Drivers unhappy with “slow” new hard tyre

2011 Spanish GP FP2 analysis

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Barcelona, 2011

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Barcelona, 2011

Several F1 drivers voiced complaints about Pirelli’s new hard tyre introduced at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend.

Kamui Kobayashi said: “The new superhard compound gives you the feeling you are driving a totally different car. They are so slow.

“This is going to be tricky for everyone and might produce interesting tyre strategies in the race.”

Lewis Hamilton was more critical, describing them as “disastrous”.

The new compounds were supposed to allow drivers to run slightly longer stints, opening up new strategic options.

But the compound has proved very slow. Rubens Barrichello was told during the course of the second practice session they were around two seconds per lap slower.

Here is the data from the second practice session:

Longest stint comparison

  • The harder tyre appear to last reasonably well – see Mark Webber’s stint from the beginning of the session below. But they are clearly lacking in performance – though consistent, his lap times are in the 1’29s
  • Jenson Button couldn’t mnake the tyres last as well as Webber could, and Ferrari didn’t do a run of comparable length

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Sebastian Vettel 88.65 88.263 88.011 88.77 98.198 88.594 96.581 88.751 101.811 91.953 89.074 89.677 97.553 90.341
Mark Webber 91.866 90.595 90.72 90.762 90.012 89.128 89.397 89.578 89.666 89.716 89.555 89.733 89.551 97.319 89.282
Lewis Hamilton 89.367 89.188 88.32 94.929 89.467 91.954 89.484 89.747
Jenson Button 91.181 90.212 89.973 90.493 92.273 89.425 89.155 90.211 89.473 90.38 94.206 90.339 90.971 93.837
Fernando Alonso 85.707 95.73 85.445 94.133 89.732 86.73
Felipe Massa 88.01 86.836 86.597 90.719 88.557 86.361
Michael Schumacher 90.706 90.789 91.859 90.216 90.347 90.535 91.044 92.647 94.059 93.379
Nico Rosberg 95.001 90.375 90.344 90.62 90.209 96.725
Nick Heidfeld 96.474 90.674 90.365 96.698 89.913 90.325 90.378 90.671 93.014 92.427 91.649 92.321
Vitaly Petrov 92.089 92 91.873 92.848 91.088 91.869 91.954 95.118 91.944 91.576 92.089 92.113 92.007 92.607 91.848 92.133 92.381 92.821
Rubens Barrichello 91.105 90.633 93.443 90.781 91.106 92.113 91.62 91.881 92.104 92.274 92.379
Pastor Maldonado 93.371 92.619 92.581 92.668 92.631 92.594 92.195 92.632 92.845 92.91 92.881 92.925 92.746 92.348 92.764 92.543 93.977
Adrian Sutil 100.593 88.605 87.123 94.479 88.508
Paul di Resta 91.341 92.306 92.22 91.941 91.378 91.654 92.114 92.185
Kamui Kobayashi 90.17 90.92 90.4 92.105 91.082 90.794 91.854 91.308 91.037 91.446
Sergio Perez 92.208 91.732 91.624 92.817 94.543 92.55 92.068 92.339 91.583
Sebastien Buemi 90.814 91.255 91.698 90.939 91.46 91.154 91.013 91.628
Jaime Alguersuari 93.279 92.307 92.457 92.218 92.56 92.283 92.595 92.302 92.499 92.219 94.996 93.139 94.675 93.986 93.53
Heikki Kovalainen 91.433 92.42 90.93 93.073 92.024 91.768 91.564 91.058 90.899 91.111
Jarno Trulli 87.311 94.589 87.189 89.285 89.901 88.144 89.42 89.997
Narain Karthikeyan 95.839 95.08 94.485 95.224
Vitantonio Liuzzi 93.303 93.047 92.976 92.907 93.299 94.506 94.7 93.336 94.887 93.789 94.806 96.85
Timo Glock 91.99 92.487 88.7 107.859 88.062
Jerome dAmbrosio 95.54 95.517 95.868 95.237 96.761 94.909 95.315 95.097 95.672 95.349

