Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Monza, 2020

“Balloon pressures” making Ferrari’s handling problems worse – Vettel

2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says the high tyre pressures F1 teams are required to run is making his car’s handling worse.

Pirelli has increased the minimum front tyre pressures for this weekend’s race to 26psi, compared to 23.5psi last year. Following another difficult day in his Ferrari, which included a spin at Lesmo 1, Vettel said the higher pressures have a noticeable effect on tyre degradation.

“Part of contributor for that in the race is obviously the balloon pressures that we are forced to run at,” he said. “That doesn’t help.

“It’s far away from, I think, where the tyres would like to run. But we have to obviously stick to the rules.”

Vettel predicted another tough race for the team on Sunday. “It will be a tricky one in the race,” he said. “We’ll be fighting a lot of cars, we will be in the pack. It’s not like racing in front and clean air and having a nice car.

“But that’s something to worry about on Sunday. Now we worry for tomorrow and hopefully get a better car because the better the car, it will also help on Sunday.”

The car’s overall balance is not dissimilar to previous races, Vettel added. “The car is difficult to drive, but it’s not the first time.

“Where are we lacking? I think we’re losing down the straights, which is expected. In terms of where we want to have a better car to drive, we’re lacking grip on corner entry, pretty much all four wheels, the car is sliding quite a lot.

“It’s a handful, it’s very difficult to get everything right to get the lap together. But we’re trying to make it a bit better for tomorrow.”

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2020 Italian Grand Prix

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11 comments on ““Balloon pressures” making Ferrari’s handling problems worse – Vettel”

  1. That is considerable pressure. Almost what light road car might use.

    Why do they even bother mandating tyre pressures? Wouldn’t it be fun if teams went to low and had tyre failures?

    1. Wouldn’t it be more fun if Goodyear or Bridgestone were making proper tyres?

    2. @jureo not if you’re Pirelli spending a lot of money developing these tyres for marketing; and not if you’re the FIA responsible for safety

    3. Why do they even bother mandating tyre pressures?

      I think somewhere in the answer to that question are names like “Sebastian”, “Ferrari”, and words like “puncture”, “lost Third Place” and “World Drivers’ Championship”. I guess this is a slightly apocryphal version of events: Basically Romain Grosjean was behind Sebastian on the penultimate lap of the 2015 Belgian GP, and Sebastian’s tyres were worn out. Knowing this, Romain chased him and kept putting pressure on him, so Sebsatian put more stress on his tyres and would cut the apex at some corners, and eventually one of the tyres gave up on the second to last lap of the race, and so he finished 12th instead of third, which was the definitely final last nail in the coffin to his World Drivers’ Championship hopes for that year (not that he had much hope between Nico and Lewis). So Romain got the podium place, the glory, the honour, and, if I recall correctly, was selected Racefans Driver of the Weekend. Meanwhile Sebastian had a choice: 1) admit he and Ferrari had made some poor decisions and somehow it was all their own fault; or 2) blame Pirelli. So of course Pirelli got blamed. Of course the problem wasn’t actually Pirelli’s tyres failed to perform, it was Ferrari chose to use them outside of the manufacturer’s recommendations (i.e. used too low tyre pressures). Anyway, Pirelli got blamed, so Pirelli simply said, “Okay, if we get blamed because you guys use incorrect tyre pressures then we’ll set minimum tyre pressures in the future”.

      1. @drycrust Teams pushing the tires to/beyond the limits is nothing new & has been part of the sport since the start. Only difference is that the Pirelli’s are incapable of withstanding what until now had been considered perfectly normal part of the pinnacle of the sport.

        The Bridgsetone/Michelins/Good Years were running as low as 13psi, They were perfectly fine been swapped (Right side on left, left side on right), The good years used to be fine with a mixed compound set, They could be run to the limits without failing without warning, Teams could run ‘extreme’ camber levels without issue & They didn’t need to be babied as much as the Pirelli’s.

        The Pirelli era is the first & only time in F1’s history that the sport has had to introduce regulations to cover up the inadequacies of it’s suppliers product & it’s frankly crazy that so many consider it acceptable that the pinnacle of the sport is using the worst tires in all of motor sport. it’s the worst tire era in f1’s history sadly.

  2. Vettel’s off in FP2 was a bit clumsy; he spun and got the car travelling backwards perfectly, only to turn it into the barrier and damage his rear wing

    1. Spins and crashes in practice are, in my opinion, a good thing; drivers spend the majority of these sessions piddling about, at least a spin/crash shows they’re pushing (or not paying attention!).

      1. @dean111181 It’s good to find the limits, but I’m referring to the way he got the car under control only to carelessly drive it into the wall anyway

  3. The party mode goes on: Ballon tyres, funny quotes and Ferrari playing a tragicomedy. What else could go wrong? If Williams beats Ferrari without Claire would be ifun to watch as well!!

  4. Tyres are becoming way too dominant in current F1.
    The multitude of variations have led to some horrifically dangerous occurrences.
    Go back to a standard wet, intermediate, soft, medium, hard tyres.
    With zero multiple variations.
    Then the cars would have all of the same tyre characteristics from winter testing to racing.
    Time for at least 1 level playing field in F1.

    1. @wildbiker

      Go back to a standard wet, intermediate, soft, medium, hard tyres.
      With zero multiple variations.

      There has never been a time in F1’s history when that has been the case, There have always been multiple variations of what on race weekends get called ‘soft medium & hard’.

      In fact they are more restricted now than they used to be as there are now only 5 compounds over a season (C1-C5) when in the past the suppliers used to have dozens of different variations of each compound which were all tailor made for specific tracks & temperature ranges.

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