Webber says tyres produce more exciting racing

F1 Fanatic round-up

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Mugello, 2012In the round-up: Mark Webber joins the debate over whether F1’s tyre situation is helping or harming the sport.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Webber defends the Pirellis (Sky)

“We would all love to have quicker lap times, extremely consistent tyres, finishing with the race pace like we had in qualifying. That’s obviously what the drivers would love, but that wasn’t the most exciting thing for the racing. Trying to find somewhere in the middle is never easy and at the moment we have a pretty good show for the crowd. Whether it’s by design or accident… it’s turned out that way.”

Force India via Twitter

“Due to the lack of running for Paul [di Resta] today we have chosen to split the final day of Mugello testing between Paul and Nico [Hulkenberg]. Paul AM & Nico PM.”

Craig Scarborough via Twitter

“Exhausts [on day two at] Mugello: Top exit: Mercedes, Lotus, HRT, Marussia. McLaren-style exhaust: McLaren, Williams, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso. Sauber ramp: Red Bull. Red Bull tunnel: Caterham. Ferrari have Ferrari exhausts, which might change to the Sauber (Red Bull) exhaust or perhaps McLaren (McLaren) exhausts…”

The last time Formula 1 ignored the signs (Autosport, subscription required)

“It is a matter of record that Ecclestone owned Kyalami in the 1980s, having bought it for a pittance (plus liabilities of one million rand, then $500,000) on the day of the 1979 Grand Prix. It was sold on public auction at the height of the FOCA/FISA war a year later; rumour had it Ecclestone appointed a frontman to appease FISA, which accused him of conflict of interest as FOCA boss, Brabham team owner and circuit proprietor.”

Testing… 1, 2, 3! (Unibet)

My weekly column for Unibet.

Comment of the day

Atticus saw Jenson Button’s demo run in Hungary on Tuesday:

I live in Budapest and I was there. These parades brings the action so so close. Button literally did his spins 10 metres away from me. Indeed, there were a lot of people out there. Jenson did his runs, signed autographs and one girl incidentally noted how small he is ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ despite being of the tallest on the grid. I managed to take some magnificently polished close-ups of the MP4-26 as well, they are among my best latest photos. (I am an amateur photographer.)

And boy, these V8 sounds good nevertheless ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ I only heard them live once so far in 2009 at a similar event of Red Bull in Budapest. The V10s of 2005 at the Hungaroring are an even more distant memory. I hope to get to Spa or Monza this year or the next ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ if Spa remains.

All in all, Button?σΤιΌΤδσs demo run was a great experience.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to J.Danzig!

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On this day in F1

Nigel Mansell made it four wins from four starts at the beginning of the 1992 season with victory in the Spanish Grand Prix 20 years ago today.

Mansell dominated the wet race but Michael Schumacher impressed for Benetton, finishing second after Riccardo Patrese crashed. Jean Alesi completed the podium for Ferrari.

Here’s the start of the race. You can see how the track has changed since its original incarnation, including the loss of the fast Nissan chicane, the changes at Campsa, and the more recent addition of a chicane before the final corner.

Image ?ι?® Red Bull/Getty images

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90 comments on Webber says tyres produce more exciting racing

  1. Ral (@ral) said on 3rd May 2012, 11:31

    Honestly, the only thing I would like Pirelli to fix, is the marbles, even though of course that would be difficult. If they can keep the same or similar levels of performance drop-off without the marbles, I think they’re perfect.

    As it is, the marbles essentially create a single racing line, similar to the Bridgestones. But where the Bridgestones did it by rubbering in the racing line, the Pirellis do it by dropping excessive marbles off-line. If they can get rid of them, it would open a lot more overtaking opportunities and also be less costly for people being overtaken, potentially giving them a chance to get back at the overtaker a bit more. It would also have less effect on the races of the backmarkers who now constantly find themselves having to go off-line onto the marbles with blue flags.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd May 2012, 12:08

      @ral I’m not at all convinced that marbles are doing anything to impair the quality of racing.

      People complaining about marbles give an entirely inaccurate impression that drivers are sitting on the racing line and rivals are queuing up behind them, not risking going off-line for fear of getting on the marbles.

      A glance at the last F1 and GP2 races shows that simply isn’t the case. Vettel had no qualms about going off-line to defend from Raikkonen. Nor did Rosberg with Hamilton and Alonso. Sometimes the drivers were able to get past sometimes they weren’t.

      A pass made on the marbles is even more impressive because you know the driver has pulled it off in tricky circumstances. Check out Esteban Gutierrez’s superb pass on Max Chilton on the marbles at the end of the first GP2 race:


      Marbles are just part of racing – you make a mistake, you get on the marbles, you lose time, you’re punished for the mistake. Given all the complaints about tarmac run-offs replacing gravel traps I’d’ve though more people would be glad to see that.

      • Ral (@ral) said on 3rd May 2012, 12:53

        Oh, that wasn’t meant as a criticism. More of a “if that’s the only thing that’s wrong with it, just stop complaining about the tyres already” sort of thing. Something’s gotta be the limiting factor in speed during the race. The way the regulations are at the moment and with the reliability of the cars as high as it is, it’s the tyres. And on past evidence, I would think that’s only a temporary situation until the teams get on top of how to use them.

  2. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 3rd May 2012, 12:11

    I was about to say, Keith, they’re almost a substitute for the gravel. I understand people will say ‘yeh, but that’s on track!’, but clearly it hasn’t deterred many from making a move.

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 3rd May 2012, 13:47

    Webber yet again makes a good point. Racing drivers want to go fast. They don’t want to think that they are being beaten by someone faster, especially if they feel they could have gone faster if it weren’t for a limiting factor. However, these guys themselves know that F1 isn’t solely about speed. They are in F1 by virtue of having the ability to race AND think more than any other race driver in the world. I do fully expect from time to time that their instinct will kick in and they complain about just wanting to go faster. It’s understandable.

  4. Red D said on 3rd May 2012, 16:31

    how does this sound for a “solution”:

    – have tires that instead of having to be nursed for 15 laps last 15 laps pushing almost flat out and possibly 18-19 managing them, where if you go over you hit “the cliff.” I can’t appreciate the sport as “racing” if the drivers aren’t actually trying to drive fast
    – eliminate drs and instead use more powerful kers- this at least gives the car in front a way to defend himself while kers can be used more effectively by the attacker if he sees a specific opportunity (ex: running wide)
    – get rid of parc ferme in its current form. It was instituted because teams ran qualifying engines, brakes, gearboxes. Just allow the team’s to change the setups and do nothing to gearbox, engine, etc. – also top 10 get to start on new tires so people will actually run in q3. qualifying lower shouldn’t be an advantage

    And just for the record people, schumacher isn’t complaining because he isn’t getting custom made tires like he did with ferrari. he’s complaining because the tires aren’t letting ANYONE drive on the limit, which I don’t think is right. Just look at it from a driver’s point of view. They want to drive as fast as possible, not just cruise around to a slow lap delta

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