Christian Horner, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Horner: Bring back last year’s tyres to help us fight Mercedes

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1’s official tyre supplier Pirelli is facing calls to reintroduce last year’s thinner treads to help Mercedes’ rivals compete with them.

Mercedes has won all six races so far this year. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the team has benefitted from Pirelli’s move towards thinner tyre treads this year.

“The tyre was made thinner and stiffer gauge and profile for this year,” he told Sky. “That therefore takes an awful lot more energy and it’s an awful lot harder to get the tyre going and to generate that heat in the tyre.”

“Mercedes, when we ran these tyres at the races last year, won all the races these tyres actually were introduced on,” Horner added. The thinner tyres were used at the Circuit de Catalunya, Paul Ricard and Silverstone. Mercedes took pole position at all three races and won the first two.

“I think just by good fortune for them this tyre change this year, on a car that was usually quite hard on its tyres, particularly its rear tyres, has actually worked in their favour and puts them in a really nice window,” said Horner. “It’s for the rest of us to try and catch up.”

Several other teams have found it difficult to get the 2019 specification tyres into the ideal operating window.

“The best thing obviously would be if they went back to last year’s tyres,” Horner added. “You’d probably find nine teams happy with that and one team fairly unhappy with that. But in the interests of entertainment in Formula 1 that would be a noble thing for Pirelli to do.”

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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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22 comments on “Horner: Bring back last year’s tyres to help us fight Mercedes”

  1. I really hate that guy!
    He forgot like everyone complained about last year’s tyres and asked for thinner thread????

    Blabbing such nonsense… really… I would have banned him from making any comments.
    Just stay silent, Mr.Horner…

    1. @dallein Horner is very slippery, I remember him pleading for the end of refuelling because races were being decided on pit stops, as if that changed, strategy just got easier. I remember him saying fans wanted more downforce for better racing for the 2017 wider cars, as if more downforce isn’t the antithesis of good racing.
      Honestly, he’s a top hypocrite but he’s given us crucial insight with this interview, apparently this was what Ferrari has just realized back in spain so no more point in witholding just how crucial to last years championship and this years, this stiffer tyre is.

    2. He is not the only rotten apple from RBR camp, it was Marko who made the comment orignally and it was just rehashed by Horner today on Sky.

  2. If the teams could come to grips with the tires, they could then focus on getting the most of of them and their cars. With all the bleating about parity, lack of competition etc, it seems like going back to a tire that the majority of teams can use would be an easy decision to make.

  3. Well at least he spices things up…

    1. @budchekov though like the bands reunion he only gets bad feedback from the mic

  4. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    8th June 2019, 17:53

    It’d be a controversial move but I kinda support it? It’d be interesting to see how the field would change if they swapped. Somehow I doubt it’d suddenly bring Ferrari & Red Bull closer to Mercedes – nor would it magically make Williams or Toro Rosso suddenly fighting for podiums, but if it worked to bring the field closer together at least surely that’s a good thing?

  5. I mean… You knew these tyres were coming in for this season, so like… build your car to best suit the tyres. I said the same thing last year when Merc were complaining and saying they should go to these current tyres sooner. The team who builds the best car, including the tyres, which they knew about, deserves to win. It would be a bit silly to be like ‘sorry Mercedes, I know you built a great car, but Red Bull and Ferrari aren’t happy about that so we’re going to revert back to last years tyres to diminish some of your advantage (assuming it even would)’. I’d love to see the top 3 be matching each other, but this would just be artificial.

    1. @hugh11, it’s not just that Red Bull knew that they were coming – Red Bull voted in favour of introducing the reduced gauge tyres when the 2019 regulations were being drafted up, meaning they are in part responsible for the tyres that they are now complaining about.

  6. Everyone complained about those tyres when they said it suited Merc more. Now complaining to get the tyres Mercedes asked. Irony… Everyone said it was controversial about tyre change last year and later accepted that it worked better when they understood them…

  7. The less I hear from Horner, the better..

  8. Remember in 2013 when Horner & RBR lobbied for Pirelli to return the tyres to the 2012 makeup and then proceeded to win 13 races on the trot?

    Pirelli have delivered a homologated spec and it’s up to the teams to work with them – I’d be saying the same if Mercedes or anyone else were struggling and moaning.

  9. If the tyre change slows down Mercedes then I’m all for it.

    1. Very sporting @kingshark Why not make the top players in tennis play in flipfops too?

      1. @3dom
        You must be new to Formula 1 if you think that being sporting is relevant. F1 has always been about slowing down the best team. The same tactics were used against Ferrari and Red Bull in their heyday.

        Who can forget that ridiculous rule change in 2005, where the drivers had to complete the entire race distance on one set of tyres. A rule change specifically aimed at slowing down the Ferrari/Bridgestone combo.

        1. Just because historically a dominant team gets the rug pulled out doesn’t make it right. Do you believe that a different tire or any regulation or rule change would hold Mercedes back? How many changes have they managed to work around successfully over the past 5.5 seasons? Aero, suspension, clutch, fuel, tires, car weight vehicle dimensions,etc etc etc, I could go on and on . Even when Ferrari had a car that was well capable of beating them they still managed to come out on top. It’s not by luck.

          1. Just because historically a dominant team gets the rug pulled out doesn’t make it right.

            No, but it’s good for F1. Don’t care about fairness, what is most important is a competitive sport.

            Any team can be stopped by the right regulation change. Equal engines and fragile tyres? Red Bull would smash Mercedes. FIA just haven’t tried hard enough.

          2. Any team can be stopped by the right regulation change. Equal engines and fragile tyres? Red Bull would smash Mercedes. FIA just haven’t tried hard enough

            @kingshark the problem here is that changing the regulations in this kind of manner would be blatant favouritism.

            I have to agree with @gpfan that the regulations have been changed on several occasions to give the other teams a chance, and in 2017-18 it worked perfectly. It was great, close competition, that’s what you were asking for right? Or did you just want a different winner? Going from one domination to another isn’t any better. Mercedes deserve credit for managing to keep up and ultimately beat Ferrari otherwise Ferrari would have run away with it. Mercedes and Hamilton stepped up. Especially last season Ferrari and Vettel threw it away. We didn’t actually know it what going to go that way until later on in the season, that should be sporting enough for most.

          3. @3dom
            Yes, FIA will be biased against the best team. It was the same during the Ferrari and Red Bull years, so I don’t see a problem with it now.

            2018 was a competitive season, but the problem is that several regulation changes have made 2019 one-sided again. The intention behind the aero regulations was good, but the tyre change was a disaster that did nothing but make Mercedes dominant again.

  10. Shocking how they could get it so wrong with the tyres when surely their brief was to help even the field.

    Or maybe they couldn’t care less, and just wanted to avoid any bad tyre talk (graining, delaminating and so on). If so, FOM really should not renew their contract, or even look to cut it short.

  11. Go cry in the corner, cvXt.

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