Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Verstappen: Forcing drivers to use all three tyre compounds not a good idea

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In the round-up: Formula 1 drivers shouldn’t be required to use all three tyres compounds during races in an attempt to inject more variety into them, says Max Verstappen.

What they say

Verstappen was asked whether drivers should be required to use all three tyre compounds during a race.

It means at least a two-stop. But sometimes you don’t want to be on the softest or the hardest compound. I think Alex [Albon] had a good experience with that in Barcelona, you don’t want to be on the hardest compound.

If the tyres would be a bit closer together in terms of degradation, maybe yes. [But] I think, no, you shouldn’t force something like that.

I don’t think using all three compounds is good. Sometimes you go to, like, Silverstone, you don’t want to be running on the softest compound, then you go Barcelona where you don’t want to be running on the hardest component. So no, I don’t see that happening.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

What next for Perez after his departure from Racing Point was confirmed?

The situation with Perez potentially moving to Haas could be interesting. Last year, one of the reasons they didn’t want to sign Hulkenberg was due to his salary, and it would probably be the same with Perez. However, the backing he brings could sweeten the deal for Haas.

I still do believe that a team like Williams 100% should do everything they can to entice him. He is what they need, and a Russell-Perez partnership would be excellent.

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On this day in F1

  • 25 years ago today Jacques Villeneuve won the CART IndyCar title at Laguna Seca. He finished 11th after two punctures. Had he finished lower and Al Unser Jnr’s Portland win had been reinstated on appeal (which did happen) he would have lost the title.

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55 comments on “Verstappen: Forcing drivers to use all three tyre compounds not a good idea”

  1. What’s worse than having to race Eight bad Pirellis during a Grand Prix ?

    They are the weakest link, goodbye

  2. I think mandatory use of all 3 compounds would be artifical, and mandatory 2+ stops too.
    Also the laptime difference not feels that big between 3 adjacent compound.
    If they want to have ownage based on tyre condition and tyre strategy difference, then increase the gap between the compounds. But it would be good to achieve that a more usual way instead of being so temperature dependent. I don’t mind that a driver has to look after the tyres but this is too much.

    1. By temperature dependent I mean the tyres’ narrow operational window temperature-wise.

      1. Rubber. More you push it, more it heats up, more of it falls away. Simple enough to understand.
        Temperature dependent is just the engineer’s way of saying optimum window for maximum laptime, by looking at the data in the garage.

    2. Yeah… Nothing else in F1 is artificial, so 2 pitstops would just be so out of place…

      1. Downwards I read your comments, and I like and basically agree these thoughts.
        I think Vettel was right about saying that F1 will face serious problems to solve,
        as it’s expensive, not so green, the entry barrier is very high, low road relevancy,
        super expensive PUs, super complex rules. And for worse, development can go on
        quite well without F1, as design and test methodologies are evolved enough to
        develop great things for the world without interacting the racing scene.

        I think there are many artifical or contrieved things in F1, so right,
        but where is it leading to? If they will introduce a lot of new contrieved
        rules time after time then it will not stop, and the whole thing will get
        a very artifical taste. So why not to go another direction and start to kick
        out some already existing artificalities.

        I’m not against more pitstops, for safety, because of the higher loads
        due the constantly growing downforce, more pitstops would be proper,
        but that’s just a small part of the problem (even if it’s not a small problem
        by itself). Even in historic F1 there were retirements because too much
        downforce. See for example : Ligiers at the 1980 British GP.

        I think there are so much politics and interests involved that if only
        one driver teams would be allowed, then they still would use the
        supplied teams to achieve their goals as if nothing changed, and
        basically no matter what the rules are, interests, politics, lawyers
        and managers will govern the world for an unpredictably long while.
        Hmm Renault just announced that they want stronger bounds with their
        supplied teams in the future. They want to have their own Saubers
        as testbeds ;) So again it’s not going the desired direction.

        1. Or to be a bit more accurate not as testbeds, they just want to have them all inclusive.

          1. Good post.
            I think F1 would do well to scrap the technical and sporting regs and start again from a clean slate.
            Clear, simple rules with firm boundaries that allow and encourage many different ways to reach those limits would be better than the mess that they currently have. And regardless of the technical parity, the sporting regulations should be leveraged to maximise competition.
            Basically, I wish they would come up with a smarter and leaner system, rather than the current more complex and bulky one.

