Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Shanghai, 2013

Raikkonen doesn’t understand tyre complaints

2013 Bahrain Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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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Image ?? Lotus/LAT

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

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  1. I’m sorry but a tyre that degrades in 5 laps, can’t be a good tyre

    1. If it is 4 seconds faster like Vettel did in the last stage then it is an exciting tires.

      1. I find it interesting that you can see the tires change practically with every corner when we are given an in-car camera view. There were times during the race when I really wondered how Pirelli can be happy with the hoards of global fans watching their tires degrade before our very eyes. I wonder if that is one reason why they have changed what they are bringing to the next race.

  2. Coulthard has a good article on bbc website. top drivers can hit the sweet spot consistantly being fast and durable. in china top 4 drivers in f1 got top 4 places. I like the tyres and acrosz a number of forums a few amateur races appreciate them. there is a level which you go over your in trouble or you are scared to go to clise to the level you are too slow. sorts drivers with good throttle control from those that used to hammer tyres and were quick but with no penalty for abusing the tyres. wheelspin kills these tyres so those with the best throttle control thrive. 3 of the top 4 drivers have won the 1st 3 races and soon hamilton will. these tyres bring out the best drivers so show true driving skill.

    1. That was very obvious with Button, he just didn’t have a clue on softs. Compare to Vettel who used them up to the maximum as a clockwork.

      1. While I appreciate DC’s opinion, I just don’t think we envision young up and coming racers dreaming of being good tire conservers, able to obey brilliantly the teams’ instructions to hold to delta times. Yes of course tire conservation is always part of the game and I’m sure they’re being taught that, but imho it just shouldn’t be the overwhelming part, and I doubt young up and comers are being groomed for this.

        As to the top drivers being the successful one’s so far…I think that is a bit of a silly argument since the top drivers tend to be on the top teams and the odds are top drivers in top teams are going to have better odds of succeeding no matter what.

        1. Top drivers top cars but their team mates? Holding delta times sounds easy as if its welk within the limits of the car but team mates are not finishing nose to tail? Seems the best drivrrs hold faster delta times therefore showing their superior skill. it feels mire multi facited this way. in an ideal world i agree with others on here there can be a hapoy median ti the tyres but this should be addressed next season.

      2. I disagree with you Robbie. Button made the softs last for seven laps and he had his fastest time on the last lap. Vettel had the softs on for 5 laps. Don’t forget that Button was on a 2 stop strategy so he had the mediums on for 26 laps. Plus don’t forget the pace differential between the Red Bull and the McLaren.

        Vettel: MN MU (14) MN(31) SN (51)
        Button: MU MN (23) SN (49)

  3. Believe me I think the tyres do make for a more exciting race and it’s great for us fans, but surely it shuts the door on fast developed cars which is a thing to be surely congratulated. I’m not one for any superiority or elitism in F1 but if a technician/engineer/aerodynamicist can develop a superior fast car to others, then surely they should be commended for that. I believe these newer Pirelli tyres do hold the faster developed cars back in order to bring more equality within the paddock but how frustrating must it be to create a fantastic machine and not be allowed to use it to its potential? Perhaps now thinking about it, F1 has developed so much in order to produce an F1 team that can develop the fastest car AND who can handle the tyres. What a challenge! The likes of Adrian Newey may be frustrated and so am I, as a Red Bull fan, but I can also respect the philosophy behind the tyre strategy. If Vettel wins the championship this year it will hopefully show that him and the team behind him have conquered both facets of this ever challenging season.

  4. please someone explain this double standard between racing in the rain and current pirelli era. either both are wrong or both correct.

    1)drivers cannot push the car 100%
    2)if you are aggressive tyres do not last

    do we really want durable tyres where drivers driving over the limit (whatever it maybe) and their mistakes aren’t punished at all?

    1. but this is not talking abouit mistakes. It’s that drivers going “scared” of destroying the tyres don’t allow us (fans) to see how better races would be with more reliable tyres. F1 is starting to become a slower sport, or we see the best drivers of the world letting, just letting the other drivers overtake them because there is no way to defend, add DRS to that and you yave many more overtakes but much less excitement. It’s not that the races are not exciting at all. It’s that they could be better with a set of Bridgestones. And for the ones to start saying that better tyres would mean a single team dominance, they are not so right, because we have 5 top teams ready to do whatever they can to beat the other 4. And good midfield too!

      1. yave… have (typo mistake)

      2. This years gp winner was a few hundreth of a second slower than last years and alot faster than 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2007 only 2008 was much faster. so whats with the tyres slowing things down? I know some years i mentioned were wet but 2010 wasnt and had the industructable boring bridgestones.

        1. China 2010 was a wet race.

          1. Realised after i posted but race time this year was same as last years.

    2. @ f1 fan13 I don’t like wet races, and I don’t like the current Pirelli’s. Nor do I like the argument that the only option aside from today’s tires is tires that are so durable that a driver’s mistakes aren’t punished at all. There is plenty of middle ground for compromise. And I would think that any tire does a little bit less well if a driver has been making mistakes on them vs. a driver that has not, unless the tires are hard as rocks and nobody is suggesting that’s the direction F1 should take.

