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.

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118 comments on Raikkonen doesn’t understand tyre complaints

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  1. James (@jamesf1) said on 16th April 2013, 17:06

    Thank you Kimi, if only the other drivers adopted his “shut up and get on with it” mentality on this issue.

    • roadie said on 16th April 2013, 17:15

      Amen to that!

      • MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 16th April 2013, 17:45

        it’s a lot easier to “shut up and get on with it” when “it” gives you an advantage over everyone else

        • panache (@panache) said on 16th April 2013, 17:59


        • Candice said on 16th April 2013, 18:31

          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,

        • BarnstableD (@barnstabled) said on 16th April 2013, 20:06

          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.

          • MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 16th April 2013, 20:34

            @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.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th April 2013, 6:15

            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.

        • bimo said on 17th April 2013, 8:32

          I dont remember Kimi complained over triple-deck diffuser or F-duct or DDRS or others more powerful engine either. So?

      • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 17th April 2013, 20:45

        Agreed, it’s the constant moaning that’s annoying. I suppose thats the price for giving everyone a stage for their opinions and I guess it’s still worth it regardless. :)

    • timi (@timi) said on 16th April 2013, 18:07

      @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

    • Nomore (@nomore) said on 16th April 2013, 18:33

      Alonso approve this message.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 16th April 2013, 20:28


      Well, I rather have them voicing their opinions.

      • James (@jamesf1) said on 16th April 2013, 22:03

        There’s a fine line between voicing opinions and whinging at every race. The challenge is the same for everyone. The better drivers have figured out to get them to work.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 16th April 2013, 20:42

      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?

      • YoN1S said on 16th April 2013, 23:59

        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.

      • Loko said on 17th April 2013, 0:48

        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.

      • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 17th April 2013, 21:00

        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.

    • 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.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 17th April 2013, 9:06

        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.

  2. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 16th April 2013, 17:07

    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!

  3. 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.

  4. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 16th April 2013, 17:12

    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.

    • Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 16th April 2013, 19:30

      F1 politics in a nutshell.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th April 2013, 15:06

        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.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th April 2013, 15:08

          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.

  5. “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.

    • Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 16th April 2013, 17:51

      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’.

      • Jimmy2013 said on 16th April 2013, 18:33

        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.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th April 2013, 20:46

          There’s been 1000x more ‘racing’ in the 2 Indycar races so far

          I half agree. St Petersburg wasn’t very good – not much passing and far too much time under caution. But the Barber race was a cracker – better than any of the F1 races so far this year.

        • Kimi4WDC said on 17th April 2013, 0:11

          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 :(

    • The Next Pope said on 16th April 2013, 18:59

      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.

  6. dennis (@dennis) said on 16th April 2013, 17:25

    In other news, gay men don’t understand problems with vaginal fungus.

    • Dan (@esquilax) said on 16th April 2013, 17:34

      Haha good one!

    • MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 16th April 2013, 17:43

      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

      • Candice said on 16th April 2013, 18:34

        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

      • 5150 (@) said on 16th April 2013, 18:58

        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.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 17th April 2013, 0:13

        Did I miss anything? Kimi did 20 laps on softs? He had identical strategy.

    • maybet said on 16th April 2013, 18:43

      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.

      • MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 16th April 2013, 21:01

        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

  7. seeing scarlet said on 16th April 2013, 17:35

    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

  8. 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.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 16th April 2013, 18:30

      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…

    • @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.

  9. TMF (@tmf42) said on 16th April 2013, 18:02

    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.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 16th April 2013, 18:32

      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?

    • Lari said on 16th April 2013, 18:35

      @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?

  10. Fake, Raikkonen doesn’t give more than one sentence interviews.


  11. Lari said on 16th April 2013, 18:37

    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.

  12. 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%!

  13. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 16th April 2013, 19:25

    Red Bull racing does not approve of this.

  14. Luca Nuvolari (@nuvolari71) said on 16th April 2013, 19:57

    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

  15. Bendanarama (@bendana) said on 16th April 2013, 20:11

    Driver who has scored a win, a points finish and a podium doesn’t have complaints about tyres. Shock. Horror. I am amazed.

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