            And with Renault – yeah, they’ve said that before. McLaren weren’t interested in handing their data over to Renault for them to use to make their own car faster. McLaren were sufficiently satisfied (at the time) to simply hand over the cash for the engines, and leave it at that.
            It seems that Renault are simply looking for a bit of extra teamwork so they can pool resources. Two heads are better than one…

    3. Using 3 compounds seems a bit OTT for me.
      If push comes to shove then maybe a minimum of 2 pitstops with 2 of the compounds, quite a few already do this so not quite as artificial……

      1. Why do you people think the rest of the world understands the TLA that you abuse us with?

  3. How about mandatory usage of those old fashioned bicycle tyres? You know, the ones with the little wheels in the back and the ridiculously huge one in the front? Do it just like that. Huge, spoked bicycle wheels in front and teeny, tiny ones in back.

    According to simulations, very narrow operating temps.

  4. Tyres ! tyres ? tyres* tyres# , I’m sick and tired of talking about tyres. F1 used to be about technical advances not retrograde, intentionally unreliable, and poorly performing rubber.

    1. 100% CORRECT.

    2. It’s the tyres that give us the racing @hohum, that’s why they’re interesting!

      The cars are terrible for racing. It’s only the tyres that produce enough delta for any wheel to wheel action. Be grateful :)

      1. @zann, If you want Ftyre, try and get some competition like team Continental AMG, Michelin Alpine, Dunlop Racing point, Avon McLaren, etc. There are enough tyre companies to field 10 teams of terrible cars.

        1. Not gonna happen.
          Just like the engines, they would become a political tool within F1. One would be better than the rest and would create a whole new set of issues and complaints about fairness and lack of competition.
          Of course, you’d need to get at least 3 or 4 tyre manufacturers to actually invest as much time and money as Pirelli do in their F1 tyre development programs, each duplicating the process and collectively blowing $Billions for little, if any, net benefit to anyone.

          I love a tyre war as much as anyone – it’s a major selling feature of Super GT, for example – but F1 has gone far beyond what is practical for most tyre manufacturers. Too much investment required for too little chance of success (competitive success and marketing success).

        2. The trouble with a tyre war @hohum, for me at least, is that we hardly get to know a thing about the tyres and what makes one better or worse than another. So it’s like a random variable, that has a huge effect on the competition. Also the ranking tends not to change much, so once Brand A has an advantage that’s it for the year, or years. It masks so much of the rest of what we’re interested in.

          Afaik only Pirelli were willing to put their brand above the parapet and give us crap tyres to save the racing. The others, Bridgestone and Michelin, would only do durable, which would be damnation.

          1. @zann, I’m not talking tyre wars, I’m talking tyre manufacturers running F1, as apparently the tyres are more important than the cars. And crap tyres are not what I am interested in.

          2. @hohum
            The tyres aren’t more important than the cars – the tyres are part of the cars.
            Whether you like them or not makes no difference, as they are the same for everyone – the challenge comes in understanding them and learning how to use them best. That’s the same for any tyre brand/type/shape/size/compound and construction.
            BTW, which F1 team do you drive for, anyway? Or does it not actually affect you personally?

        3. Ah okay this was too subtle for me @hohum. Well no problem, rant on baby :) I’m just pointing out that durable tyres would mean a procession most weekends.

          1. But the drivers and the purists are fine with it.

      2. Maybe these guys should try watching boat races and air races, rather than road races on tyres.
        F1 needs high grip/deg tyres because of its non-spec approach to racing.

    3. I’ve been following this sport since 1995 and have always been very interested in its history and I am certain tyres have always been front and centre, topically. F1 is about cornering performance and the tyre is the only contact patch. This has always been the case. Look back at any season’s coverage and talk of “getting the best out of the tyres” is ubiquitous.

      Having said that, I don’t think the tyres have been this bad before (thermal degradation is a ridiculous design philosophy) and we may well be castigating the tyres more than ever.

      1. @frood19 or, for that, matter, the discussions in the 2000s over “this is a Michelin track” or “this is a Bridgestone track” and the debates caused by the tyre wars in that era (and the less said about 2003 and the tyre rule change then, the better). Given it’s the sole point of contact between the car and the track, tyres have always been a prominent talking point.

        1. @frood19, I definitely don’t remember the tyres being a talking point in the 1960’s, I remember talking points like 4,6,8,12 or 16 cylinders, lightweight versus reliability, gearboxes, suspension design, tube frame v monocoque, all about making better cars for the best drivers to drive.