Ultimate lap times

  • Unusually, Sebastian Vettel found himself behind his team mate, although he does have some time in hand
  • Fernando Alonso was delayed by Nick Heidfeld on his fastest lap, and should be able to go at least two tenths of a second quicker
  • The ultimate laps of both HRTs were outside 1.7% of Webber’s time by over a second. They will be hoping the fastest cars do not use soft tyres in Q1 or they may not qualify
Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’22.470 0.000
2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’22.509 0.039 0.000
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’22.695 0.225 0.131
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’23.188 0.718 0.000
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’23.356 0.886 0.212
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’23.586 1.116 0.000
7 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’23.662 1.192 0.319
8 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.231 1.761 0.059
9 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’24.243 1.773 0.123
10 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’24.278 1.808 0.000
11 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.417 1.947 0.066
12 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’24.729 2.259 0.057
13 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.007 2.537 0.450
14 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’25.042 2.572 0.261
15 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.296 2.826 0.000
16 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’25.603 3.133 0.000
17 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’26.073 3.603 0.000
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’26.417 3.947 0.000
19 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’26.811 4.341 0.312
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’26.968 4.498 0.221
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’27.925 5.455 0.137
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’28.036 5.566 0.000
23 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’29.253 6.783 0.216
24 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’29.469 6.999 0.007

Complete practice times

  • Both Virgins were well clear of the HRTs. Colin Kolles said: “The time sheet doesn?t look too good today but I?m positive because I know what we have done and I think tomorrow we will see the real performance of the car. We only did long runs and were not running on low levels of fuel.”
  • Sauber looked promising in both sessions and on the strength of this should be in contention for places in Q3
  • Despite their updated car Force India are languishing among the Lotuses. an Sutil believes there’s more performance to come, saying: “I ran with all our new aero parts this morning and in the afternoon, but to be honest we haven?t managed to find the sweet spot yet.”
Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Stint lap At time Laps
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’22.470 1/1 47 35
2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’22.509 0.039 1/1 60 27
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’22.826 0.356 1/3 44 37
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’23.188 0.718 1/1 54 32
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’23.568 1.098 1/4 63 34
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’23.586 1.116 1/1 52 35
7 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’23.981 1.511 3/3 53 30
8 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’24.278 1.808 1/2 65 30
9 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.290 1.820 1/2 54 33
10 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’24.366 1.896 1/3 44 31
11 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.483 2.013 2/3 48 38
12 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’24.786 2.316 1/3 35 43
13 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.296 2.826 1/1 63 33
14 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’25.303 2.833 1/3 58 38
15 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.457 2.987 1/2 44 34
16 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’25.603 3.133 3/3 25 43
17 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’26.073 3.603 1/2 66 32
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’26.417 3.947 1/3 58 37
19 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’27.123 4.653 3/5 88 20
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’27.189 4.719 3/8 82 34
21 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’28.036 5.566 1/2 37 36
22 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’28.062 5.592 5/5 89 28
23 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’29.469 6.999 1/2 57 28
24 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’29.476 7.006 2/3 58 31

Speed trap

  • As was often the case last year Red Bull seem content to sacrifice straight-line speed for lap time
# Driver Car Engine Max speed Gap
1 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 326.2
2 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 324.9 1.3
3 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams Cosworth 322 4.2
4 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 321.9 4.3
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 321.1 5.1
6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes Mercedes 320.4 5.8
7 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault Renault 320 6.2
8 15 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 319.5 6.7
9 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault Renault 319.3 6.9
10 14 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 318.3 7.9
11 17 Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 317.7 8.5
12 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 317.6 8.6
13 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 317.6 8.6
14 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 316.6 9.6
15 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 315.4 10.8
16 4 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 315.4 10.8
17 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin Cosworth 313 13.2
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Renault 312.8 13.4
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin Cosworth 312.7 13.5
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus Renault 312.2 14
21 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 312 14.2
22 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 311.6 14.6
23 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT Cosworth 308 18.2
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT Cosworth 308 18.2

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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68 comments on Drivers unhappy with “slow” new hard tyre

  1. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 20th May 2011, 16:44

    I foresee two scenarios:

    1) Drivers make an extra stop because having less time on a slow tyre outweighs the time penalty. Though this is probably unlikely given the length of the pitlane (they missed a trick when they built that new chicane, the entrance could have gone straight past it).
    2) We see a lot more people start on the hard tyre to get it out of the way and take the fuel-induced higher degradation on the slowest tyre.

    • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 20th May 2011, 16:51

      either way, to my mind it won’t be solving the problem – that we need the drivers to have more than one viable strategy option. If everyone is doing the same thing then Pirelli have failed in one of their objectives – to bring back racing strategy.

      It concerns me that, thus far, the reason that the races have been great is because the teams are not yet on top of tyre strategy. Once they are, they will all swap at the optimum time etc and we’ll see a return to the more typical processional race. That’s why we need more than one realistic strategy.

      • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 20th May 2011, 16:57

        and, additionally, its going to emphasise saving soft tyres in qualifying – which, in my opinion, is a bad thing

        • sid said on 21st May 2011, 5:48

          A 2.2 second gap in the compounds will mean that mid runners can challenge the top teams in Q1 – so i feel that top teams will be forced to use the soft…atleast some of the teams.

        • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 21st May 2011, 14:08

          and thus, it came to be that qualifying was dictated by tyres. Boring.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 20th May 2011, 18:23

        We seem to have ended up with tyres that are slower and less durable. I think “disaster” is the exactly the right word to use.

        It may just be that these tyres are too hard for these conditions, which would explain it better than Pirelli being incompetent. I hope so.

      • Ragerod said on 20th May 2011, 20:55

        Completely agree. A gap of two seconds between the tyres for just an additional 6 or 7 laps is too much.

        There are still plenty of issues with these tyres that need to be worked.

    • babis1980 (@babis1980) said on 20th May 2011, 23:11

      I checked my crystal ball and i saw the following…..

      With this extra hard tyre we will see 3 different strategies. Many will go for the classic 3 stopper (twice the soft and the hard at the end), Kamui-Perez and Buemi will go for a 2 stopper (twice the hard and a blistering last stint with the fresh soft) and Webber will go for the 4 stopper-Webber (three sets of soft and a hard).

      If there will be a safety car (I think that it is about time to see the SC this year!!!) the most exciting stategy will be a 2 stopper.

      Pirelli is doing whay they were asked. Sundays race will be a classic. Quali will be Webber-Vettel (not particulary in this order), McLarens, Alonso, Merc, Massa and Saubers. Lotus will for sure have a car in Q2 or maybe both cars. Let’s see…shall we?

  2. MattB said on 20th May 2011, 16:47

    Surely the straight line speed deficit for Red Bull is going to be great for anyone who is able to follow them around the track… Even midfield people will be able to overtake! Paul di Resta is about 8 seconds faster down the straights + DRS advantage = quite a lot! Also, they will be less able to utilse the effect of DRS here.

    Looking forward to it…

  3. MarcusAurelius (@marcusaurelius) said on 20th May 2011, 16:52

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a driver makes it to Q3 on hard tires and then sticking to the hard tire to save the precious soft tires…

    • Sound_Of_Madness said on 20th May 2011, 17:05

      I would be surprised if a driver makes it to Q3 on hard tires.

    • BBQ2 said on 20th May 2011, 17:07

      Hard to come by Marcus, as no driver ever made it to Q3 without using soft tyres. If any of the front runners do not use soft in Q1, then Lotus will surely be in Q2. That is my prediction 8)

      • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 17:49

        I don’t think anyone can risk not going soft tyre in every session. The new hards are just too slow.

  4. RealF1 said on 20th May 2011, 17:00

    For me. The Pirelli tires sucks.. They caused all kind of setbacks to the cars. Hard tires really gonna make them struggle esp due tot he weather there.. Hope we see a great race and less Pit stops. Catch me on twitter for more F1 discussion @baffah_g

    • Adrian J said on 20th May 2011, 17:11

      Pirelli made what they were asked to make.

      They could have made a tyre that behaved the same as the Bridgestones but were asked not to do that but to do something else, which is what they’ve done.

      If these new hard tyres aren’t a success then I can see them dropping them after this race and going back to the previous compound while they try and come up with something in between the 2.

    • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 17:53

      I agree, the tyre(s) are too poor.
      Yes they needed to last less durable than the Bridgestones but this is taking the…….
      and now a hard tyre that is sooo slow and inconsistent, a recipe for F1 lottery, we could record the Saturday night draw instead and watch that.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 20th May 2011, 18:14

      So… you want fewer pit stops but you don’t like tyres that last longer?

  5. bob80 said on 20th May 2011, 17:06

    Maybe some of the slower teams will make pitstop on lap No 1.

  6. MVEilenstein (@mveilenstein) said on 20th May 2011, 17:13

    Several F1 drivers voiced complaints about Pirelli’s new hard tyre everything, because they’re drivers.

  7. wigster (@wigster) said on 20th May 2011, 17:25

    If the hard tyres are really 1.5 – 2 seconds a lap slower it might mean everyone from the top teams will have to use softs in q1, not just ferrari. Theres no way anyone will be able to get through q2 on hards, not even vettel.

    There my also be a risk that whoever wins the race will simply be the driver from the top 4 teams that spends the least amount of laps on superhard (super slow) tyres in the race.

  8. Rahim.RG (@rahim-rg) said on 20th May 2011, 17:33

    Drivers are gonna care about their race…not about the show for the Fans…Lets just enjoy the complaints and the Pirelli Tyres on Sunday…

  9. Forget about the tyres. The history is that Ferrari rear wing is under FIA scrutiny.

    Hope they fix it because FIA was very keen to punish Sauber with what seems to be the same problem:

    “Slot-gap separators must be 200mm apart. Rule 3.10.3″

    • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 17:55

      Does it matter?, they will just revert to what they had in the first rounds, no drama.
      Now if it had been discovered after Qualifying that is a different matter.

    • SparkyJ23 (@sparkyj23) said on 20th May 2011, 21:25

      Non story – teams can run stuff that isn’t race legal in Practice just not in Qualifying or the race.

    • Patrickl said on 21st May 2011, 1:04

      Sauber were caught out on a a radius problem in their rear wing.

      3.10.1:

      “Furthermore, no part of this section in contact with the external air stream may have a local concave radius of curvature smaller than 100mm.

  10. BBT said on 20th May 2011, 17:57

    PS I think Hamilton’s comment is to detract from his true pace.
    Those upgrades are looking good but I think RBR as sandbagging a bit

  11. Burnout (@burnout) said on 20th May 2011, 18:01

    How long can teams keep the soft tyres working? That’ll probably be the biggest factor on race day. If cars can’t go more than 75% of race distance on 3 sets of soft tyres it will be interesting to see when and how teams use the “superhard” tyres.

  12. xabregas said on 20th May 2011, 18:44

    Weren´t the drivers asked in the last 2 races after some friday practice with this new hard tyre what their thinking was about his behavier??
    So why are they complaining now?? Isn´t the same for everybody??
    This tyre will mess the strategy not only in the race but also in qualifying which will be good.

    • Patrickl said on 21st May 2011, 1:06

      Why not just hold a raffle instead of qualifying then? That sure will “mess strategy”.

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 20th May 2011, 19:02

    ISn’t it enough with the silly DRS to spoil true races? I mean, this kind of lucky raffle about tyre strategy is going nowhere. If it was making a point, not only RB but other teams would be winning races. It’s messing the middle-teams battle. I personally don’t like the way Piralli is doing its job (well, they ususally say they are just asked to do so). Tyre degradation is one of this day going to make a big-shame headline if there comes an accident for some tyres blowing unexpectedly, or for a pilot who tries to stay longer in soft tyres spinning on marbles and crashing. Just the same as worrying as Barrichello warning about DRS in Monaco. Scary. I hope to be wrong about this for the rest of the year. We really miss Senna, FIA shouldn’t risk pilots more than what they already do. F1 safety has improved a lot, I know, but don’t push the limits.

  14. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 20th May 2011, 19:16

    Whinge, whinge, whinge. These are the rules and they’ve made the races very entertaining. A harder tyre should be slower than a softer one, that has almost always been the case. By using a hard tyre you are sacrificing some grip for more durability. If they were the same pace everybody would just use the hards and racing would be boring and processional again. You can’t have it all! Sacrifices have ot be made to get what you want!

