Schumacher continues Pirelli criticism

F1 Fanatic round-up

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2012In the round-up: Michael Schumacher continues to criticise Pirelli’s tyres, saying: “we drive like on raw eggs”.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Schu on tyre troubles: ‘It’s like driving on raw eggs’ (CNN)

“We drive like on raw eggs and I don’t want to stress the tyres at all. Otherwise you just overdo it and you go nowhere.”

Mercedes sideswiped in Formula One deal (The Times, subscription required)

“Mercedes, which is estimated to have spent more than ??1 billion on Grand Prix racing in the past two decades, is on the verge of quitting Formula One as the company is denied a seat in the new boardroom that will control the sport when a Stock Exchange float is completed.”

Mercedes not quitting yet (Sky)

“A spokesman told Sky Sports: ‘We are in discussions with the commercial rights holder and we would like to ask for your understanding that we are not currently commenting on these discussions.'”

Silly stories (Joe Saward)

“There are a bunch of stories knocking around this morning which are designed to be noticed. One is the suggestion that there could be a Bahraini on the board of the Formula One group, another that Mercedes-Benz could pull out of F1. Neither are to be taken too seriously.”

Boullier says Silverstone test ‘nonsense’ (Autosport)

“We had a strong discussion, let’s say, and definitely I was against this, especially for the reasons raised. For me it is absolutely a nonsense to have a young driver test in July when all the young kids are in the middle of the season and focused on racing and the championship. We cannot disturb this. It is completely the wrong timing.”

Jean Alesi bumps IndyCar field to 33 cars for Indy 500 (AutoWeek)

Jean Alesi now has an Indianapolis 500 deal. Surprising as it is, the former Ferrari driver will make his Izod IndyCar Series debut this week in a Lotus fielded by a small Firestone Indy Lights team.”

Rubens Barrichello on first 200 mph oval lap: ‘Bloody fast’ (USA Today)

“It was bloody fast and very, very much different than anything I have ever tried. I’ve had places that in Formula One that they say, ‘Oh, it’s almost flat and it’s a big corner and it’s a big challenge.’ But the walls were never so close.”

Who was Villeneuve (Ferrari)

“When he died, everyone had already been resigned to it for a while. There was something in the air that meant it could have happened at any moment. Few people went to say their final farewell at the hospital in Lovanio and you could count the drivers on the fingers of one hand.”

An old-school circuit (ESPN)

“F1 photographer Mark Sutton picks his six favourite shots from last week’s test in Mugello.”

Comment of the day

The crowd looked healthier at the Chinese Grand Prix this year. PRCandME was there:

More like 75,000 to 100,000. The main grandstands were completely full and the two opposing stands at the hairpin were 95% there. It?s a huge place. I?ve been there the past 5 out of 6 years and this is the largest crowd I?ve seen yet.


From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Miguel and Tororosso!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Gilles Villeneuve died in a crash during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix 30 years ago today. An article on that terrible weekend will appear here later today.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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113 comments on Schumacher continues Pirelli criticism

  1. Nigel Bates (@nigel1) said on 8th May 2012, 10:35

    “I’ve had places that in Formula One that they say, ‘Oh, it’s almost flat and it’s a big corner and it’s a big challenge.’ But the walls were never so close.”

    Rubens has obviously forgotten his experience with Michael & the wall….

  2. Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 8th May 2012, 12:23

    I just have one very simple question to ask:

    Keith, where exactly in the interview of CNN did you hear Michael criticizing “Pirelli”?


    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th May 2012, 12:33

      He criticises the tyres which are made by Pirelli. It’s not exactly a leap.

      • Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 8th May 2012, 12:41

        He criticises the tyres made by a firm.

        He criticises the role of these tyres in F1 racing. He criticises the governing body of Formula One, in other words.

        You’re young and your dream is to become an F1 driver. You want to compete to the limits of the machinery. That’s your dream. Ask whoever driver you want “Why did you want to become a racer?” I really doubt that somebody would say “’cause I want to preserve the car and the tyres, I’m an ‘eco-driver’.”

