Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Shanghai, 2013

Raikkonen doesn’t understand tyre complaints

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Shanghai, 2013Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t agree with the criticism of the current generation of F1 tyres.

The 2013 tyre range produced by Pirelli has drawn fire from some teams and drivers for forcing them to back off during races.

But Raikkonen says it isn’t a problem. “I think you can push on these tyres, but it?s never perfect,” he said. “You cannot always push 100%.”

“I think they are very good in qualifying and have good grip, so it?s up to you and you have to look after them a bit more in the race.”

“It?s not really any different from last year ?ǣ at least for us anyway ?ǣ so I don?t really understand why people are complaining.”

Team principal Eric Boullier said Formula One had been supplied with the tyres it asked for: “As a sport we asked our tyre supplier, Pirelli, to provide us with tyres which encourage different strategies and adapting to this is part of the competition.”

“We?ve seen some great racing so far this year and Pirelli can take some of the credit for this. We are all allocated the same tyres so it?s up to us as teams and the drivers in the cars to make the most of them.”

Pirelli will supply a more conservative tyre range for this weekend’s race than they originally planned, swapping the soft tyre for the medium compound.

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Image ?? Lotus/LAT

118 comments on “Raikkonen doesn’t understand tyre complaints”

        1. THats the funny stuff. Only kimi and alonso could manage the tyre well. While their teammate suffer miserably to get it right and last long.

          Car nature is crucial, however the driver behind the wheel play major role as well,

        2. The tyres don’t give Lotus an advantage; their car being kind to the tyres gives them an advantage. Different.

          I can completely understand Lotus’ point of view: they’ve made a car that works really well with the current tyres, and so they should be able to enjoy that. It’s not pot luck – they’ve built upon a car from last season that had the same characteristics.

          Changing to the compounds so early in the season is, in my opinion, a knee jerk reaction to pressure from the big teams. As we saw last year, it doesn’t take long for teams to understand the tyres and make them last. If Pirelli take a conservative approach too early, we could end up losing the excitement they have brought for the last few seasons. And then everyone will cry out that races are boring and that Pirelli should produce trickier tyres again.

          1. @barnstabled ofcourse the advantage comes from the car, how can it come from the tyres?
            I’m not criticizing Lotus, actually kudos to them for anticipating what the season would be like and building the car accordingly, their usually very good at this.
            About the compound changes, there probably is a case for Pirelli cracking under the pressure of teams, but still, tyres that last for a handful of laps is somewhat annoying, and I might be wrong, but for the two last year we never had a race that tyre performance was measured by corners rather than laps.

          2. thing is, @mnm101, other teams could have done the same with developing their car, its not as if they were not informed about what way the tyre development was heading, so now coming out and saying its not fair because what was the best optimized way to go last year, and the year before suddenly doesn’t work as great as it did anymore.

    1. @mnm101 This.
      I try to ignore both sides of the comments from drivers regarding the tyres. The only people who have commented on them are those who either thrive on them, or suffer because of them. I’d love to hear from the Williams and Torro Rosso etc etc to see what they think. I feel as though media forget there are 11 teams on the grid

    2. I advise you to listen to Jenson’s post race interview where he says the “fastest way to get to the end of the race is not to defend” (just let faster cars through).

      Think about that for a minute will you? Is that racing?

      1. You are absolutely right, but you can not change this in the middle of the season, it’s obvious someone will get a benefit from that, but it have be a discussion for next year.

      2. It has nothing to do with tyres. No mater if you have borestones or pirelli. You are always losing time when defending or racing hard. Button/McLaren felt they are not racing against some cars.. Did they finish ahead of them? I guess, no.

      3. What he is really saying is that McLaren dont have a fast car and he’s just trying to maximise the situation. People have been protecting their tyres for years we just never heard it during a race like that before now. Tactics always sound tacky;) unless its to drive as fast as you can. We regularly heard that drivers were conserving tyres/saving fuel in previous years to gain an advantage or mount an attack later. The tactics used by Red Bull, Mclaren and Sauber in P1 on sunday added a bit of spice but they were no real threat in the end. It might work sometime and probably would have worked for Alonso had he been in Button’s position. But it added to the show and thats what we want and thats thank’s to Pirelli.

    3. I think he was just honest. Every time someone struggles with the tyres they blame Pirelli, especially if you are talking of the big guns. No one has come out and say that the Pirelli tyre can be very fast, they have been much faster than in the previous season, despite of the minor technical changes and tyre compound allocation. Teams only complaint about what they are lacking, if they are lacking something is their problem and that’s how people should face life. If you analyse the Lotus in particular, pace and durability has been very similar to the start of 2012 the only thing that changed from last season is that Red Bull is struggling with the tyres and their are making a big fuss about it.

