Alguersuari: tyres could put HRT in front of Ferrari

2011 F1 testing

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Barcelona, 2011

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Barcelona, 2011

Jaime Alguersuari believes the difference between the tyres this year is so great HRT could be faster than Ferrari on occasions.

Speaking to reporters in Barcelona he said: “You could see Hispania running faster than Ferrari if they are on new tyres and Ferrari were on worn tyres. You could see Hispania overtake Ferrari.”

The Toro Rosso driver explained how the new tyres required drivers to change their style: “You use more of an endurance style rather than sprint races style.

“The rear tyres are very important. They degrade quicker. When you are driving you have to be very careful. Degradation on all tyres was massive.

“Getting the right strategy can be good for small teams by risking an aggressive strategy.”

The STR6 has attracted attention with some promising performances in testing so far – though Alguersuari said he has not done any qualifying simulations yet:

“I don?t think I will be doing any tomorrow and I am bit worried about going to Melbourne without testing the soft tyres on light fuel loads but I have to trust the team on this.”

He said expects to be in the hunt for points every race this year and the team’s main competition will be “Force India and Sauber.”

He added: “I think we are right behind Williams.

“The car has more potential than last year. Buemi thinks the car is good also.

“Obviously it?s going to be a different year and I don?t say it?s going to be easy because we have a good car. I think it?s going to be very difficult because if we are faster, we need to score some points in every race to be ahead of our rivals.

“I think it will be difficult for everyone with the new tyres, more stops, we will see.”

Quotes and additional reporting by Leandra Graves

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51 comments on Alguersuari: tyres could put HRT in front of Ferrari

  1. Tobitron said on 10th March 2011, 20:32

    This excites me. I can’t wait to see if the degradation is indeed that massive. This could make the closing stages of racing far more entertaining.

    • Copersucar (@copersucar) said on 11th March 2011, 0:57

      Well, if a McLaren is on fresh tyres and a HRT is on shot tyres we might even see a McL overtaking a HRT this season !?!?

      • Nicotheque said on 11th March 2011, 7:25

        Well, if a McLaren is on fresh tyres and a HRT is on shot tyres we might even see a McL overtaking a HRT this season !?!?

        Lol… Winner!!

        • IceMan said on 11th March 2011, 7:42

          in 2009 McLaren developed a dog into a race winning machine before the end of year.Their developement will be too aggressive over the season. I am still keeping my fingers crossed Lewis will do a spectacular dual with Vettel and Alonso. Alas If Lewis had a RedBull.

  2. Rob Wilson said on 10th March 2011, 20:39

    This season could either be epic wih a million overtakes per race or one great big huge fart of a tyre fail. (Bernie on the phone to Pirelli man) “When i said more degradation, i didn’t think you would take it this far” *facepalm*

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th March 2011, 20:42

    I bet Tonio is looking forward to that in his HRT! It does more or less confirm what Alonso said about this being a bit of a risk for the big teams.

    I am so much looking forward to the season. Just let us hope Melbourne wont bring us another Bahrain ’10 race!

    • Adam Tate said on 10th March 2011, 22:17

      Don’t worry, that’s impossible because Melbourne is an infinitely more interesting track than Bahrain.

  4. The New Hope said on 10th March 2011, 20:52

    That would really be something! I like Jaime, by the way. He seems to be getting better with every race.

  5. RIISE (@riise) said on 10th March 2011, 21:05

    That’s what I like to hear. Although don’t overtake Schumi or Alonso please!!!

  6. SennaNmbr1 (@) said on 10th March 2011, 21:05

    We don’t nkow how fast Hispania are yet. They could be faster than Ferrari on equal tyre wear.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 10th March 2011, 22:48

      When that happens HRT will need to add a flying pig to their livery. Or maybe it would be more appropriate for Ferrari to add it to theirs…

  7. marc connell said on 10th March 2011, 21:08

    ill bet all my money that this will happen..

    “so….HRT is faster than you…can you confirm you understood that message?” “

  8. Ryne (@ryne) said on 10th March 2011, 21:08

    Honestly at this point I’ll believe it when I see it.

    All these comments about the tyres makes me wish the season started this week to see what the real truth is.

  9. bleeps_and_tweaks said on 10th March 2011, 21:13

    We need to see how the drivers get on with the tyres at 25-30 degrees, apparently Pirelli reckon they won’t degrade quite so much – maybe a 3 stop race rather than 4!

  10. Icthyes said on 10th March 2011, 21:20

    I like hearing what Jaime has to say, he usually offers a good perspective on things. He would have been an invaluable asset in the era of unlimited testing, if Martin Brundle’s assessment of his abilities is to be believed (which I do!)

  11. Patrickl said on 10th March 2011, 21:28

    I think he’s speaking more hypothetically. In testng we’ve seen lap times jump by over 5 seconds from switching to fresh tyres.

    Of course if that Torro Rosso is on fresh tyres and the Ferrari is on old tyres, even the Torro Rosso could overtake.

    But then how would it make a pitstop and end up behind a Ferrari (that hadn’t made a pitstop) He’d need to be half a minute ahead already for something like that to happen.

    • Amir Anuar said on 11th March 2011, 9:27

      maybe they are lapped by the big gun and because they have a fresh tire they are quicker then the one with old tire they could use it to unlapped themself and that might destroy the big team strategy

  12. Klon (@klon) said on 10th March 2011, 21:30

    Well, of course this may sound ridiculous. On the other hand, though, if you’d said a Super Aguri could overtake the world champion in an open battle back in early 2007, most people would have laughed. So it’s not like this hasn’t happen before.

