Pirelli unmoved by Red Bull tyre complaints

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery shrugs off Red Bull’s complaints about tyres saying “the other teams are very happy”.


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Paul Hembery on the Malaysian Grand Prix (F1 Fanatic via Youtube)

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013No support for Red Bull in tyre row (NBC)

“Red Bull?s lobbying cannot have been helped by the fact their cars finished first and second in Sunday?s race, as Webber acknowledged.”

Williams could revert to FW34 exhaust (ESPN)

Mike Coughlan: “We’re of the opinion at the moment that a FW34-type of car would be faster. I don’t think we’ll go back to an FW34, but we might go back to an FW34 style of exhaust system and treat Fridays as tests across cars.”

Red Bull’s Mark Webber to stay in F1 after clash with Sebastian Vettel (The Guardian)

“[Mark Webber’s father] Alan Webber said: ‘We’ll be up in China for the next one.’ Webber’s father, speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, has made it clear this latest incident has only served to drive the wedge deeper between his son and Vettel. ‘I think it will take a while to earn the respect and trust again,’ he added, while also claiming the team are far from happy with their three-times world champion.”

Webber and Vettel partnership doomed, says Briatore (Reuters)

“I don’t think the relationship can be sewn together again.”

Not Easy To Juggle Interests Of Drivers, Says Domenicali (Speed)

“For sure, it?s not easy. You can see what is happening in other teams. I never speak about the others (other teams); you know me. You go and speak with them, it will be fun!”

Massa sure he can end winless run (Autosport)

“I think if we carry on in this direction, the chance for winning races and fighting for the championship is there.”

Paul Seaby Delighted with Team Effort in Opening Rounds (Lotus)

“On Friday our practice stops were as good as they ever have been, but from Saturday onwards we were struggling to string good stops together. The switch from wet to dry conditions and subsequent front wing flap adjustments didn?t help, but even taking that into consideration it still wasn?t our best weekend. We have to take that on the chin, put everyone through their paces with some more practice at Enstone, and work hard to get back to where we should be and deserve to be.”

Malaysia?s post-race interviews (MotorSport)

“I don?t remember ever interviewing a more disheartened top four drivers. Even in Germany when Felipe Massa was told the infamous words ‘Fernando is faster than you’, Alonso still celebrated the win ?ǣ although he had to play the part as team orders were not allowed.”

The Smiling Assassin (The Buxton Blog)

“On Sunday afternoon Sebastian Vettel gave the fans what they wanted to see. He said, ‘To hell with team orders. You can shove them. I?m here to win, not to finish second and I?m not turning down my engine until I know I can’t be beaten.’ I only wish he?d been man enough to admit it.”

A history of team orders in Formula One

“Vettel, though, had a more singular perspective: he spotted a chance to boost his own tally by seven points, the kind of ruthless pragmatism previously espoused by racers such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher (although in such situations the latter invariably had the benefit of a meek accomplice).”

Rookie diary – Caterham?s Giedo van der Garde (F1)

“The drivers? parade – my very first – was pretty cool. We did the 2013 driver photo before the parade and that was a great feeling, knowing I?m part of the show and surrounded by a lot of guys I?ve known and raced with for a long time.”


Comment of the day

Do the events of Sunday’s race prove Sebastian Vettel is not the undisputed number one driver at Red Bull?

If Vettel is Red Bull’s number one driver, why was the team order for Vettel not to overtake Webber, rather than the order being for Webber to move over and let Vettel pass him?

It seems a slightly unusual tactic to tell your number one driver not to win a race, no?

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

John Watson set the record for winning a race from the worst starting position on this day 30 years ago.

Watson lined up 22nd on the grid for the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach and won. Niki Lauda started 23rd and finished behind his team mate, with Rene Arnoux third.

The last F1 race at Long Beach began with drama as Keke Rosberg spun while trying to pass Patrick Tambay for the lead:

Watson has been in the headlines this week after having some sharp words to say about Sebastian Vettel’s conduct in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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103 comments on Pirelli unmoved by Red Bull tyre complaints

  1. Sean N (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk) said on 27th March 2013, 10:41

    I feel really sorry for Pirelli here. They have done exactly what they were asked to do by the governing body and look at all the flak they take for it. If I were them I’d be long gone… and who’d take over?

    The best solution would be for the FIA to realise there is a fundamental problem in their tyre supply philosophy and do something about it soon. I firmly believe they could allow Pirelli to produce ‘better’ tyres and offer greater choice for the teams. This would give less opportunity for criticism of Pirelli and best of all give us some good hard racing.

    Pirelli should be asked to produce four different dry compounds to be the same for the whole season. Ideally I’d like to see tyre which would go quarter, half, three-quarter and full race distances (Get rid of that silly must use two compounds rule). Then teams could opt for which tyres they want prior to each race for each driver, obviously allowing enough time for the manufacture and logistical constraints.

    Then teams would then at least have the option of not having to do tyre conservation during races as they would always have the option of a harder wearing tyre. Wouldn’t this please everybody?