      1. Pirelli are the scapegoat here. I blame the FiA for the tyres and DRS but I also think there is a lot of good things about modern F1 too, Malaysia was a great race. But never fighting for position as with China is not a race, its called a time-trial.

        Either scrap Drs or the high deg tyre…or at least run a race without drs as a test.

  1. This only serves to increase how much I like Raikkonen. I was never a big fan of his during his first stint, mainly because I never liked McLaren, but for some reason I really like him now, and this comment from him has made my day!

        1. @jamiefranklinf1 oh im very sorry that your favourite driver chose to drive for a team you dislike! aha, which is why its a little easier for me that i support a team rather than particular drivers…but the problem would still arise i guess if a driver i disliked started driving for ferrari aha

  2. Interesting, a lot of people would change their views on Pirelli tyres now I presume. Considering everything that Kimi says is always right because after all, it’s Kimi! He’s not capable of being wrong or political, and he also never whines.

    1. Well, part of what makes Kimi Kimi is that he doesn’t hesitate to speak his mind, whereas so many other drivers only know how to engage in corporate newspeak. I don’t think the Iceman’s statements will do much to encourage support for Pirelli from other drivers who’ve already been lobotomized.

  3. Oh come on. It’s obvious that those whose cars don’t cope with tires well WILL complain. Those whose cars are gentle for tires, like Lotus, will defend the supplied compounds. End of the story. Everyone just wants to play to their strengths, nothing unusual here.

      1. Yeah exactly. That Kimi doesn’t mind the tires doesn’t mean that everyone should just shut up. That Lotus has started off with a bit better handle on the tires doesn’t mean everyone has been as lucky, nor that the tires will do well for the Lotus’s at every venue. Nor that the fans are happy seeing a competition between team engineers rather than between drivers on the track.

        Bottom line for me…the tires are very polarizing when you have some drivers like KR saying they’re fine, and other drivers like JB saying you can’t defend with them without ruining them and therefore your strategy. And in the rate the race comments half seemed to like the race whereas a lot of people thought the tires had too much influence over the race.

        I personally don’t really watch F1 to cheer on the best engineer on the team who best figures out how to eek out a little bit better performance or longevity out of the tires. I want to see gladiator vs gladiator pushing their cars to the limit, not a couple of cars/drivers who happen to be having a better day than the rest with respect to tires while the rest are running delta times and not defending positions for fear of screwing up their finishing place by screwing up their tires.

        1. Wanted to add that it is interesting that in the same article above we have KR saying he doesn’t understand the complaints, and yet Pirelli have changed what they are bringing to the next race.

  4. “We’ve seen some great racing so far this year and Pirelli can take some of the credit for this. We are all allocated the same tyres so it’s up to us as teams and the drivers in the cars to make the most of them.”

    But we just haven’t really… We’ve seen 5-6 laps per race of pretty good racing, and 50 laps of nearly no racing. The only time drivers are near one another is when the pitstops shuffle them up and then the car on older tires just lets the freshly pitted car go.

    As I’ve complained about since the season started, we haven’t seen any good racing, we’ve just seen interesting race results. Great for the fan who cares about the outcome, or in watching the highlights, but the racing has been dreadful 3 races in.

    1. We’ve seen plenty of good racing in the 3 races so far for positions all over the field. It could’ve been even better if DRS was removed and there was an actual battle for position rather than easy pass on the straight.
      These tyres have improved the racing significantly but the FIA could do more to alter the cars to make them more ‘racing friendly’.

      1. We’ve seen plenty of good racing in the 3 races so far for positions all over the field.

        As @hwkii said, We havn’t.

        Its all been a series of easy & boring passes & drivers going around at 70-80% saving tyres, There’s been no real exciting racing with drivers battling over position & pushing one another hard for several laps, There’s been zero interesting overtakes & no good wheel to wheel battles.

        AS far as im concerned what we have had in the 1st 3 rounds has not been racing, Its been artificial swapping of position & cars out of place in the order due to tyre stops.

        There’s been 1000x more ‘racing’ in the 2 Indycar races so far which is why i’ll be watching that instead of f1 from now on having been a massive f1 fan since 1971.

        1. I watched CART in Zanardi, Mantoya days, furiously, that was amazing. But last and this season, I would rather watch GP2. It’s just something about the cars, the way they translate into the tracks, I can’t get it :(

    2. I agree to an extent, with the interesting race results as I’ve enjoyed that. I don’t know if I’d call the 3 past races as dreadful, but something about the Chinese GP made me think that the tyres are a bit too much. One time they work, the next they don’t. It’s interesting to see the strategies unfold but it was too.. weird. I don’t know. D:
      Oh well, hope the teams sort it out sooner.

