Understanding the tyres is still key – Brawn

F1 Fanatic round-up

Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2012In the round-up: Ross Brawn says cracking the mysteries of F1’s tyres is “an opportunity not a problem”.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ross Brawn Q&A: Mercedes? best still to come in (F1)

“I am encouraging our people to look at the situation as an opportunity and not as a problem. The team that gets to understand the tyres the soonest in a most effective way will be the team that is most competitive.”

From tyre blankets to tyre wars (ESPN)

“Most people still struggle to understand what went on during the ‘tyre war’. What you ended up with was a couple of companies doing a great job but focusing on one or two teams to the exclusion of all the others. So from a sporting equity point of view it was great if you were a big team but if you were one of the mid-ranking or lower teams then you basically haven’t got a hope and that’s also not good.”

JYS warns Vettel: Ferrari switch would be a mistake (James Allen on F1)

Jackie Stewart:”I think it?s much better to let that pass for the moment and stay with Red Bull because he?s got a team of people that he knows intimately now who are really imperative for him to have and they feel that it?s imperative for them to have him. I wouldn?t break that mold at this time. In fact I would almost wait until I had a very bad year with a Red Bull before I would think of leaving.”

Sauber: 2014 Ferrari engine deal logical (Autosport)

Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn: “Our position, I think as all customer teams have made clear, is that the financial aspect is very important for us. We don’t want to return to the times when you paid so much more than today for the engine.”

Whiting: Schumacher should know the rules (GP Update)

“Michael should know the rules. He caused the aborted start because he left a huge gap to Kobayashi.”

Formula One Betting: 2012 Season Half Term Report (Unibet)

The first part of my look at how the teams are faring this season for Unibet. Look out for part two later today.

Comment of the day

JimN has a few words for those who criticised Lewis Hamilton unlapping himself during the German Grand Prix:

Unlapping has never been penalised and many drivers have unlapped themselves over the years, often to end up with a good finish.

Eddie Irvine passing Ayrton Senna at Suzuka [in 1993], and Jim Clark in the 1967 Italian Grand Prix spring to mind. Clark actually fought back from being a lap down to the lead, although hit troubles later and finished third. There are lots of others I’m sure.
JimN

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

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On this day in F1

The 1982 German Grand Prix, 30 years ago today, produced a win for Ferrari’s Patrick Tambay. He was the only Ferrari in the race after team mate Didier Pironi suffered career-ending injuries in a crash during practice.

Tambay himself had taken the place of Gilles Villeneuve, who had been killed in a crash at Zolder earlier that year.

But the race is best remembered for Nelson Piquet’s impromptu karate moves on Eliseo Salazar, who took him out of the race while he was leading on the home ground of engine supplier BMW.

Here’s the original footage complete with commentary by the BBC’s Murray Walker and James Hunt. Keep an eye out for a miffed Brabham boss Bernie Ecclestone back in the pits:

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113 comments on Understanding the tyres is still key – Brawn

  1. TED BELL said on 8th August 2012, 0:27

    More than half a year into the Pirelli shame and perhaps one of the greatest minds in Formula One is questioning the “mystery of the Pirelli tires”.

    Thats how bad they are….

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 8th August 2012, 0:44

      You mean ‘good’ I assume, seeing as they’re designed to do just that.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 8th August 2012, 6:58

        @matt90 they were designed to have rubbish track life and degrade like a rotten banana. They weren’t, I don’t think – designed to be setup primadonnas

        • Mike (@mike) said on 8th August 2012, 16:39

          You mean the engineers have to learn new things about tyre behaviour almost every weekend? You mean the top teams can’t just throw money at the problem in test facilities? You mean we can’t have predictable boring weekends?

          WHAT HAVE YOU DONE PIRELLI?

          … See? That, was sarcasm.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th August 2012, 2:21

      Ted, I think we need to be a little more specific in why we don’t like these tyres, we don’t want to appear to be simple-minded “haters”.
      I have one problem, and one problem only with these tyres but it is a huge problem.
      That problem is that the tyres degrade so fast that drivers on similar tyre strategies cannot battle for position without destroying the tyres useful life, this sets up processions when a driver in a relatively fast car has the straight line speed to stay ahead but drives through corners slowly and defensively for 15 or so laps to preserve his tyres whist the leader and a the next 2-3 cars drive away in the distance spacing themselves apart to preserve their tyres.
      The argument that the tyres are producing a variety of winners is fallacious, we are having more teams winning because more teams have cars capable of winning, for the most part each car that has won has been the car and driver most suited to the track and conditions on the day not because the team “understood” the tyres. When Williams won their first race in ages it was because the car and driver were performing very well on that circuit and Maldonado used up his entire ration of good sense that weekend, had it been the teams skill at tuning the car for the tyres Williams would be one of the teams leading the constructors championship now because tuning the car to suit the tyres is still not a skill the other teams have mastered. To summarise, I want to see this field of very closely matched cars racing each other for position not racing to a “delta” time to preserve the tyres, more use of the hard compound would go a long way to solving this problem.

      Re qualifying tyres, absolutely not, but an extra qualifying allowance for Q3 definitely yes.

      • BJF1 said on 8th August 2012, 12:36

        Amen!

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 8th August 2012, 13:59

        tuning the car to suit the tyres is still not a skill the other teams have mastered

        There is also the limit of what each car can generate. As I,ve mentioned below: weight distribution and other core design elements of the car that can not be easily modified. If you get the chassis design wrong, you’ll never get the car set-up correctly to conserve tyres.

        Cars should be designed to race not save tyres. Overall, I agree with you. So for me, this whole issue about ” saving tyres” is somewhat ridiculous. It is like asking a tennis player: “hey don’t hit too hard because you need to save your racket”, or the athlete runners: “hey you can not sprint hard, because you need to save your shoes”.

        The other side of the argument is that these tyres have brought some of the best racing we have seen in years. So the only solution I can see, is: remove or ease the tyre limits.

        • James (@) said on 11th August 2012, 2:08

          Now if the runner’s could change shoe’s, but only have so many pair, but have to wear at least two different styles, say cleats and hiking boots, or ballerina slippers… then the runner quickest with the laces could gain an advantage in the curb, of course if it’s raining and you start in rubbers then…

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 8th August 2012, 6:59

      Have we just found out Ted Bell is @calum? :P

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th August 2012, 8:28

      Most of the complaints about the tyres I’ve read have struck me as little more than knee-jerk whingeing.