          1. @hohum I wasn’t around then but I have read accounts of how drivers and engineers worked to get the best out of the tyres in the 1960s (e.g. equalising temperatures across the tread, driving a hot in-lap to get accurate readings etc). it was known then that the tyre was the window to cornering performance, just as much as it is now. all that stuff about engine configuration, weight, gearboxes, chassis design – they are all elements of the car performance, but so is the tyre. I find it an odd abstraction to treat the tyre separately from those other things. Tyre development was going on all the time in motorsports in those years – slick tyres were introduced in the late 60s. Go back to the 1950s and there were divergent pit strategies in famous races. I’m sure drivers even used to switch tyre manufacturer mid-weekend (Ickx in a ferrari comes to mind), which was surely a talking point. @dieterrencken posted an old quote on twitter the other day from Tom Pryce moaning about the tyres in the 1970s.

            I agree completely with you that the current tyres are appalling, but to say they didn’t used to figure in the conversation is false I think, though of course that is at my far remove – your experience of what was discussed in the past must be different and I respect that.

          2. @hohum how accurately do you really remember things from over 50 years ago though, particularly if it was something you were not looking for in the first place?

            As @frood19 points out, tyre development was pretty intensive in the 1960s and there are indeed quite a few contemporary reports from that era noting that tyre development was being far more actively discussed than you seem to think it was.

            For example, there are contemporary reports from the 1965 South African Grand Prix where the reports opened with the phrase “The most interesting aspect of practice was the ‘tyre war'”, noting how multiple drivers were going back and forth between Dunlop and Goodyear tyres, or how the 1966 race noted how “The tyre war is in full swing” as drivers debated whether to use Dunlop, Goodyear or Firestone tyres and noting the pit lane was “buzzing with representatives from all three companies” lobbying different teams to use their tyres.

    4. The tyres are only a ‘problem’ because the teams try so hard to extract every last tiny bit of performance out of them.
      Take away all their data and they’d need to leave a bit more room for error.

      And before anyone says it – no – this is not just a Pirelli problem.
      This is a car racing problem.

      1. There is more than 1 company out there that could, if allowed, provide tyres capable of finishing a race on 1 set of tyres faster than on 1,2, or 3 sets of the current rubbish.

        1. But that’s not what F1 are asking Pirelli to make.
          And if any of those other companies did start making F1 tyres, they’d either need to make them in the way that F1 wants them made (same as Pirelli) or F1 would need to change what they want and expect from their tyre supplier/s.

          Personally, I quite like that the tyres are creating problems and providing challenges for the teams. There needs to be some factors that the teams can’t control completely – as all the things they can and do control have become stale and boring.

          1. S ,I blame F1/BCE and Pirelli equally for this Fiasco.

          2. I don’t even see it a ‘fiasco’ – I see it as a necessary element in an otherwise boring and predictable racing business.
            F1 and their commercial rights holders are indeed the drivers behind it – with their constant push for faster and faster cars that create ever more turbulence and dirty air, and which are increasingly heavy to fit in their disappointingly soulless and technically pointless engines.
            No tyre manufacturer other than Pirelli has ever made tyres that need to stand up to these particular stresses, and allowing them (or any other manufacturer) to make tyres that easily last an entire race distance would only make the on-track product even more stale.
            Unless they introduce a higher minimum number of pitstops, of course…. 2, 3 or 4? Which sounds best to you?

          3. Tyres provide the variation in driving which gives us the racing. But let’s get rid of this variation too.

    5. Yep, give’em 3 compounds and let them do what they want in the race. Want a no-stopper? do that. want to run 4x softs? Do that too.

      1. In the past that concept worked well in F1.
        However, with all the data, simulations and pre-determined optimum strategies the teams all use now, it simply wouldn’t provide decent entertainment.
        F1 is a technical competition and racing series – but it still needs to be entertaining to watch. Entertaining for the largest and widest ranging audience possible, that is – not just for the few purists who love a merit-based procession leading to a foregone conclusion.

        1. Oh, shame on me, all these years I have been selfishly arguing for a merit based competition without considering the feelings of those who can’t appreciate the value of merit over mediocracy . I hope you won a cup or a ribbon for wherever you placed in every competition you competed in.

          1. I didn’t, but then I wasn’t trying to sell it to 10’s of millions of people and make $Billions in profits for my marketing mega-corporation.

            F1 is much more a business than a sport. Sacrifices and trade-offs need to be made.
            Take all those non-purist viewers and all that money away and see how long F1 survives as a ‘pure sport.’

        2. Actually the above argument would work out if softer compounds (1 or 2 or even 3 of them) were used for the race.
          For example Monaco race can have hyper soft and super soft. 2011 race was great due to such choices.

  5. I wouldn’t mind seeing teams forced to use all compounds for one race.

    Even a reverse grid race to qualify on a Saturday for one race.

    I don’t see the harm in doing it if the drivers and constructor championships have been won.

