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”.


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.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

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

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. Dimitris 1395 (@) said on 8th August 2012, 11:50

    And that’s why I completely disagree with the desicion of Pirelli to not make changes in next year’s cars. At time, some teams will finally understand how the tyres are working. It will be much better for the teams to start with equal knowledge of the tyres they are going to use…

  2. And a happy Mansell Day to everyone! (Nigel Mansell turns 59 today.)

  3. Kenneth Ntulume said on 8th August 2012, 15:51

    As a marketing and brand expert……….
    I wonder why in God’s name Pirelli agreed to do what was “asked of them”….ok granted maybe they have created an exciting season(for arguments sake, me don’t believe it either), this is such an ambiguous element to communicate for purposes of influencing a tyre purchase.
    The USP they are communicating to an average consumer is Pirelli tires go off fast…that you need to drive like your grandmother or JB
    matter of fact, Your average consumer is actually looking for the opposite of the Pirelli offering!!! Tyre’s that go on and on and on and on!

  4. TED BELL said on 8th August 2012, 16:22

    Looks like the proof is in the pudding, many of us have similar feelings about Pirelli and now have had there say. I love your comment Keith about me trolling Pirelli and would like to state to the courts that the Pirelli problem is now into its second season or now a season and a half…..I didn’t like them last year either.

    All I want is for teams to be able to build the best and fastest car they can. One that will test the drivers ability to get the maximum potential out of his car. Races where drivers pit their own talents and skills against each other while competing for the Grand Prize or Grand Prix as it is known. Races that are safe for the teams , drivers and fans. Races where we the fans can witness what Formula One could and should be, the ultimate test of man and machine competing nation against nation in pursuit of being able to say “we were the best on that day”.

    That image was what F1 was when I started to follow Jimmy Clark as a young man. Somehow today it lacks the luster it once had…our sport is in need of changes that will take it back to where it once was.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th August 2012, 19:22

      I disagree on you when you put Pirelli in the position where they (by either being incompetent, or by doing what the teams/FIA came up with instead of fundamentally changing the cars) seem to be responsible for the current state TED BELL.
      In my opinion the racing has improved since the start of the 2011 season with Pirelli.
      I heartily disliked the situation with he Bridgestone softs and super softs beign able to go a full race. And this in turn making things like the mandatory stop and that top ten starting on Q3 tyres beign brought in.

      But I fully agree with you that instead of making the tyres go off and put that DRS thing on the car but on the other hand not adressing the fundamentals and racing on tracks like AbuDhabi, the whole sport should have a good look at itself and make some fundamental changes.

      The problem with building the ultimate car nowadays is, that its more or less only dependent on how much money you can throw at it and where do you draw the line on safety that would limit development. And that means that its almost inevitable that development has to be limited to make for interesting racing.

    • insider said on 8th August 2012, 22:48

      Well if you consider that “looking after the tyres” or “managing fuel” are skills you want to see on the track, we’ve had the best season ever so far. Now if you want real racing where drivers have to “keep pushing” as much as they can, i fear we won’t see that in F1 ever again….

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th August 2012, 6:43

        The strange thing with this years tyres though is that it does not seem to be the classic job of preserving tyres to have a go later in the stint, but often it was as if it just did not matter what a driver did, their tyres would go off anyway.

        • insider said on 9th August 2012, 20:50

          You’re right but i don’t think there is anything strange here, they are made to wear off as you can only grind the rubber on them until there is not much left. Once on the track you can end up with 3 scenarios but you want only one. Remember they only work on a small temp window, drivers job now is to keep them working inside that window. Push too hard for a few laps and you burn them (which will make them go off much faster). Get stuck behind a slower car and they cool down, which makes things even worse because then you lose some grip and they still wear off, meanwhile you also have to deal with turbulence from the car in front.
          I believe this is what makes races so close now, nobody can really show off for too long or they will lose big time later on. Teams try to adjust with new pit stop records, kind of sad if you ask me as i like drivers to sort those things out on the track.
          Pirelli is at fault here, it’s not that the tires are bad when they work, the problem is that they are really bad when they don’t.

          We need to remember what Pirelli said about these tires relating to what we’ve seen :
          “softer compounds, which produce better grip and more extreme performance”
          “We’re expecting unpredictable races”

          But they also got one thing wrong :
          “more stable performance”


  5. I think it’s oversimplifying the issue to just talk about this as if there were some magical secret to “understanding the tyres”. Every other of the top teams made significant and apparent progress at developing their car, alongside dealing with how on Earth they were beaten to the podium by a Sauber or a Williams earlier on in the season.

    My subjective impression is more that this is Mercedes’ third season where they have to put more resources to changing some of the cars’ inherent characteristics that don’t work, rather than commit the kinds of resources to development that the other teams do. For an outsider’s speculation, I found Gary Andersons attempts to explain what might be going on quite interesting in this respect, as he analysed what benefits and hindrances the DDRS provided in his opinion.

    The most obvious interesting features of the car right now the modifications they’ve made to the front wing that reduced downforce, and the exhaust, where they’re still sticking to what they had in testing, rather than go for the kinds of solutions basically every other team besides Lotus and HRT have tried already.

    With those kinds of compromises in place, I’d be surprised if Mercedes went to win the rest of the races this year as soon as they might ‘fully understand’ the tyres.

  6. JimN (@jimn) said on 8th August 2012, 18:18

    Tyres have always been just about the most influential aspect of any racing. Not surprising when they are the only way the car contacts the ground. And all tyres over the years have created their own issues which have affected the racing, from wooden Goodyears to fast degrading Pirelli super softs. But for me the beauty of the current tyres is that they are not easy or consistent to master, the DRIVER must work out how best to use them almost on a second by second basis.

    Now so many previously essential driver skills such as clean gear changing or race strategy etc., have been taken over by electronics or people in the pits it is nice to see a driver differentiator again. I am very fearful of eventually having a two by two finish for all the points positions, which would mean that only the car counts, and the drivers’ championship is an irrelevance. We were getting very close to that before Pirelli arrived, but now team mates finishing next to each other is a comparative rarity. Great!

  7. xeroxpt (@) said on 8th August 2012, 23:54

    Stewart is right but i cant help but feel that is more interested in seeing Di Resta at Ferrari. Vettel is entitled of doing whatever he wants, if he thinks he’ll achieve all his goals in Ferrari thats an perfectly normal choice, in the end if he keep at Re Bull people may start second guessing about him.

  8. who's better who's best said on 9th August 2012, 17:12

    @bascb, sorry it wont let me reply…

    I stand corrected, and i like the link ;) yes we do seem to agree, less tinkering, more consistency and stand back to see who rises to the top

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