      Pirelli have done what they were asked to do when they came into the sport a year and a half (not half a year) ago. It’s created some excellent racing regardless of more dubious gimmicks like DRS.

      It’s not as if we’ve seen more compelling alternatives in recent years. We had the Bridgestone spec-tyre era where the compounds were so conservative tyre management ceased to be a factor at all in racing and drivers could complete entire race distances on the softer compound.

      And before that we had the tyre war, the shortcomings of which are summarised by Hembery above and have been discussed at length here previously.

      I fully appreciate that people may disagree with my view and if they wish to put forward reasoned alternative views, that’s great – that’s what F1 Fanatic is here for. But I would like to see a level of debate somewhat higher than the ‘tyre trolling’ we get from some people.

      • MJ4 said on 8th August 2012, 9:30

        Altogether I do like this year’s racing, and I’m also aware that Pirelli was specifically asked to create tyres like these.

        However, doesn’t it strike you as the low-hanging-fruit solution to spicing up races? The root causes for lack of racing (why cars can’t follow each other closely etc.) have been discussed for years now.

        Nothing really gets done about those root causes; instead one particular aspect of racing (tyres) is intentionally dumbed down so much that, as a result, this one part of the car imposes an upper limit on how much drivers can make use of the rest of the machinery.

        As a philosophy, it’s a bit like allowing swimmers to keep using polyurethane swimsuits, but then, in compensation, specifying some special liquid instead of water for the swimming pool that will become unbearably hot if they swim too fast.

        • Drop Valencia! said on 8th August 2012, 11:19

          So you suggest banning pneumatic tyres? Madness!
          :)

        • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 8th August 2012, 11:24

          Its the ‘unlearning’ problem.

          If the engineers are told ‘you can’t use aerodynamics like you do to promote overtaking’, they’ll find something else which will work, likely giving one team a massive advantage and we end up with a one-sided season (like 2011), which nobody wants.

      • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 8th August 2012, 9:32

        I would like to see the tyre compounds and construction remain the same for 2 consecutive seasons rather than change it each year.

        That way at the start of a new compound cycle we would have all the teams flapping around trying to figure out how to run the tyres best as we have seen this year which has been fascinating.

        The top teams then stabilise the battle to understand the rubber with their superior modelling technology so we start to see the top cars getting quicker and quicker as they battle each other for supremacy.

        Then a second season on the same rubber allows the rest of the field to catch up with understanding the tyres and get back into the mix again the following year at least for the first half of the season anyway.

        I’m thinking here that if the tyres were the same for a second season the teams wouldn’t have to divert resources away from chassis/aero research to study a new batch of tyres which could result in an impressive reduction on lap time during the second season.

        The idea behind this is to keep an element of the undpredictable F1 we have nowadays but also see the cars have enough time to develop to suit the tyres fully so we can see the lap times coming down like we used to.

        Then after 2 years the process starts again so the FIA get their safety reset button slowing the cars down again with new tyres whilst we get to see tangible performance improvements over a couple of seasons.

        I always looked forward to a new season for many reasons and I have to say one of those reasons was to be blown away by how much quicker the pole position times were than the previous year. Doesn’t happen anymore.

      • ubik said on 8th August 2012, 9:38

        I think it’s easy. I follow F1 from 1980. Before Pirelli, th lap time in race was the same as qualification, like we see in Moto GP. Then, in 2004, with groove tires and stupid quali with one stint of gas, the F1 was faster up to 3 or 4 seconds, means 8 to 10 seconds faster than now (and 8 years of improve aerodynamics). When Pirelli came, who said that they have to produce tires that last 1 lap (plus installation lap) ? Nobody, it is just words from Pirelli and the consequences of the outcome of races (means super great according to everybody). With machines that has no power anymore, only aerodynamic make them fast (thank’s to corners), they swith to slicks to not be ridiculous, and Pirelli gave tires that don’t last because they can not build fast and durable tires. You will see that the spec 2013 will last longer, they said that, then they want to try to copy what Michelin and Bridgestone did, incredible fast tires which every year were 2 seconds faster. Should Pirelli compete with these manufactures they will be miles and miles away. Then they do not want tires war. Of course, they will loose baddly, spendig millions for nothing. Tires war, i were there when it happened, had the big problem of making tires the only key for the car, the center of everything. But is it really different now when the one who degrades the less is the winner ?
        Last but not least, I read every race on the official website all lap times for everybody and when you do that you understand everything what is happening. And the lap times are very uggly, quite the same lap time for all the race from the beginning to the end. Very uggly, very nonsense. Only people changing tires at the last 10 laps or the very first lap with new tires (driver takes a samll pleasure) see real lap times, 95% of th race is endurance and you see some incredible things like the lap time of the last lap before changing tires is 1 second quicker, they just save tires. Where is the sprint we saw before, where is F1 ? And this is because of Pirelli, I WANT F1 to do race like quali. Like Montezemolo said (and Shumi too), aerodynamic is the problem, F1 should have more mechanical grip and when a car follow an other it should be faster and not be in turbulence. And tires must be things that we do not have to care about, like they do not care about gas (remember an era where people were out of gas, this was very stupid racing too). Every driver and manager talk about tires, good or bad, it is far too much.

        • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 8th August 2012, 14:13

          they just save tires. Where is the sprint we saw before, where is F1 ? And this is because of Pirelli, I WANT F1 to do race like quali. Like Montezemolo said (and Shumi too), aerodynamic is the problem, F1 should have more mechanical grip and when a car follow an other it should be faster and not be in turbulence. And tires must be things that we do not have to care about, like they do not care about gas (remember an era where people were out of gas, this was very stupid racing too). Every driver and manager talk about tires, good or bad, it is far too much.

          @ubik

          I agree with you 100% on that part.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 8th August 2012, 9:51

        I think it’s just a version of ‘Blame Canada’, I mean, people often blame everything else to draw attention away from their own shortcomings. ‘These tyres are so hard to work with’ just sounds better than ‘We haven’t built a car that’s good enough’ or ‘Other people are doing a better job than me, while driving under the current rules’. The same goes for the fans, I probably also would want to see different tyres if my favourite driver was struggling with them.