    1. LOL thats exactly the case here, just goes to show how much the Lotus is gentle on tyres, so much so that Kimi barely feels a difference to last year, while others are going crazy

      1. you mean Kimi. Because Romain was going mental on the tyre as well ROFL.

        Ferrari is very gentle on tyre as well as Fernando claim it was. Well, only on alonso ‘s side, Felipe was complaining about the tyre grainning all the while LOL

      2. I believe you’re wrong! I don’t think it’s as much Lotus as it is Kimi’s driving style and his set up. We don’t see Grosjean doing same things as Kimi.
        I will probably be bashed for I will say now, but in my view Kimi is more Prost like than any other driver in caravan. Much more than Button!
        To make my point clear; let’s remember that he almost always had at least 2 laps more fuel on board than any other driver while driving for McLaren and Ferrari.
        Not only he had the set up and speed to qualify well, but in my view he made his tyres last longer than his rivals.

    2. its not like Lotus can do 1 stint for the whole races ROFL

      Their option stint fall off the cliff at the same time as Merc around lap 5 last week in shanghai gp.

      Driver element still proven to be crucial.

      1. I’m not saying that the Lotuses perform miracles with the tyres, obviously it’s the combination of Kimi and the car that is making the difference, you can easily see that by comparing to Grosjean.
        What I’m saying is that compared to Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton, whom all proved that they are excellent at tyre conservation, Kimi has less problems dealing with the tyres, because his car is gentler, which makes it logical for him to give these statements, and for them to say things in the opposite direction

  5. RBR is leading the change the tires charge because it takes Newey out of the picture. In order to make to make the tires last a team has to reduce down force or the tires burn up, take to much off and the car slides on long turns. Damn the bad luck, lol

  6. We’ve seen some great racing so far this year

    As much as I like Kimi – who is my pick to win the 2013 WDC – I don’t think good results for him are the same thing as “great racing”. What we’ve seen in the first three races has resembled timed trials more than normal F1.

    1. I don’t think good results for him are the same thing as “great racing”. What we’ve seen in the first three races has resembled timed trials more than normal F1.

      @jonsan – I dunno. I personally have enjoyed the spectacle of the racing and have found “the show” to be quite entertaining thus far (although I admit I follow F1 not just in the hope of experiencing some pure sporting ideal defined in technical terms and max utilization of a car’s potential). For example, I found it compelling to see Adrian Sutil lead the race in his first GP back after being kicked out of the sport, basically, even though we knew he could not win b/c his tires would fall away.

      But hey, if you don’t like it or aren’t satisfied, that’s the beauty of being able to freely express your opinion…

    2. @jonsan precisely: don’t get me wrong I like what Pirelli have done in making the strategies more prominent and I think what has made the racing more exciting but when drivers radio staying “what is the target laptime” you know it’s gone too far.

  7. Not really surprising – Lotus wouldn’t be competitive if other teams like Ferrari, RBR or Mercedes could push all the way thru.
    It’s true that tires are the same for everybody and that strategically managing your race is an integral part of racing in F1. But if only 1 guy goes on his car’s performance limit for 4.5 laps in a 56 lap race then there is something wrong – and the balance between strategy / equipment / racing seriously disrupted.

    1. Lotus wouldn’t be competitive if other teams like Ferrari, RBR or Mercedes could push all the way thru

      @tmf42 – ??? what is that supposed to mean? are you suggesting that Ferrari, RBR and Mercedes aren’t driving to 100% of the package’s potential, and that only Lotus are?

    2. @tmf42 “Lotus wouldn’t be competitive if other teams like Ferrari, RBR or Mercedes could push all the way thru.” What makes you think that? Team budget size? Something you know that we don’t?

  8. I bet Kimi didn’t even want to say this but he was asked until he said something to shut the reporters up. If there is opinions “wars” going on, Kimi is the last person to take part in those I’d imagine.

  9. Of course you don’t, because you’re car doesn’t chew them to pieces! I think it’s the correct decision from Pirelli though, for the sake of the viewers more than anything else. We’d just see yet more people sitting out Q3 and everyone not using the softs for more than 5 or 6 laps likely again, then drivers cruising round at 80% for the rest of the race.

    At least now they might be able to drive at 85%!

  10. Kimi is also a ice hockey player and a WRC Driver… not a coincidence he doesnt complain. Possibly not as complete as Fernando or Lewis, but surely the purest and rawest talent of the last 10 years. Give him a wheelbarrow and he’ll race his butt off

  11. Well of course the driver and team principle of the team whose car appears to be the most gentle on its tires would say that. Let’s not forget whose old car Pirelli uses to test the tires now, and while I’m confident Pirelli guarded their own testing data very closely, it’s inevitable that the team whose car was used to develop the tires will gain some benefit from that if their current car shares some basic design concepts.