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th May 2012, 12:45

          You can split hairs all you want, he’s still criticising the tyres made by Pirelli.

          • Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 8th May 2012, 13:05

            I do not want to deal perfunctorily with this matter and that’s why I’m eager to scrutinize it.

          • John H (@john-h) said on 8th May 2012, 14:04

            @hadzhiev makes a good point doesn’t he? Isn’t Schumacher criticising the FIA for asking Pirelli to make such aggressive tyres?

            I think a lot of comments on here may come across as anti-Pirelli, but are actually aimed at the FIA.

            It’s a bit like blaming McLaren for the way the ECU turned out isn’t it (not that there’s anything wrong with it)?

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th May 2012, 14:59

            @john-h This takes me back to my original comment – all Schumacher has done is complained about the tyres. Lots of people are trying to make a case for this and that based on what he’s said, but so far there’s not much more to it than ‘I don’t like Pirelli’s tyres':


          • John H (@john-h) said on 8th May 2012, 15:28

            @keithcollantine Fair point. I believe he is criticising how the tyres have eneded up being and not just Pirelli though (which is the headline) – he hasn’t actually said the word Pirelli himself and I do think that is an important distinction, but I understand if you see it differently. Remember that Hembery has also been saying that ‘this is what we were asked to do’ by the FIA.

            By the way, I thought your poll the other day was very good (and comes back to your linked comment) – not just asking us if the tyres were a problem or not, but also what we would do to change things. Seems like ‘keeping tyres as they are’ is coming out on top so if that’s the majority opinion then clearly the fans don’t want change and Schumacher will have to grin and bear it!

          • Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 8th May 2012, 15:59

            I would basically agree with you.
            The results from the poll are almost all alike so it could also be said that half of the F1 fans wants the tyres to be slightly more conservative.
            It has to be taken into consideration that this blog is run by englishmen (the administrator, most of the user base and so on). If you could just take a look at other forums, blogs, etc. you’re going to find out that almost two-thirds of the F1 fans want more durable tyres (especially lower degradation rate). In Bulgaria there’s a similar poll in the Club Speed 1 Magazine’s Forums and 55 % of the votes went for “much more conservative tyres”.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th May 2012, 16:22

            @hadzhiev The bizarre fixation some people seem to have with nationality never ceases to baffle me. My nationality has nothing to do with my opinion on tyres in F1, a fact most people would probably take for granted.

            Nor is ‘most of the site’s user base English’. Around a third of the users visits the site from Britain – not all of those will be English of course, though the majority probably are. At a generous estimate I’d say no more than 30% of the site’s users are English, though it passes understanding why it matters so much to you in the context of a discussion about tyres.

            The results from the poll are almost all alike so it could also be said that half of the F1 fans wants the tyres to be slightly more conservative.

            As I write this 34% want ‘slightly more conservative tyres’ and a further 8% want ‘much more conservative tyres’. The debate is finely poised but either way that’s not quite half:


          • Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 9th May 2012, 9:53

            You think it’s a bizarre fixation, ok, then let’s make a poll and ask all the English whether they like Schumacher, I’m ready to do the same poll on the Club Speed 1 Magazine’s Forum (which is the biggest forum for Formula One in Bulgaria and partly in Macedonia) and ask the same question the Bulgarian and the Macedonian.
            I’ll be really surprised if there are more than 35 % who like Schumacher in Great Britain, but I can make a wager for a large stake that there will be more than 60 % of the Bulgarian and the Macedonian.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th May 2012, 18:11

            but @hadzhiev, if you want to compare a poll on F1Fanatic with your Bulgarian/Macedonian focussed blog, its no problem to compare. Just the result will not say much about Englishmen (or people with UK IP adresses to be more correct) vs. Bulgarians/Macedonians.