        Anyway, there are certainly fanatics here who know more about the history of F1 than I do but, as far as I know, F1 and motorsports in general have always been very much about tyres and countless races have been won and lost right because of their (mis)management. Of course, there have been some periods where one team / driver is so dominant that the tyre characteristics don’t matter to them or where the tyres are ‘bulletproof’. But I think these are rather exceptions than the standard.

      • tvm (@) said on 8th August 2012, 13:57

        Funny Keith, I think you represent the knee-jerking, overly defending tires that singlehandedly determines most races there days.

        Fact of the season is that there is very little racing, every win is down to tactics instead of racing, you can tell even on the telly that the car’s are not running anything near their full potential, disagree? Well then you are disagreeing with the likes of Michail Schumacher an others as well as me :)

        F1 should be about producing the best performance parts everywhere, not about introducing arbitrary handicaps.

        I miss the days when we could see Hamilton, Alonso, Weber or even Vetel mercilessly chase down their opponents lap after lap after lap finally taking the shot on an overtake after working hard on setting themselves up. Can’t happen anymore, one hard lap on these tires and its game over.

        Not much better than Pro-wrestling if you ask me.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th August 2012, 14:14

          Funny @tvm, you say

          Fact of the season is that there is very little racing, every win is down to tactics instead of racing,

          which is what fans have been complaining about more and more since the late 90s!
          So maybe then the tyres are not to blame for this situation then?

          Maybe you missed the day when it was possible to do 3 or 4 qualifying sprints not having to think either of reliability, nor about tyre durability nor fuel economy. But all of these things are an integral part of motorracing since the first cars met on a strip of road to see who was able to go furthers and fastest. And its been part of F1 for most of its history as well.
          And so far I like what we have been seeing in the past 2 years over how F1 was 10-4 years back for exiting racing and drivers battling it out on track.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th August 2012, 14:25

          @tvm

          I think you represent the knee-jerking, overly defending tires that singlehandedly determines most races there days.

          I have repeatedly and patiently explained my point of view on this several times. It is comical to compare my comments on this with those who turn up and bleat about “Pirelli shame” when they haven’t even been paying enough attention to notice Pirelli have been in the sport for a year and a half instead of half a year.

          Fact of the season is that there is very little racing

          That’s not a fact, that’s an opinion.

          Here’s a fact: We’ve had five races rated higher than eight out of ten this year. Do you think that indicates dissatisfaction with the quality of racing?

          every win is down to tactics instead of racing

          Tactics have always played a significant role in determining who wins. But it can also lead to exciting racing when different strategies overlap – e.g. a driver makes an extra pit stop for tyres but uses it to catch a driver who hasn’t.

          For example, Mansell versus Piquet at Silverstone in 1987. Or does that also not count as “racing” in your view?

          • tvm (@) said on 8th August 2012, 14:45

            Your last sentence example represents the opposite, a driver pitting to get new tires then races his buttocks out.

            Thats not what is happening today, in such a scenario the car pitting for fresh tires will just regain its mediocre cruising speed vs a car that simply free falls through the ranks.

            Apart from the fact that it would not be possible to make a tire that could last for an entire race without degradation, this isn’t what it’s about. Its about tires so bad that they cant even take being driven for a lap or two and that drivers again and again are opting out of racing and falling back to cruising.

            And BTW Pro-wrestling are popular too, and hey maybe that is what it takes to preserve F1, who knows. Doesn’t make it right, IMO F1 should be the pinnacle.

          • ubik said on 9th August 2012, 10:16

            Statistics are not the truth, must be high correlations to emerge some truth. Must be known what kind of key figure are used, whose people are on the poll and so on. For exemple to show the fastest lap in a a graph is just information, not valuable stats. HRT can have every fastest lap of every GP if they change tires on the last lap of the race. It is quite amazing than the backmarkers did not do that, maybe to not make people laugh and destroy the series. Before Pirelli, this was impossible to do, because lap time were close to quali time. Now, about the stat of ratings more than height : last year Vettel was dominant and people began to be annoyed, like MSH/Ferrari (or Prost/Williams in 1993, french television joke every time all the year in “Guignol de la télé” show : “Prost world champion 1993″ from the first race). When one people is dominant, ratings has to be low, even if there are great battle behind, “c’est la vie”. Then to correlate that there is great racing, that you suppose it is because of pirelli’s and the rating is there to testify is not a very accurate analyse. Keith never answers to facts that lap times are far from quali and the drivers save tires from the first lap to the end and this is not philosophy of what was F1 from 1950 to 2010. Not only MSH was very specific about this, but Hamilton said the same but was not commented. Many fans here say the same, and we just are 50% that say that F1 is quite endurance and 50% say that is super great that the tires last 1 lap and then saving them makes good strategy. I just say that the debate is very very low, according to incredible technology they use. F1 must be a sprint, it is not le mans series, it is not a marathon and today it is.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 9th August 2012, 15:22

            @tvm, when you say to @keithcollantine:

            … a driver pitting to get new tires then races his buttocks out.

            Thats not what is happening today, in such a scenario the car pitting for fresh tires will just regain its mediocre cruising speed vs a car that simply free falls through the ranks.

            Not to just nitpick, and yes, perhaps Canada is a sowewhat special case, but wasn’t that exactly what happened there? And in Hungary Vettel came very close to getting Grosjean that way too, I seem to recall.

            To add to that, this year, thanks to the field being so close together that reliability again was a factor, and thanks to the workings of the Pirelli’s, we finally had an interesting race at Valencia. It can’t be all bad then.

        • Girts (@girts) said on 8th August 2012, 14:49

          when they haven’t even been paying enough attention to notice Pirelli have been in the sport for a year and a half instead of half a year.

          I’m partly repeating myself but I believe that the answer as to why there’s been so much talk about tyres this year, even compared to 2011, can be found in the graphs on the very latest F1F article:

          http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/08/08/f1-teams-close-mclaren-red-bull/

          In other words, nobody cares about how Marussia, Caterham, HRT and even Toro Rosso are managing their tyres in 2012 because they’re too far behind the others and also too far away from each other in terms of pace anyway. There wasn’t that much talk about Pirellis in 2011 because it was clear that RBR and the blown diffuser ruled the world with or without aggressive tyres. Now there’s a tight battle in the front so we’re talking about tyres as they’re the feather that brakes the balance.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 9th August 2012, 15:24

            Well said @girts, I do think that’s a large part of it. In the 80ies and 90ties often the faster cars were seconds faster than those behind so a tyre that was not in the ideal set-up didn’t have such a big effect on position either.