  5. Its easy, conservative tyres are bad for kimi, his car dont need them, and Lotus knows they are good for Red Bull how is pushing for them and has already accomplish the mission for Bahrain.
    Hate this side of the F1 and hate Red Bull corporatism.

    1. Not sure what you mean by Red Bull corporatism. Can you explain?

      1. I mean, hiding team orders, trying to win the championship by pushing to change rules (or tyres) instead of doing it on the track. They have the best car or one of the bests cars, but they keep doing these things.

  6. MB (@muralibhats)
    17th April 2013, 2:37

    Its time for Ferrari to take on Red Bull in the political drama

  7. Why try to overtake Kimi at the end of the race by pushing him into a mistake.Because your tyres would disintegrate and he’d just overtake you in the next DRS zone. Before Pirelli Lewis would have driven the wheels of that Merc to get past him ,now all he says is “we are not fast enough”.

  8. ed (@doombug11)
    17th April 2013, 6:16

    For me all this chat about Pirelli’s tyres is just typical F1 politics, at the end of the day the game is in the name; This is a sport set to a specific Formula to which the teams are to build a car that can get from flag to flag fastest, and having this type of controlled tyres is part of that formula. Naturally though with the single supplier rule pretty much whatever type of tyre they use will be beneficial to some and detrimental to others, and the competitors and their fans will pipe up about it. Though as they say the cream always rises to the top as is evident by the regularity at which the top drivers finish in the top positions, and that the fastest driver in the fastest car over the two seasons of Pirelli’s has won both titles.

    What get’s me though is the complaining from the paddock, when what was really detrimental to last weekends show was a tyre allocation format that written for the refuelling era and a DRS system that has come about due to the reluctance of the teams to effectively reduce the importance of aerodynamics. If anything doesn’t sit naturally with the idea of Formula racing is artificial entertainment aids and competitors who have a say in the drafting of the rules, not a sensitive tyre.

  9. Of course a driver wants a tyre that doesn’t go off quickly so they can drive flat out. Thats their nature and why they’ve reached the top.

    But these days F1 needs more variables because so much money is thrown at research and development these days (and has been for years now) that it takes just months for those variables to be worked out. A leading team figure at a large team said last weekend about the Pirelli’s ” teams are working flat out to go flat out. It wont take long before most are”. Or else we return to the days when a tyre was produced that suited one driver, who went on to win 5 WDC.

    The same bloke (when TD at another team) said a few years ago “if you want flat out, lots of passing, spins etc go watch local karting”.

  10. Gaston (@gastonmazzacane)
    17th April 2013, 6:35

    ”and you have to look after them a bit more in the race.” This just says everything about, how this tyres sucks.

  11. Kimi the phenom,, love to see him clinch 2013 dwc… From sauber, mclaren, ferrari and now lotus, nothing have changed, always a pure racer and number one driver..
    Full respect

  12. Kimi spoke briefly and clearly. Excellent!. The teams are unhappy with the tires, like children. It is a sport, guys. All in the same conditions and who better to understand the tendency of the tire wear (like Kimi), it will affect the amount of successful races.

  13. Of course kimi doesnt have a problem with the tyres, they’re playing to his advantage, defending them is just as natural as it is for the mercs and redbulls to complain about them. People swayed by either of those arguments alone is being led by one or another teams agenda.

    What you should consider as fans of f1 is what is what provides the best racing. Here opinions are going to differ, however, i feel that the effect the pirelli tyres are having is very negative. Whilst it’s technically true that we saw lots of passing at the previous race in reality we did not. Drivers do not race each other for position anymore, rather they simply drive past whilst the slower guy lets them through without a fight because of how it impacts their overall race because fighting leads to precipitous tyre deg and screwing over strategy. This essentially makes f1 farcical, you may as well hold the race rally style and set the cars off in minute intervals and just record the elapsed time for all the difference it would make to the outcome.

    With the removal of refuelling i agree that something needs to be in place to add complexity in strategy to the race and before trying it tyres that degrade quickly and need replacing often seem like a good way to do that. But it hasnt worked, it has given the added complexity but not kept the racing. This is because the tyres can be ‘protected’ by driving within the limits of the car and made to last longer which makes the cars faster over a race distance but slower per lap than going all out. As far as i understand this is because the pirellis degradation is dependant on physically using up all of the rubber, as evidenced by the discarded rubber off the racing line (which ruins the racing itself) whereas what is required is a tyre that becomes slower at a set rate regardless of how much it it ‘leant on’ which is what we had in the bridgestones. Now the old bridgestones were too robust for this and you’d want a tyre that lost 2 seconds from new after 20 laps rather than the 0.5-1seconds slower from new that they were. But in this way you’d encourage multiple pitstops, have some cars being better on some tyres than others but also allow the drivers to actually race and extract the maximum from the cars because barring flatspotting them or massively overheating them they cant ruin the tyres. They can also just make at least 2 pitstops per race a manditory rule.

  14. And naturally Kimi would _never_ deign to engage in head games.

  15. “Author: MB
    Romain is having issues with tyre management. What do you have to say about that?” I couldn’t find your comment MB so I will reply here.

    Romain’s issues are not down to the tyre but they way he sets up the car. It’s just his inexperience showing.

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