  6. Russell-Perez in Williams. That is actually great! Never thought of it.

    But makes total sense!! Helps us benchmark Russell (Russell may improve also). Checo’s backing means the new owners will be better off as well.

  7. What happen to Verstappen? What’s with that soft and polite answer to that ridiculous suggestion?

    1. A lot was lost in the translation.

      1. I assume a proper argument for his point of view was lost? @macleod

        Sometimes you go to, like, Silverstone, you don’t want to be running on the softest compound, then you go Barcelona where you don’t want to be running on the hardest component. So no, I don’t see that happening.

        There is litterally no logical reasoning in his argument. It’s not that it’s flawed or I just happen to dissagree. There is actually none.

        1. Reading between the lines or knowing what he didn’t say is the correct way to write i think.
          the word Sometimes is strange even if you translate Dutch to English: Normal you would say:
          For example Silverstone is a circuit you don’t want to run on Softs and when racing on Barcelona you don’t want drive on the Hard.
          So why is he using sometimes so he means a different thing.

  8. Qualifying on the harder compound.
    Racing on the softer compounds.
    No mandatory stops and no DRS.
    Great baseline format that would require minor tweaking over the years.

    1. Like the sound of that

  9. Just let the teams and drivers decide what tyres to use and how many stops to make, even if it’s zero Honestly, what are we doing here? Racing or talking to a brick wall, I suspect I’m doing the latter.

    1. Commenting on social media is probably as close as you can get to ‘talking to a brick wall’. @john-h
      At least you have the pleasure of some bricks talking back to you ;)

      1. Lol thanks @coldfly, much appreciated!

  10. I think the simplest solution would be to go back to the Prime-Option construction with about 1.5s difference in laptime and then mandate 2 pitstops minimum and getting rid of tyre warmers.

    With a duration of roughly 20% of race distance for the option and double that for the Prime. You don’t have to use both and you don’t have to qualify on the tyre you race on. Give each team 2 sets of Options for each part of Q. Also make sure the emphasise is on surface degradation and not thermal, i.e. no more tiny operating windows and no more driving around on gloryfied mozarella balls that rip apart.

    These things will make sure that we’ll see the cars at their fastest in Q, that there will either be natural or forced (think Monaco) 2+ stops per race. That cold tyres and/or the compound difference will create enough of an offset between drivers to create overtaking opportunities, and finally it makes it so that the different compounds allow to be pushed rather than nursed over the duration of a stint.

  11. Mandating the use of all three compounds would be yet another example of making sticking plaster solutions to the fundamental issues in Formula.

    Instead, just scrap the Q2 tyre rule, let everyone start on the tyres they want and then it’s up to the teams and drivers to maximise the strategy. While they’re at it, scrap the mandatory pit stop rule and if someone wants to attempt to start on the hards and not pit then good luck to them.

    All these ideas including the awful reverse grids idea result in more complicated rules and unintended consequences and miss the real issues that affect F1. Hopefully from 2022, the revised money distribution and the new cars will level the playing field resulting in a fairer sport and people will stop coming up with ridiculous ideas.

  12. I agree. Having to use at least two different compounds in a dry race is already more than enough, so making it three isn’t needed.

    Why C3-C4-C5 combination only for Sochi and Abu Dhabi? Wouldn’t Bahrain outer also be a viable layout for the softest compounds of the range?

  13. Ah forcing them to run all 3 compounds in a race, Another idea that David Croft & others on Sky are obsessed at pushing at every opportunity.

    Aside from what Max said, Forcing everyone to run all 3 compounds & therefore effectively 2 mandatory stops takes away the ability for a team to try something different in terms of making 1 less or more stop than the others. They should be giving teams a bit more freedom with strategy, Not less.

    I also still refute the belief that 2+ stop races are automatically better than a 1 as over the years i’ve seen just as many dull 2-3 stop races as I have really good no/1 stop races.

    1. They can always make a stop extra..
      Running all three compounds will be the same for everyone.
      If one of the compounds is bad for your car then limit the number of laps on it.
      More strategy.. nice!

  14. What about if each driver had to use a certain number of sets of tyres over a season. So in a 20 race season each driver would need to use 60 sets in races throughout the year. A team could decide to 2 stop every race, but more likely certain races such as monaco would be 1 stop, meaning another race would have to be a 3 stop. Different teams would choose different strategies throughout the year giving more strategy variance and potential intrigue during the race.

    There would have to be certain restrictions where the tyres would need to be used for at least 10% of the race to count maybe to stop it being abused. And other rules regarding retirements, but f1 love adding ridiculous amounts of rules so that isn’t a problem.

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