      • who's better who's best said on 8th August 2012, 14:12

        @keithcollantine

        You say ”It’s created some excellent racing regardless of more dubious gimmicks like DRS.”

        Clearly you have never been a fan of DRS but can you give me any examples of when drivers or teams have critersised it? Or any examples of where it has ruined somebodys race because they have been unfairly overtaken?

        I am sure you are aware of the problem of a lack of downforce when closely following another driver and I am sure you are aware that DRS was devised by the F1 working group as a way to overcome this so to level the playing field, not to give an unfair advantage to the following driver…do you have any better suggestions to do this than DRS?

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th August 2012, 0:01

        @keithcollantine, I will be highly offended if you have dismissed my many consistent and reasoned comments on these tyres as a “knee-jerk reaction”.
        It seems to me that most of the people commenting negatively on the tyres, like myself, have been F1 fans for a long time and are therefor older than the pro pirrelli group, please don’t make the mistake of writing of the “antis” as a bunch of old fuddy duddys who are so fixed in their ways that they complain about all changes, nothing could be further from the truth, we complain because we remember when drivers battled each other lap after lap and no amount of lead was a guarantee of winning until the car actually crossed the finish line. Younger fans who first started watching during the MSC/Ferarri era are liking this years racing because they have never seen a more suspenseful season and that is understandable but could just as easily be called a knee-jerk reaction to a more varied leader board.
        Honestly Keith do you think this season would be boring and dominated by one team on different tyres? Even with tyres that lasted the whole race without pitstops I think this would be a great (and better ) season due to the equality of competitiveness of the top half of the field especially considering the different approaches to winning ie. top-speed versus corner-speed.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 10th August 2012, 18:20

        Pirelli have done what they were asked to do when they came into the sport a year and a half (not half a year) ago

        It would certainly be a good start if people started to vent their grievances at the FIA and not Pirelli – as you say they have just done what they were told to do and have done it very well.

    • I would like to see a rule change before we decide if Pirelli’s approach is the right one. Allowing teams to have their pick of tyre compounds and getting rid of the “use the tyres you qualified on” rule. That would allow mixed strategies to be played; if a team (Sauber for example) thinks their qualifying performance isn’t very competitive then they can use the more conservative tyres and possibly do a one (if not no) stop strategy. Another rule that at consequently would need ditched is the ridiculous “use both compounds during the race rule”; brought in during the era of tyres that would last several race distances to encourage strategic action, but completely unnecessary now.

      • who's better who's best said on 8th August 2012, 13:03

        If you ask ANY sports person what is the 1 thing they want from their equipment and I bet you they answer consitancy!

        Who thinks the pirelli’s are consistant?…exactly, nobody!

        Who could imagin chris hoy or wiggo competeing for gold at the olympics with tyre’s they went sure would work if it rained, or ben ainsley with a sail he wasn’t sure would hold together over the whole course if he tacked to often?

        The idea that tyres only last a certain number of laps is great in theory but surely there are far greater charactoristics wish must also accompany a short life such as useability and a consistant performance, if we can’t have this then 2010 bridgestones are the next best thing

        What I find most bizare is that these tyres were only given to the teams once they had designed and produced the car so surely the only winners in the CURRENT TYRE WAR we are in have won purely by chance because it just so happened their car suited the tyres better than others, that’s why the season will always be reffered to as the lottery

        Characteristics such as wheel base which I am sure plays a great role in the life of a tyre were set nearly a year ago and can not be changed so how can teams adapt.

        Sure its great to see smaller teams do better but I want to see that because they have done good, not because the bigger teams have been handicapped

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th August 2012, 13:57

          You are fully accurate in saying

          Characteristics such as wheel base which I am sure plays a great role in the life of a tyre were set nearly a year ago and can not be changed so how can teams adapt.

          That is exactly why the teams and the FIA agreed on a standard weight distribution for the 2011 season mid 2010 and have kept with it for this season, so as to limit a lot of things that could give a sudden advantage to one of the teams.

          Fact is, every sportsperson wants to have the fastest, lightest, most durable and consistent equipment, but in all forms of sport the rules limit them in what can be done and where the limit to innovation is. That is why we have doping rules, and why full body hi-tech suits were banned in swimming, Cycling had lots of things restricted, sailing, windsurfing, javelin, running shoes, guns, everything has limits that, when taken away could mean faster times, further throws etc. because they are sports operating in a certain set of regulations that should be contrived to give everyone more or less the same base-line to achieve and limit to an extent the money spent and keep safety/health in check.

          • who's better who's best said on 8th August 2012, 20:19

            @bascb, Actually I think you’ll find the weight distribution was introduced because of KERS so packaging it did not become an issue

            I agree with you about the rest but I fail to see what relevance it has to do with F1 tyres as all teams are not just limited they are prevented from experimenting with tyre innovation as they all use the same tyre

            Sorry but I think you are missing the point entierly here. Firstly let me say I think the drop off rate of this years pirellis has actually been more consistent than last year and does not seem to be an issue and Pirelli make excellent road tyres that do last and perform in-line with other leading brands.

            The problem with this years pirelli however is that they have a very small temperature operating window and for some cars in some circumstances on some circuits it is hard to heat the tyre enough to get to this window . What’s more is there seems to be no consistancy as to what team may be affected at what track and in what conditions – hence the term lottery

            Now correct me if I am wrong but no team could have had any chance to plan for this when designing their cars as they were unaware of this characteristic until February

            In fact the opposite probably happened because these tyres have the opposite characteristics to last years in that they seems to feed off heat this year where as last year they kept over-heating

            now last years McLaren over-heated its tyres and this year it has trouble getting enough heat into them, last years ferrari struggled to get tyre temp and this year they seem to have plenty – now lets suppose that mclaren went away and designed their wheelbase a little longer and a little wider to reduce tyre temp and ferrari designed theirs to do the opposite…with the reverse in characteristics of the tyre this year mclaren would be penalised through know fault of their own and ferrari would have lucked into finding the secret of a successful season – what’s more is it could now be too late for mclaren to do anything about it

            now being the sportsman I am, I, like you, want to see the best drivers in the best cars succeed AS WELL as having close racing, not just the close racing. of course strategy and tyre management should come into it but it must be exactly that…tyre management…and the problem is these tyres can at times be un-manageable

            seriously do we want to see 1 driver suddenly go 2 seconds a lap quicker because he is the only one who can switch his tyres on?