  13. verstappen said on 10th March 2011, 22:08

    Kobayashi said the same thing.
    As long as those cars still go blitzing fast around those tracks, I’m happy.

    All those words do make me a bit nervous about what’s happening to the sport. Endurance, saving, HRT overtaking…

    The unexpectedness of ‘Canada’ was what made it a memorable race. I wonder how memorable the races will become when everybody knows the tyres degrate so much.

    Having said that, I just want to see how it pans out, before I judge.

  14. F1_Dave said on 10th March 2011, 22:08

    if we do see these big speed differences depending on tyres then the racing will be very poor.

    we will see a car on faster tyres catch upto a car on slower tyres and just easily cruise on by and the drive away, this is not good racing its just a joke.

    good racing is 2 (or more) cars fighting it out on the track under similar circumstances, think imola 2005/2006, 2 drivers pushing flat out one driver fighting hard trying to find a way by a car ahead who is trying to keep him behind.

    with tyres having such large grip/performance differences depending on compound and wear were not going to see good racing, were just going to see one car with so little grip hes unable to do anything about the car which has tons more grip on newer tyres.

  15. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 10th March 2011, 22:43

    Of course they could theoretically over-take…but you need a decent track position in the first place!

    But this does make me think that the remaining 14 cars after the top 10 may have more of an advantage this year than last year.

  16. Victor. said on 10th March 2011, 23:32

    If I’m honest, I’m a bit concerned about the tyre wear.

    It’s all good and lovely to have tyres falling apart, but not to the extent that nursing them is always better than putting one’s foot down. F1 is great because it’s about going as quickly as possible (well, to an extent at least, as Keith’s article about the end of the pursuit of performance showed). The moment looking after one’s tyres becomes more beneficial than absolutely going for it is the moment F1 has missed the trick.

    As Vettel showed in Monza last year the Bridgestones were without a shadow of a doubt too stong. However, does F1 really want tyres that require the driver to keep his rubber alive for longer than his competition rather than to outdrive it? What F1 needs is not massive degradation per se, but tyres that degrade exponentially. It should be a viable option to pit one more time in order to catch the guy in front who opted to stay out. At the moment it seems that the Pirellis let go after a few laps, thwarting any possibility of having different strategies.

    I’m sure massive tyre wear will ‘improve the show’. Whether it will make F1 more exciting though is another issue. It might turn drivers who are wild cats ready to pounce into fluffy pets who look after their rubber. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would prefer drivers to spin, lock up and look for a gap to overtake the guy in front.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th March 2011, 7:06

      I think that moment has already passed. The Bridgestones lasted so long because the drivers were saving them all the time. You don’t think Vettel did all of Monza flat-out, surely?

      • VXR said on 11th March 2011, 8:23

        No one had to save their tyres in 2010. Only at the beginning of the first few laps did you have to look after them at all, when the car was full of fuel.

        • VXR said on 11th March 2011, 8:29

          The teams said that anyone could have done an entire race on any tyre, except for Canada. And in most cases the cars would actually be going faster on old tyres as the fuel load went down!

  17. StefMeister said on 10th March 2011, 23:53

    To me the problem with how the Pirelli’s wear isn’t so much that they wear within 15-20 laps but its the rate they lose performance & the amount of performance they lose over the stint.

    I share a similar concern to F1_Dave in that if we do see 2 drivers on different strategy’s the performance difference between them could be so great that we don’t actually see a nice race between them.

    I watched last year’s Canadian Gp last week & something which i noticed was that the performance between Soft Tyres/Hard Tyres & Worn Tyres/New tyres was never more than around 1.5-2 seconds. This gap was large enough to produce some passing but not too large that it harmed racing.

    For example a car on old tyres had just enough performance left to be able to defend his place which meant the car behind still had to work to find a way past. So when Hamilton/Alonso caught Webber on his older tyres we got a nice scrap over a couple laps with Webber just about able to hold Lewis/Alonso off.

    If the Drop-Off is the 4-5 seconds its been in testing then it could be too big to maintain a good level of racing such as that I describe above.

    I enjoy those good racing battles so don’t want to see such a big tyre difference mean that any car on old tyres is unable to do anything to defend his spot if a car on faster tyres comes up behind him.

    Also concerned about the marbles. Ive seen a lot of images & some video from todays test & the amount of marbles at the sides of the track looks really bad. It was warmer today & in the range Pirelli said the tyres would work in yet from what I’ve seen/heard the warmer temperatures made no difference to the amount of marbles created or the wear rates of the tyres.

  18. VXR said on 11th March 2011, 0:27

    If I’m going to see an HRT overtake a Ferrari, then Pirelli can have my money for a set of their tyres any time!

    Seriously though, I think we’re going to be in for some pretty serious edge-of-the-seat type racing.

    This may not appeal to the sprint-stop-sprint-stop-sprint (or sprint-stop-sprint for 2010) fans of yesteryear, but it sure will make a change to see drivers actually having to ‘drive’ their cars rather than just being some sort of passenger in a ground-to-ground missile, fun-fair ride, arcade game type thing.

  19. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 11th March 2011, 2:17

    Nice thinking but we don’t know how much slower will the HRT be then the Ferrari? So I think that is a wrong concept> I think he should have told that Torro Rosso will overtake Red Bull or Ferrari,that would have been more appropriate.

  20. The Last Pope said on 11th March 2011, 4:30

    If a Ferrari on old tyres can be overtaken by a Hispania on new tyres, does this mean that when a Hispania is on old tyres it could be slower than the safty car?

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