Max Verstappen says the softer tyres Pirelli brought for this weekend’s race were key to his victory in today’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
For its second race at Silverstone in as many weekends, Formula 1 opted to use tyres which were one stage softer than last week. While Mercedes struggled with blistering in the race, Red Bull advanced and Verstappen scored his first victory of the year.
But he said his victory does not indicate Red Bull will be more competitive in races where more typical tyre selections are made.
“I think to fully close that gap will be very hard,” he said. “Just today we were very good on tyres and then you can push a lot harder on them.
“Especially when we go back to conservative tyres everywhere, because basically I think most of the tracks we go to we’re just doing a one-stop, I think it will be a bit harder for us because then nobody really has blistering that severe, you don’t need to manage as much as we did today.
“We’ll see. Like I’ve said before, let’s just enjoy today and then we’ll see again in Barcelona where we are.”
Verstappen said he does not plan to begin lobbying Pirelli to bring softer compounds to future races.
“I don’t think it’s up to me to push that,” he said. “I don’t think I can do that.
“But today we had a good race, so who knows, maybe it’s the tyres. We had a good day so we just need to be happy about today.
“But then also be realistic again. We’re still lacking pace in qualifying quite a bit. So we need to solve that first as well.
“Of course, we go back to harder tyres in Barcelona. We saw last week that on those harder tyres we are still quite a bit off. I don’t expect any miracles there. I know it’s a hard track on tyres, but with these hard tyres you can push quite a bit harder than what we have done today.
“I think in general it’s more about doing a one-stop is not very exciting. So if we find a way of doing two stops with of course nice tyres as well… I think in general nobody likes managing tyres throughout the race, we want to push, that would be great.”
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12 comments on “Verstappen says more wins will be difficult with “conservative tyres””
9th August 2020, 17:32
10th August 2020, 7:59
So, Pirelli had a big stake in Mercedesses championships. Interesting. FIA will never look info that trick. Toto is a clever man
9th August 2020, 17:33
We should just ditch Pirelli, and then we’ll have much better racing
9th August 2020, 17:44
F1 needs to bring back different tyre manufacturers to offset chassis and engine deficit.
10th August 2020, 7:57
NO! please no. After one race we will know the Champion then. Those were the worst years…
10th August 2020, 15:33
Mayrton I get where your comment is coming from, but keep in mind the circumstances were very different back then wrt things like unlimited testing that saw Ferrari with a Bridgestone headquarters right at their own private test track.
Personally I think a tire competition would be no worse than what we have now, and as I say it could be done entirely differently and there is so much less testing that things could easily be far far different than before.
Anyway, things will also be far far different when the cars are no longer so dependent on clean air. And we will be experiencing the new cars on 18” rims before we will be experiencing a tire competition, so let’s just see what happens tire wise come 2022.
10th August 2020, 11:20
I would say I liked it more when the decision was about to have 2 or 3 pitstops / GP.
Recent seasons’ they had most often 1 and sometimes 2, but numbers of 2stops is declining as I percieve.
But having 2 tyre manufacturers, when one was unable to keep up, was much more often an unwanted (by most) decider than todays’ Pirelli durability or consistency. And the gap was not small, sometimes one manufacturer was far off. So I would not like to see another tyre war and a new topic to complain about in todays’ already quite political, strategical. Teams, and drivers are quite often objecting and appealing even in radio midrace, ofc radio messages are often entertaining but races should be not less exciting without public radio messages if otherwise the sport is in good state. Having public radio has quite big strategy impact, even if the messages delayed, or slightly filtered. (I don’t know whether F1 media has the right to play all of them in the bradcast, but with a public radio teams lose a lot of strategy options. I generally don’t hate the fact that F1 is quite about strategy, just the amount of managing is quite high now).
9th August 2020, 17:58
Imagine a world where there is an “official” tyre supplier that has to supply any team that wants them to, but the teams are also free to source tyres from anywhere else….
9th August 2020, 22:41
That should be a clause if a team signs with a tyre, it’s only valid if the tyres are competitive. If they are not, then they have the option of picking another tyre. Tyre wars suck. You could make the best chassis and still lose if you pick the wrong tyre for a whole season. The only way the constructors championship can be fair if the tyres are even. Tyre wars make sure tyres aren’t even. And these tyres are a joke next to what they can, yet refuse to develop. These are ‘show’ tyres. They even admitted it as such quite awhile back when Bernie was running things.
9th August 2020, 18:07
Whilst it’s tempting to think that switching to softer rubber would close up the gap to Mercedes, I’m not sure it would really work like that in reality.
Today there seemed to be a combo of soft rubber, high pressures and hot conditions that came together to nullify Mercedes’ pace advantage. High pressures are only needed in exceptional circumstances, so that factor isn’t likely to be too important over the course of a season.
We’ve seen before that hot conditions does close the gap a bit, but also that Mercedes are usually pretty good at adapting a car to mitigate issues after a race or two experiencing them. Adding softer rubber to that mix may increase the challenge for them a bit, but it’s more likely that they’d simply adapt and continue their advantage.
Today’s race was interesting because it was a bit of a curveball, but changing how hard or soft the rubber is ultimately does nothing to change the status quo. Flat out, the Mercedes car is simply much faster than the Red Bull (or anything else).
10th August 2020, 9:09
I think it was a factor but one of the several ones. the heat, track roughness and the pressure of the tyres AND Mercedes huge downforce destroyed their tyres very fast.
Rhys Lloyd (@justrhysism)
9th August 2020, 23:19
Wasn’t able to push, except there were several occasions he was told to go flat out? When was the last time we heard that?
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