            Now I am not stupid enough to believe pirelli can’t make a tyre that lasts, after all they deliberately made them last less this year than they did last year, and I am not stupid enough to believe that pirelli can’t make tyres that have a wider operating window, as they have already done so but say they will not introduce them until next year (surely the fact pirelli have already redesigned the tyre and thought about changing it this years shows that even they are not happy with them)

            what I would like to see however is a consistent tyre that teams are prepared for and have time to prepare for that offers consistent behaviour so that we can really see who the best teams and the best drivers really are – instead of the lottery result we are currently seeing

            surely not to much to answer for the most technological sport in the world is it?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th August 2012, 20:47

            Not nitpicking here who’s better who’s best, but the weight distribution was explicitly done because of the change to a different tyre supplier and the fact it was a late desicion

            I see we pretty much agree on many things there. And I think we agree that the worst thing is constantly tinkering things like tyres and DRS and KERS and whatever.
            But I do not think the fact its hard to get the tyres to work is bad. Its a challenge to teams and drivers. I do understand that is not to everyone’s taste though.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 8th August 2012, 14:25

        I would like to see a rule change before we decide if Pirelli’s approach is the right one. Allowing teams to have their pick of tyre compounds and getting rid of the “use the tyres you qualified on” rule.

        +1 very good point.

        Another rule that at consequently would need ditched is the ridiculous “use both compounds during the race rule”; brought in during the era of tyres that would last several race distances to encourage strategic action, but completely unnecessary now.

        Another good point. Agreed.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th August 2012, 19:22

          I don’t really have a problem with the current Pirelli tires.
          I don’t really have a problem with drivers being limited from pushing their cars to the max by the tires, as tire conservation of some amount is usually required other than was the case in certain years in the past.
          I don’t have a problem with teams having to figure out the tires and adapt and strategize, even if the cliff effect is something new to F1 tires and is causing the teams grief.
          My problem remains with DRS and the overdependence on aero that has caused the ‘need’ for DRS to promote passing.
          Bottom line for me…what a shame they are so stuck on aero dependancy and downforce in F1 that they need to mandate a certain tire behaviour (and thus a certain ‘gadgety’ aura to them) and a moveable aero wing to promote racing. Sure the races have been rated highly for entertainment, but there are clearly many who feel it is manipulation that we are experiencing because Pirelli et al could easily make a non-cliffy tire if they were asked to.
          I vote for much less aero, the banning of DRS, and Pirelli can carry on making degrady tires all they want…I think the cliff effect wouldn’t be needed at all and they could just make them consistant, degrady without the cliff, and sticky, and without so much aero dependancy and DRS we would be back to mechanical grip, seat-o-the-pants passing.

  2. Calum (@calum) said on 8th August 2012, 0:31

    More than half a year into the Pirelli shame and perhaps one of the greatest minds in Formula One is questioning the “mystery of the Pirelli tires”.

    That’s how good for the show they are….

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 8th August 2012, 4:12

      Understanding the tyres is still key – Brawn

      While I agree that tyres are a mystery this season, I disagree that tyres are the sole reason for lack of competitiveness from Mercedes.

      I fear that Brawn’s continued persistence that “tyres are the problem”, will not get them anywhere. They should have done enough work by now, to understand tyres and it is time to stop investigating tyres and start innovating. Move on.

      The answer behind tyre ware could be obvious: the car is slow, and drivers are having to implement extreme setup conditions to get anywhere, thus resulting in high tyre ware. There, problem solved. Now, they need to start working on the weight distribution and the chassis and start improving other mechanical and aero components.

      • ubik said on 8th August 2012, 9:53

        I agree, Mercedes is nowhere.
        Why they cannot do at least a job like the midfield ? And Lotus, they just are business team who change name and owner/manager/driver every year and are far away.
        I fear that CEO will not let this situation last long time. And there is something wrong with Norbert Haug whose comments are like a robot, always same b…, the same as his DTM comments, he is a shoping mole commercial man, not a director.

    • Ral (@ral) said on 8th August 2012, 15:50

      And yet Lotus’ technical personnel has been quoted as saying they are comfortable with the tyres now, Red Bull haven’t even mentioned tyres in any of their performances recently, Ferrari are only ever talking about adding speed to the car (no mention of tyres) and the only context McLaren have mentioned issues with the tyres, has been in relation to the amount of rain on the track. And that’s ignoring for a moment the lower ranked teams.
      So what does that tell you?

      Ultimately, the tyres were engineered and manufactured to behave a certain way. Which means there is a definitive answer to any questions related to them including, but not limited to, “at what temperatures do they work optimally”, “at what rate do they degrade at any given temperature”, “how long can we push these tyres for under these conditions on any given track” and “what do we need to do with our car to make sure we can keep the tyres working in their optimal range”. There is no mystery there, just an engineering problem with clear answers to work towards. Most teams are either getting to a working solution, or have one already. The only team that are still seemingly looking for this, is Mercedes.

      Again, what does that tell you?

    • John H (@john-h) said on 10th August 2012, 18:26

      “for the show”

      …. argghhh, not the show!

      The 200m the other night would have been more of a ‘show’ if Bolt wore slippers and Yohan Blake wore espadrilles, but would it still be then classed as a ‘sport’?

      I guess it’s where do you draw the line between Formula 1 and Mario-Kart, and to be honest I have no idea.

  3. TED BELL said on 8th August 2012, 1:02

    How can any product that fails as the Pirelli tires FAIL be considered a good thing??

    The idea of associating a companys reputation with a product it produces purposely intended to fail or to provide a product thats intent is to remain unpredictable or unrelieable after a half of a year of intense usage and indepth study is still considered a good thing???

    Everyone keeps saying that the rule makers have gotten what they asked for then makes me wonder what is wrong with the rules makers?? I can understand that it is but one test of racing teams to come to grips with the elements of their race components but to be faced with this continuing tire situation surely can not be in favor with all teams.

    When Ross Brawn says that the mystery of the tires still is and still has troubled his team says a whole bunch about the Pirelli problem, doesn’t it?