    1. While I appreciate what you are saying, I would assume that the other teams were fine with what car Pirelli used for testing, and presumably would not have agreed to a situation that would benefit one team over all the others.

  12. I know this won’t be popular based on many of the postings so far, but I totally hate this racing on pins and needles. Give them some tires that WORK and let them race. I don’t care which car is softer on it’s tires, I want to know which driver and which car can get around the track the quickest.

    1. I don’t know why you would say your comment won’t be popular. I agree with you completely and I think many do. And when you look at how the last race was rated, many loved it, but many did not. I think viewers either see the action and enjoy it for what it is, while others such as myself can’t erase from our minds what is going on as we are watching a pass. Is it because of DRS, because of huge tire performance differences at that particular time, or because the leading car doesn’t want to ruin his tires by defending and therefore lets the trailing car go. With all those possibilities nowadays it is very hard to distinguish if/when we are actually seeing a driver outperform a driver with a cunning move of skill.

      I too want to see gladiator vs. gladiator out there. The best drivers in the world pushing their cars to the limit. And I reject all suggestions that if we didn’t have these tires we would have processions. There is plenty of middle ground and for me it starts with way way less aero dependancy and no DRS.

  13. For me I feel there is a danger of looking to the past with rose tinted glasses.

    Like many I’ve watched F1 for a number of years and until the last few seasons with DRS and the Pirelli tyres on a number of occasions I’d fallen asleep in front of the TV (literally not figuratively) because once a car was in front the only excitement was a pit stop and it was the end of the race.

    I appreciate DRS is a fake way to overtake but when people talk about ‘passing in the race’ I struggle to think back to how many overtakes would happen say 7-10 years ago outside of jumping someone on a pitstop.

    It may not be ‘pure’ but things change and there will be other changes in the future.

    Harking back to how it used to be prior to this change or that change doesn’t move the debate forward.

    I recall watching Ferrari lap practically everyone in the early 2000’s was fun at first and then became dull, because it was almost a foregone conclusion what the outcome would be.

    I enjoy watching the teams having to struggle to understand how things are working, for example the tyres, then adapt to them and not just being able to throw money at the problem to solve it.

    I think for me with DRS it would be more exciting to have it enabled all the time and let the drivers decide when to use it rather than having it limited to certain sections. Issues over safety? Yes, but that then becomes personal responsibility for you and those around you; exactly the same as anyone who drives on the road or walks down the street.

    I can’t remember who commented as too which is safer, an airbag on a steering wheel or fitting a large metal spike instead. It would make people more aware of their driving and be more cautious.

    The same for me applies to DRS and when to use it, sure apply the brakes and turns off that’s sensible, but why not let the driver determine when to open the flap in the first place?

    Lots of people complained about KERS and it then gets accepted and DRS is the next problem. One thing is certain, something else will change that some people like and others don’t, that’s what makes F1 for me a fascinating spectacle to follow.

    For me top marks to Pirelli for avoiding a snooze fest of predictability and keeping me awake on a Sunday afternoon. That’s the way I feel about. Everyone has there own opinion which is great and long will the debates continue.

    1. i totally agree with you, I much more prefer this kind of racing than the one we had some years ago. Also i would like to add that it doesn’t make so much difference anymore that drivers don’t have to push the cars 110% all the time… whats the use if they do push and they do a mistake? they gonna end up loosing 1 -2 secs in the huge runoff areas that most of the circuits has.
      I prefer watching them try to preserve their tyres and strategy from the pit-wall.
      If they turn with 235 km/h instead of 243!! i really dont give a damn. F1 the last 3-4 years is very exciting to watch but there always will be people who wont like this , wont like that… I would love to put all of the grid in the same car with the same tyres and watch the race, but it wont happen…
      enjoy F1 right now because is freakin awesome. If the do change the tyres / DRS / Kers it will be a early 00’s era again :/

      1. I disagree completely that the options are either these tires, or the processions of the ‘early 00’s era’. There is tons of middle ground. Grippy tires that don’t degrade so badly nor are so cliffy that they dictate the race. Much less dependancy on aero such that the grippy tires can give a driver confidence to attempt passes while in another’s dirty air. No DRS. Mechanical grip, no gadgets, much less dirty air effect, equals driver vs. driver on the track.

        I also note that the processions of the MS/Ferrari era were caused not just by durable stable tires. They had refueling stops which made for totally different strategies than today. They had, just like today, aero dependancy and therefore slow cars able to hold up faster cars in their dirty air, but they didn’t have DRS. And MS was favoured hand over fist over all the other drivers on the grid such that it wasn’t an apples to apples comparison. Everything was skewed for MS to win WDC’s, and given Ferrari’s veto power over the rules, and the extra moneys they get from F1, that has as much if not more to do with the processions we saw as the tires of the time.

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