  2. Brace (@brace) said on 27th March 2013, 11:14

    Why are teams allowed to moan publicly about the tires? It’s extremely unprofessional and unethical.
    It’s not like Pirelli was asked to make durable tires but are failing at that.
    They are doing what their asked to do by the governing body, so there should be sanctions if anything for those who discuss this matter so unprofessionally.
    I agree that not every team might think that this amount of degradation is the right amount of degradation, but they are all in the serious business and this kind of things are easily discussed behind the closed doors. They have bunch of meeting all over the year, so there’s more than enough opportunity to bring up the subject.

    This thing we are seeing is blunt abuse of the airtime and freedom the teams and drivers are given.

    These are the rules and there’s no changing them mid-season so stop the lobbying because that’s exactly what this is. They are not just “answering the questions by the media”, they are trying to put a public pressure in the most unprofessional way, at the matter which should be discussed behind closed doors.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 27th March 2013, 13:34

      They have been muzzled ever since Pirelli began as supplier but things are getting worse not better.

      • GT_Racer said on 27th March 2013, 16:12

        Exactly, There was a FOTA agreement regarding criticism of the Pirelli & DRS been done behind closed doors.

        The reason you get bits spill out into the public domain from time to time is often a case of those doing to talking feeling that there view isn’t been listened to in the closed door meetings or because the drivers feel things have gone too far & something needs to be said.

        Regarding what Pirelli were asked to do, They were asked to make tyres that were not as durable as the Bridgestones were in 2010, The problem has been getting the balance right.

        Pirelli are not been criticized for making less durable tyres, There been criticized because many feel they have gone too far the other way & in fairness to the teams/drivers who have been critical, They have been talking to Pirelli about this since they got the contract in 2010 & part of the reason your starting to hear some public grumbling is because many feel Pirelli are either not listening to any of the team/driver feedback or are simply incapable of making tyres that are any better than what we currently have.

        Vast majority of the drivers want to be able to push them more, They don’t like driving around to a lap delta conserving the tyres, They want to push hard & race & they feel the current tyres don’t allow them to do either.

  3. Eastman (@eastman) said on 27th March 2013, 11:15

    I know it’s been said before, but if anyone deserves a victory for what he’s gone through over the past few years it’s Massa. Between the last second heartbreak in Brazil, through the frightening injury and the constant team orders to fall into line dutifully behind his teammate, the man has been through a difficult spell. It would be a wonderful story if he were to snatch a win somewhere along the way here. Perhaps in Bahrain. I’ll continue to root for him hopefully all the same.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 27th March 2013, 11:35

      Me too, would like to see Massa get a win this year ‘for sure’. Unfortunately, if you look at how he fared in the race in Malaysia it doesn’t bode too well for him. Yes, he had some good overtaking going on but that was on fresh tyres. He really (or indeed Ferrari) should have done better from 2nd place on the grid.

  4. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 27th March 2013, 11:16

    I would like to see Pirelli make the tyres a bit more durable as I think the tyres currently do play too big a role because the degradation is a bit too much.

    Like others who already posted a comment, I don’t have a problem with tyres wearing but I do have a problem with exactly how much & how quickly the current tyres do wear.

    I am getting a bit fed up with tyres been the biggest talking point through a weekend (As well as before & after) & with the current situation of drivers been forced to cruise around through a race looking after the tyres.

    Ideally (Under the current tyre rules) I would prefer to see a tyre which does wear at a reasonable rate but that still allow drivers to push & race fairly hard.

  5. James (@jaymz) said on 27th March 2013, 15:39

    The tyres are rubbish. We need tyres that the drivers can push 100% for the whole race. It’s horrible watching them plod around saving tyres.

  6. Perhaps if Pirelli listened to Red Bull, races wouldn’t descend into a farce like the last quarter of the Malaysian GP. Drivers are not pushing the car and aren’t utilising their full talents or abilities in them, they are tip-toeing on eggshells, even in qualifying because they want to save tires.

    I understand that Formula 1 is not just about speed but strategy too (with some luck and politics in the mix as well), but the sheer spectacle of F1 is tainted when the cars’ performance are deliberately limited by the tyres.

  7. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 27th March 2013, 18:08

    Massa sure he can end winless run (Autosport) — “I think if we carry on in this direction, the chance for winning races and fighting for the championship is there.”


  8. DaveD (@daved) said on 28th March 2013, 22:55

    Pirelli may be unmoved, but I’m not. I know it may be petty, but I don’t like the way their designing their tires for racing and I’ve changed my mind: I’m buying new Michelin’s for my car now instead of the Pirellis I was considering. The only vote I get in this mess is with my spending and I’m voting.

    If Formula 1 wants more pit stops to “spice up the action” then simply mandate 3 or even 4 pit stops. The teams can decide when they want to time their strategy for the stops by how quickly the tires are going off. But the tires should still be going at 98-99% of their beginning pace even when they’re changed because i watch F1 to see the best drivers in the world pushing the best cars in the world to their limits. I have no interests in seeing drivers save their tires.

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