    I would like to see Pirelli build tires that test the potential of the teams in a positive manor where seeking greatness is more important than trying to survive mediocrity

    I find it hard to believe that so many of you feel good about this dumbing down of Formula One

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 8th August 2012, 4:32

      You have a point. It seems that F1 these days is all about tyres!? What on earth has this sport come to! Gone are the days when it was manufacturers with the strongest engines, the teams with the best innovations. Now its all about trick tyres and false racing to provide a band aid fix to the ‘impossible to overtake in F1′ saga. Maybe its time for the FIA to look at F1 from a totally different perspective?
      I mean as F1 fans, if we could pick any era which would it be? 70’s? 80’s? 90’s? Certainly not since 2000.
      Technology has moved too far forward to keep looking at F1 in the same terms. And hence all these silly little rules have been introduced to ‘spice it up’.
      In the great words of Top Gear, “how hard can it be?!” Haha.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th August 2012, 7:34

      It’s a Formula series, where is the fun in having static rules or components all the time? The teams are meant to have challenges thrown at them!

      Pirelli could make the toughest tyres in the world if they wanted to but they were asked not to. Perhaps you should start blaming the teams, not Pirelli.

    • Innovation is becoming increasingly redundant as it is being banned for “safety reasons” and to “level the playing field”. The unpredictable tyres have become a substitute, so don’t blame Pirelli (they’ve done exactly as they were asked), blame the FIA. Rip up the rule book and start from a blank canvas; that is the best way of reintroducing traditional competition.
      I think personally the rules are flawed regarding the tyres; they should be amended for the new genertaion of tyres, hence I proving the spectacle.

  4. JustinF1 (@justinf1) said on 8th August 2012, 1:30

    I agree completely. Maybe it’s about money. The more different winners you have throughout the season the more viewers will turn up at races and pay channels. I feel terrible for the teams engineers. If you have little knowledge of the tires temper how do you design a competitive car? It’s all a lottery now. Yes, I know Alonso is going well,..

    • looseasagoose (@looseasagoose) said on 8th August 2012, 1:44

      Why would you feel sorry for the engineers? Their job is to make a car go fast around a track, and this year, making the tyres work is a big part of that. Besides, I fail to see how a so called tyre “lottery” is any more detrimental to the sport than engineers messing around with exhausts. That to me is much more of a lottery.

      • JustinF1 (@justinf1) said on 8th August 2012, 1:53

        Right,. you make a good point.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th August 2012, 2:27

          Ted, I think we need to be a little more specific in why we don’t like these tyres, we don’t want to appear to be against change because we don’t like change.
          I have one problem, and one problem only with these tyres but it is a huge problem.
          That problem is that the tyres degrade so fast that drivers on similar tyre strategies cannot battle for position without destroying the tyres useful life, this sets up processions when a driver in a relatively fast car has the straight line speed to stay ahead but drives through corners slowly and defensively for 15 or so laps to preserve his tyres whist the leader and a the next 2-3 cars drive away in the distance spacing themselves apart to preserve their tyres.
          The argument that the tyres are producing a variety of winners is fallacious, we are having more teams winning because more teams have cars capable of winning, for the most part each car that has won has been the car and driver most suited to the track and conditions on the day not because the team “understood” the tyres. When Williams won their first race in ages it was because the car and driver were performing very well on that circuit and Maldonado used up his entire ration of good sense that weekend, had it been the teams skill at tuning the car for the tyres Williams would be one of the teams leading the constructors championship now because tuning the car to suit the tyres is still not a skill the other teams have mastered. To summarise, I want to see this field of very closely matched cars racing each other for position not racing to a “delta” time to preserve the tyres, more use of the hard compound would go a long way to solving this problem.

          Re qualifying tyres, absolutely not, but an extra qualifying allowance for Q3 definitely yes.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 8th August 2012, 7:35

            I don’t see any evidence of your one stated problem. I see drivers on similar strategies battling on track more than in previous years.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th August 2012, 2:46

          @justinf1, but there is a difference, fluid dynamics is a science and once a problem is solved it stays solved and the results are repeatable.

        • JustinF1 (@justinf1) said on 8th August 2012, 7:10

          Were all talking in cross purposes here,.

  5. schooner (@schooner) said on 8th August 2012, 2:24

    Tires have always been a bit of an enigma. Racing teams spend millions developing their machines. Fab shops, giant computers, wind tunnels, very clever and highly paid designers, engineers, superstar drivers. But tires are the single component, the one that ultimately connects all this brilliant work to the track, that they have no control over. Must drive them nuts!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th August 2012, 8:20

      I think that the view Hemberly presents, that its better for the tyres to be the same for everyone and not the focus point for winning is right. It certainly is the drivers and the cars run by the teams (in that order) that should decide the result

  6. Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 8th August 2012, 2:39

    Codemasters need to put in a Piquet inspired fighting mini game into F1 2012 after a crash. The BMW guys found out after the race that Piquets engine would’ve only lasted 2 more laps.

  7. Gilbert said on 8th August 2012, 6:44

    With the exception of Mercedes, who has tyres problem ???

  8. Seanus said on 8th August 2012, 7:15

    If it were possible to have the tyres from any season back again, what season would people choose? I wouldn’t have any from the grooved era purely for aesthetic reasons for a start, the bridgestones from 09 and 10 were far from amazing either. From the seasons Ive seen this just leave 2 “types” of pirelli and the 1997 goodyears and bridgestones. I dont like how certain teams have no chance of performing well if they have the “wrong” tyres that particular weekend so that leaves the pirellis for me.

  9. romeo said on 8th August 2012, 7:15

    I think Pirelli doing a great job. They just did what demanded from them. It is an easy task to produce very durable tyres especially when there is not a rival tyre company.

    • Harvs (@harvs) said on 8th August 2012, 7:33

      Well considering Pirelli and their tyres, and their approach to the formula one tyres, making a product that deliberately degrades fast does them no benefits in my opinion. I read (at the beginning of 2011) that Pirelli do not have the technical know how of Bridgestone or Michelin and could not make tyres to rival those two companies if they tried to. Now when I got to buy some tyres for my car next week i’m not going to be buying Pirelli, instead I’m going to look and see if any Bridgestones or Michelins fit my budget. But probably being able to claim that they are official supplier to Formula One will be a selling point to someone who know nothing about Formula One and just wants to say “my car has formula one tyres” but not for me, Il be avoiding them and looking the other way!

