ( who as I understand it has a good reputation for honesty ) Mercedes wants Perilli to change the tire make up and even though no other team has made that request Pirelli and F1 has agreed to make that change .
    So, I say to Mr. Steiner and to all non-Mercedes principals : remember that Mercedes controls F1 in some ways and that tire make up is clearly within Mercedes control so in so far as you can make your tire need adjustments to be in line with what Mercedes decrees is best for them .

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