            To compare different countries preferences’ you would better compare with, say, a Dutch blog, a German blog, an Italian one and maybe a spanish one. Or you should start a forum post where you explicitly ask Englishmen to give their feelings about Schumacher.
            The big difference is, here at F1Fanatic you get about one 3rd UK respondents, quite a lot of people from the US (was it some 18%?), then from a whole load of other people ranging from Germans, Latvians, Finns, Slovakians, French, Dutch, Spanish, to Chinese, Bahraini, Australians and Indian people (far from complete list), so while it’s not going to be a perfect sample of the average fan worldwide, its a lot closer than when you take people from a single country.

  3. Mads (@mads) said on 8th May 2012, 12:25

    Schumi really needs to stop the rant and start acting like an adult.
    Where is the solution to this “issue”? What does he want?
    He just complains and complains, but what can Pirelli do other then to hit back the way they did after his last outburst?
    I agree with his point that it would be more exciting to see more flat out racing, but what can Pirelli do about it?
    I don’t know, and right now I think F1 is in a pretty good place to be honest.

  4. kenneth Ntulume said on 8th May 2012, 12:44

    The most likely and obvious goal of F1, is to provide a racing spectacle for us the fans. However if we have an element that is preventing racers from racing optimally as they would love, then the Pirelli tiers, as they are now, are no good, and FIA and them should really listen and provide Tyres that allow drivers to go flat out, if and when they can

  5. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 8th May 2012, 13:07

    The tyres are the same for everyone – and I’m sure most of the F1 teams will find a set-up that works for them. Lotus seem to be furthest on at the moment, as are DAMS in GP2.

    Maybe it’s time for Schumacher to go away and start beating Ralf and David Coulthard again, in DTM. Or take Mercedes back into sportscars, they’d be very welcome there.

    But I’d want Mercedes to stay in F1 too. I don’t doubt their long-term commitment to F1 which Joe blogs, but if they did fall out with Bernie…well, don’t throw away your Brawn GP caps just yet. Typical Sky News rubbish by the way – first with a MASSIVE exclusive, then they actually do their research, and that becomes a second, and third, story. And the Times just looks like a sales brochure for Sky these days.

  6. GeorgeDaviesF1 (@georgedaviesf1) said on 8th May 2012, 13:58

    So Schumacher mentioned eggs, Vettel Cucumber in Malaysia, who will be the next driver to mention food this season & what will the food be?

  7. dkpioe said on 8th May 2012, 14:06

    i really think that if shumacher was getting results he wouldnt make these comments, the others arent especially his teammate! this is making him look like a sore-sport because every other driver has the same tyres, yet because he isnt getting results its almost like he cant get the win with skill alone, so he is trying to use poletics to get the tyres changed to suit him – he knows millions of gullible fans will support his oppion because they support him.

    • dkpioe said on 8th May 2012, 14:08

      also i dont think changing the tyres would make schumacher more competitive, he wasnt in 2010 and 2011. all it would do would make it more dull for the fans, many who do not want Vettel winning every race again.

  8. davros said on 8th May 2012, 14:17

    I agree completely with Schumacher and don’t understand why everyone is critical of him. Surely we all want to see a formula where drivers can push and test their limits???
    I can imagine if I were in Schumacher’s position I would equally find it frustrating, and it’s got nothing to do with any driver struggling with the situation.

    I thing it’s analagous to Jimi Hendrix going out to perform a gig and being told to just strum the guitar gently.

  9. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 8th May 2012, 16:02

    RIP Gilles, you Rene share the greatest moment there’ll ever be in Formula 1.

  10. TED BELL said on 8th May 2012, 16:43

    Jeezus Christ….when Schumacher says the tires are a problem THEN THEY ARE A PROBLEM.

    The solution is NOT USE THEM or to adjust the FIA rules and let the teams use as many as they need for a weekend. The restricted numbers are like giving a kid a gun with one bullet.
    At somepoint someone will get hurt by this “improved competitive solution”

    I understand that the experts are smarter than Schumacher, they certainly know more than him when dealing with the limits of an Formula One car.