    Without the tyre management required this year Red Bull would have easily won every race and then you’d all be whinging that F1 is boring. At least we get some action and strategy cock-ups now as we saw in china which allowed Lewis to win.

    Pirelli, in my merely humble opinion, are doing a fantastic job!

    • Shiro said on 20th May 2011, 20:00

      You’re completely missing the point. The point of the new hard tyre was to improve durability, but it’s even slower than the older-spec version so you lose even more time anyway. The hard tyre is supposed to act as the prime, instead it’s more of a compromised option tyre than the option tyres themselves. That is not what Pirelli intended and the drivers are acknowledging that.

    • Shiro said on 20th May 2011, 20:03

      P.S.

      The drivers love the softer (what is SUPPOSED to be the LEAST favoured comound) option tyre. I don’t understand how you can misinterpret the criticism of the new hard tyre as an attack on Pirelli.

    • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 20:41

      Without the tyre management required

      When will people wake up, there is NO tyre management. For each car they last X laps. It is nothing to do with driver skill or looking after them. Its luck and luck in the outcome of the design of the car. Tyre management mean the different between pitting one or two laps earlier which is totally discounted by ‘luck’ in what traffic you come out in or all sorts of other factors. Tyre management, piff!

      • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 20:48

        By the way,
        I’m not saying the tyre are totally rubbish. They just need to be consistent between sets and the softs need to be faster than the hards with the slower hards and lasting longer than they do. It’s no good if they last the same +/- 2 – 4 laps.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 20th May 2011, 21:01

        That’s clearly not the case – some drivers are consistently able to do fewer stops than their team mates. such as Vettel, Button and Buemi.

        • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 21:09

          I’m not so sure, Vettel has clean air (the same as a car naturally better on its tyres) Button is better on his tyres if you look at the number of stops, but it doesn’t help him, he’s ran less stops but shouldn’t of, its been a mistake as he himself and Whitmarsh admitted, that’s why I say tyre management is a myth. Buemi same. No evidence that tyre management is helping any of those drivers.

          However after reading and looking at some data the new hard doesn’t look as bad as the drivers are saying and might be a step in the right direction from the previous hard tyre. We’ll see.

          • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 21:12

            Hard: It is slower but is now lasting much longer so I take back the 2 – 4 laps difference comment (that was the old hard tyre).

        • SparkyJ23 (@sparkyj23) said on 20th May 2011, 21:27

          Kobyashi is the only driver who seems to make tyre management work – He’s stopping less and placing better for it.

        • Shiro said on 20th May 2011, 22:39

          Disagree with Button. Malaysia was more down to tyre strategy in qualifying, and Turkey Hamilton was able to do a three-stop, just that he might as well have pitted anyway as a precaution like Vettel did.

          • BBT said on 21st May 2011, 8:35

            Thinking about it more, I still stand by the managing tyre myth.
            The driver examples Keith gives provides more evidence, it does not disprove it.
            Both Button and Vettel have lost places due to less pit-stops, for Vettel it cost him a win. Doing less pit-stops was not tyre management but a strategic mistake

  15. yohei (@yohei) said on 20th May 2011, 19:36

    Pirelli sucks. I miss the tyre war among Bridgestone and Goodyear.

    • Patrickl said on 21st May 2011, 1:07

      hear hear. At least then the tyres and pitstops actually had some meaning. Now they are just nursing the cars from stop to stop. Driving by cars that are on a another strategy with ridiculous ease.

      It’s depressing to see how even battle hardened F1 fanatics actually seem to like this nonsense.

      • BBT said on 21st May 2011, 8:45

        Agree, the overtaking means nothing when there is little or no skill.
        I’d much rather have last session.
        Its a bit like changing the rules in football so every game you get more goals i.e scores like 21 – 12, doesn’t make the game any better a 2 – 1 game (or even a 1 -0) would be just as good without the meaningless goals.
        For me overtaking was only a small part of the overall of the viewing enjoyment, throwing the cars into the cars and lock ups in the braking zones, the pure speed, the racing was just as exciting.

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