      • Harvs (@harvs) said on 8th August 2012, 7:37

        Pirelli do not have the knowledge to produce a tyre that is comparable to the Bridgestones of 2010 with comparison on speed vs durability.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th August 2012, 8:23

          They might not have had that knowhow in 2010 @Harvs (but their tyres were faster from the word go), but they would certainly be the only ones with a chance now.

          A big difference is that any new/returning tyre supplier would face the same restrictions on testing with current spec cars that Pirelli face, so it would be hard to get into it.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th August 2012, 7:39

        @harvs That makes no sense. You’re an F1 fan so should understand tyres more than most! They can clearly engineer tyres to various specifications, what’s not to appreciate? Appreciate a company that has the balls to not just think of their marketing but has a bit of character when it comes to sport.

        • Harvs (@harvs) said on 8th August 2012, 9:31

          @andrewtanner It does make sence, I do not believe that Pirelli could make 2010 bridgestone tires even if they tried to, look at 2010’s hungarian gp, webber rode those options for over half the race at a faster pace then the current tires could cope with, you could argue that with the ebd’s that the cars were faster but those aero packages were only 2 years old compared to 4 years now. Pirelli have had 1 1/2 years in F1 is a smaller company, compared to Bridgestone which had 13 years experience and is a much larger company, and you expect the Pirelli’s are now going to be a match?

          Compared to the Bridgestone’s the Pirelli’s are rubbish, going back to the Hungary comparison if Pirelli tried to recreate the compounds that would match the speed and durability of those Brigestone’s they probably would get one of the two (speed or durability). Bridgestone’s were mighty tires, as a F1 fan you should know this. Look at the Tyre war that Bridgestone had with Michelin back in the day, both companies invested millions in developing those tires with endless testing, all that tech and knowledge was present in the 2010 tyres, and to think that Pirelli has that kind of tech from the word go is crazy. Also both companies were developing the tires to do pure racing, not what Pirelli are doing which is developing tires for the benefit of the show. At the beginning of last year before the Pirelli’s were even run on the cars alot of teams expected the 2011 spec tires to be a huge downgrade to the quality of the 2010 tires, and they were, although they have improved drastically over the last 1 1/2 years they still do not have the capabilities of production and resources that Bridgestone had to produce racing tires. This works for Pirelli as they can “hide” behind this curtain of artificial tyres, as if they were put in a head to head with Bridgestone or Michelin they would certainly not last the distance at the same pace.

          If I’m buying tires for my car i don’t want show tires, I want a tire that will deliver performance and a good durability. Not counting price would you buy Bridgestone’s or Michelin over Pirelli’s?

          I am not talking about how Pirelli have been good for F1 or what ever your views are on that but purely talking about the production capabilities of the three companies in quality of tire with both speed and durability.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th August 2012, 9:51

            @harvs, I have read several comparisons of the Bridgestone tyres and what Pirelli does now.

            While Bridgestone did know a lot about the tyres their 2010 tyres were durable and safe, and dependable. But not high speed nor great at all. Bridgestone was already both playing it safe with safety and not investing in their development.

            And I would probably think about buying Michelin road tyres over Pirelli, but for my car all tests show there’s not much between them. Bridgestone usually are slightly worse both on fuel economy ,durability and on braking in wet conditions.
            If you want the top notch and do can pay the premium price its Continental that has been at the top for the past couple of years (in Europe and with my car’s 16″ wheels that is)

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 8th August 2012, 10:20

            And yet Bridgestone hadn’t had experience with slicks for a long time themselves, and without the tyre war had no incentive to bring their best tyres to the 2010 season. I don’t see anything you have written which actually shows that Pirelli couldn’t possibly make tyres with a very similar spec to 2010 if people wanted them to- people just don’t want them to.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 8th August 2012, 10:34

            I don’t see why you’re asking about which road tyres people would use. Probably the most affordable! But I do know that for high end performance, many sports/super-cars come clad in Pirelli P Zeroes. Most people are sensible enough to realise that the tyres Pirelli produce for F1 are in no way representative of their road tyres.

          • Girts (@girts) said on 8th August 2012, 11:02

            @matt90 I would never buy tyres for my own car just because their producer has managed to make durable and quick tyres for F1 cars because, in my view, these are two completely different worlds. Similarly, if I was a millionaire, I wouldn’t have exchanged my Ferrari for a Renault after the 2005 & 2006 seasons.

          • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th August 2012, 13:45

            @harvs That’s all well and good, but you have no proof that Pirelli couldn’t produce as per the Bridgestone spec.

            What we do know is that Pirelli were given a specification and they have produced accordingly. Perhaps if they hadn’t then I would too doubt their ability to produce race-length tyres but I have no reason to doubt them whatsoever.

        • Brace said on 8th August 2012, 9:35

          Thank God someone just how much Pirelli is giving us, that most companies would never have agreed to.
          I for one think this tires are the best thing to come to F1 in decades.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 8th August 2012, 8:12

        @AndrewTanner I like how Joe Saward has put it:

        Bridgestone worked on the principle that if it built bulletproof tyres it would not get bad publicity. Pirelli had a different idea. It risked criticism for making tyres that did not last, but managed to get across the message that when it comes to making tyres to meet specific needs, Pirelli is the place to go… That is a great example of positive and creative thinking bringing dividends.

        Indeed, the message is simple & obvious: Pirelli is capable of producing any tyres you want, according to the customer’s wishes.

      • who's better who's best said on 8th August 2012, 15:21

        @harvs
        Steer clear of them all mate. I drive a company car 60,000 miles a year so get through a lot of tyres

        If you want an exceptionally good handleing tyre in all conditions go for dunlop, the best I have ever tried

        They are the supplier for BTCC so cars most simillar to what you drive on tarmac also most simillar to what you drive on in conditions most simillar to what you drive

  10. Girts (@girts) said on 8th August 2012, 7:58

    I just took a look at the 1906 French Grand Prix review and found these lines in the text:

    Punctures were common; tyre manufacturer Michelin introduced a detachable rim with a tyre already affixed, which could be quickly swapped onto a car after a puncture, saving a significant amount of time over manually replacing the tyre.
    [...]
    As carrying each rim added 9 kilograms (20 lb) to the weight of the car over conventional wheels and tyres, some teams—such as Itala and Panhard—could not carry them without exceeding the weight limit.
    [...]
    As neither driver nor mechanic could work on their car until they had been given the signal to start the day’s running, Szisz and Clément began by heading directly to the pit lane to change tyres and service their cars. Clément completed his stop more quickly than Szisz, and Nazzaro did not stop at all, and so Clément closed his time gap to Szisz and Nazzaro closed on Clément.