    Introduce a second tire manufacturer, that will be the end of the Pirelli Candy Tires.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th May 2012, 17:39

      Just because Schumacher disapproves of them doesn’t mean they have to be changed. I remember Schumacher defending traction control in F1 and I don’t see anyone complaining that they got rid of that.

      • TED BELL said on 8th May 2012, 20:25

        Yeah because they figured it out and the advantage gained ruined everyones race weekends.

        The problem with these tires is that nobody can figure them out and when a guy like MS calls them out for making a less than great product, the tire company should respect why he is saying what he is and learn from the guy who knows why he is critical about them and how the performance of the tire is questionable.The Pirelli answer is to dismiss the knowledge and experience of the greatest driver in the world.

        Is there any other series where tires fail like these Pirellis do? The answer is of course not.

        What driver in their right mind would want to race on a tire that has unknown charateristics, lasts maybe a half dozen laps before becoming worn out and prevents drivers from qualifying and testing the edge of performance with these highest of technological machines.

        Can’t you see how stupid this is???

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th May 2012, 20:45

      No, they’re really not. He is not the future of the sport. Consult those who are.

      • artificial racer said on 8th May 2012, 22:40

        Others have criticized as well, but usually in a more oblique way, or anonymously (because talking to the media is another area where drivers must learn to drive on raw eggs…)

      • TED BELL said on 9th May 2012, 0:48

        Please…..yeah lets get Dani Clos impression because he certainly is the future…

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th May 2012, 20:43

    Oh no, not tyres again!

    Trust F1 to over react to something that isn’t even an issue.

    • TED BELL said on 9th May 2012, 0:55

      You are kidding right ??? You watch Formula One right ??? You think that tires are not an issue ??? Watch Barcelona this weekend and that note of the ISSUES with Pirelli tires and how the race is impacted by these issues…

  12. pking008 (@pking008) said on 8th May 2012, 21:27

    There can be only one looser in this argument between Schumacher and Pirelli and the loosers name is not Schumacher! This is total bad publicity for Pirelli and they best realize that. Pirelli tyres will never go on any of my cars again ever and I am sure that goes for at least 1 million other people worldwide reading these argument between a 7x wdc and a tyre manufacturer. Pirelli wants to play with their brand? good luck to them.

  13. Dizzy said on 8th May 2012, 21:55

    people are all over Michael for his comments yet iognoring that its not just michael thats been critical of the tyres.

    martin brundle mentioned that 2 other top f1 drivers had similar complaints & i saw comments over the weekend from martin whitmarsh who mentioned tyres were becomming a bit too important.

    then there is the fans that f1/pirelli are allegedly listning to. most of the fans on james allens website agree with michael, most of the tyre related comments on several other message boards im a member of also agree with michael.
    polling done by speed channel in north america suggest’s a vast majority of american fans dont like the tyres either.

  14. F1_Dave1 said on 8th May 2012, 22:03

    pirelli also screwed up the worl dsuperbike races this weekend-

  15. David Livingstone said on 8th May 2012, 23:30

    Schumacher really is on the money. Regardless of whether or not the drivers enjoy the tyres or can get them to work, they’re not doing the sport any good.

    Consider this; often cited this year are team members and/or drivers explaining that getting their Pirelli’s into the operating window (and keeping them there) is the largest area of performance gain — or loss. This seems absurd when we’re dealing with new compounds, compounds the teams only get to test AFTER they’ve spent the better part of season of R&D on their new car. You simply can’t backtrack if the rubber isn’t there beneath you.

    Add this to the fact that drivers should be allowed to push hard and climb through the ranks of the field, something which is almost prohibited by the Pirellis; push too hard in dirty air and you reach the point of thermal degradation too quickly.

    It seems daft, it’s a lottery. At very least, F1 needs consistency in it’s tyres, that way teams can develop in such a way that you don’t get surprised and spend a season sacrificing other parts of your car’s performance in order to make the new rubber work.

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