    So you’re right Ross, understanding the tyres is still key, just as it was in 1906.

  11. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 8th August 2012, 9:01

    After reading that interview with Hembery at ESPN, I read another article there about Sauber staying with Ferrari, which includes the odd bit that Mercedes wants to concentrate on their own team forcing McLaren (and I guess FI) to look somewhere else, as they’d have to bear a large cost for a Merc.

    It continues to say that Renault is more than willing to provide anyone engines so as to spread costs a bit. All fine, as is the fact that Ferrari frowns on that as it would lead to much data and influence for Renault, of course.

    The weird bit to me, and perhaps in keeping with the feeling of several others here that Brawn/Mercedes is being slightly silly by looking only at the Pirelli’s for improvements this year, is that Mercedes too is worried about that. Well, sure, but they are the ones that say they want to concentrate on their works team. I hope FIA tells them they’ll listen to Ferrari as they always do, but that Merc. have the means to solve it themselves if they are so concerned ;)

    I hope too, that PURE does manage to bring a good engine, and finance to 2014.

    • who's better who's best said on 8th August 2012, 18:13

      @bosyber can you copy and paste the text that says merc are not going to supply mac an FI engines because I have read your link (twice) and it says absolutly nothing of the sort, nor anything similar, close or remotely linkd of any kind

      The very thought of merc walking away from mac who have bought them so much success is proposturose, the recent speculation has been the complete opposite, that mac would drop merc for pure – personally I think that is propsturous too.

      Are you sure your not getting confused with an old article on merc selling its share of macca to concentrate on its own team cos that happened last year and is old news

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th August 2012, 19:14

      I think you misunderstood what the link about Mercedes expecting only 3 engine manufacturers was about there @bosyber. Its about Merecedes not expecting PURE to be supplying any team, not about Mercedes not wanting to supply teams.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 9th August 2012, 15:07

      Nope, I didn’t make those mistakes, though it does seem I made a mistake thinking published article links on espn site wouldn’t be just replaced by others that are quite different.

      I agree that following that link now, I too would make those observations “who’s better who’s best”, @bascb, the current article is more or less the same as the one from autosport, and it links to an earlier article having Merc. speculating that PURE might not make it.

      I guess the author agreed with me that the original article they had was a bit weird, looked again and found it wasn’t actually supported by facts and thus neutered it. I’ll make a screenshot next time :-p

  12. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 8th August 2012, 9:21

    In topgear the Stig drove a Ferrari (roadcar) and said the Bridgestones were slower than the tyres (Pirelli’s?) they used to use.

    Once I drove a Volkswagen company car and due to my youthful driving had the chance to sample Vredestein, Michelin and Continentals on the same car: the Continentals were so much better it almost was scary to think about the others…

    Now, I never, and nobody I know, never let F1 be the reason for my tyre choice. But I guess it’s about getting a brand across…

    Still, the racing is hindered by these tyres. In Bahrain Kimi had only one chance to try something. That’s not good racing!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th August 2012, 10:05

      In Bahrain Kimi had only one chance to try something. That’s not good racing!

      He had one chance because he used up most of the life in his tyres getting into a position where he could mount a challenge on Vettel. He managed his tyres enough for second place, not first.

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th August 2012, 9:36

    New interview with Codemasters’ Stephen Hood on F1 2012:

    http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/bs19hr/f1-2012-new-challenges-interview

    He describes some new content and features, the most interesting of which is probably a mode where the six world Champions – Button, Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Schumacher and Raikkonen – have been styled after classic video game boss battles, and you have to beat them under conditions that they excel at.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 8th August 2012, 11:23

      So Vettel round would be Seb starting on pole with a car 1 second a lap faster than the player’s?

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 8th August 2012, 11:49

        This isn’t F1 2011.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th August 2012, 12:57

        @cyclops_pl – I have no idea. The only two that I’ve heard are descriptions of what the Hamilton and Raikkonen rounds might be; the Hamilton race is a wet race on a circuit he likes, while the Raikkonen race has both of you starting down the wrong end of the grid and you have to catch the other cars in order to keep up with him. But this may just be speculation on what the rounds would contain.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th August 2012, 19:29

        @cyclops_pl Except Red Bull never possessed such an advantage in 2011.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 10th August 2012, 18:30

          Except Red Bull never possessed such an advantage in 2011

          Of course it was all down to Vettel’s driving!? That explains why he’s also winning every race this year then?

          Vettel’s an amazing driver, but to say Red Bull never had such an advantage in 2011 (when combined with Vettel’s driving style that is) is just not the case.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 10th August 2012, 22:38

            @john-h – I didn’t say it was all down to Vettel’s driving 100%. I’m saying that the poster above me is overestimating the advantage Red Bull had over the next team by saying “1 second a lap faster”. In fact RBR only qualified on pole by 0.9 once and 0.7 twice more. So yes, the RB7 was fastest, but not by the extent some people claim.

  14. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 8th August 2012, 10:43

    The team that gets to understand the tyres the soonest in a most effective way will be the team that is most competitive.

    I thought understanding tyres was always the key to a fast car. Look in any handling, tuning or chassis design textbook and they all say that. It’s surely nothing new. There’ll never be a catch all fast (or slow) tyre.

    In my eyes, dissatisfaction with the tyres comes from teams publicly blaming them for their poorer performances. Its an external factor (or so they’ll have you believe). Flip back a few decades, before the insight we get from the media that we have today, and you perhaps wouldn’t know that the tyres were a problem. You’d just think that Ligier, or Alfa Romeo or whoever, simply hadn’t built a good enough car. The tyre war we had recently was the same. Its only coming to light now (as far as I can tell) that we all know Ferrari, even Schumacher himself, has bespoke tyres! That’s the strength of current media outlets (such as this) providing us with knowledge previously kept hidden.

    Of course, in tandem with this, teams now use these media outlets to their advantage, by, for instance, publicly blaming the tyres for their poorer performances.

  15. BradFerrari (@brad-ferrari) said on 8th August 2012, 11:20

    I think F1 needs Pirelli much more than Pirelli needs F1. I don’t think people should criticise Pirelli because they could end up leaving then what will we do?

    I for one think Pirelli deserves more credit for producing more overtaking and closer racing which the fans demanded.

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