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

  1. uan (@uan) said on 16th April 2013, 20:11

    Now we know what Kimi was talking to Fernando about on the podium when DC was interview Lewis.

  2. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 16th April 2013, 20:13

    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.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th April 2013, 15:18

      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.

    • MB (@muralibhats) said on 18th April 2013, 10:10

      Romain is having issues with tyre management. What do you have to say about that?

  3. Well Raikonnen is really thriving so why would he complain, if even when things go wrong for him he just let it by

  4. DaveD (@daved) said on 16th April 2013, 20:37

    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.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th April 2013, 15:26

      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.

  5. jason101 said on 16th April 2013, 20:48

    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.

    • Stagger (@stagger) said on 16th April 2013, 22:22

      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 :/

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th April 2013, 15:39

        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.

  6. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 16th April 2013, 21:34

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

    • bimo said on 17th April 2013, 14:17

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

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th April 2013, 15:43

        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.

  7. mark p said on 16th April 2013, 21:35

    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.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 17th April 2013, 0:22

      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.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th April 2013, 16:48

        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.

        • mark p said on 17th April 2013, 23:37

          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.

      • PARAZAR said on 18th April 2013, 17:43

        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)

  8. Liz Gregson (@elsybetg) said on 16th April 2013, 21:50

    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.

  9. f1 fan13 said on 16th April 2013, 22:07

    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?

    • 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!

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th April 2013, 16:54

      @ 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.

  10. YoN1S said on 16th April 2013, 22:23

    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.

    • Liz Gregson (@elsybetg) said on 17th April 2013, 0:58

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

      • YoN1S said on 17th April 2013, 8:53

        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.

  11. MB (@muralibhats) said on 17th April 2013, 2:37

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

  12. jpowell (@jpowell) said on 17th April 2013, 2:48

    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”.

  13. ed (@doombug11) said on 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.

  14. @Adorimedia (@adorimedia) said on 17th April 2013, 6:32

    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”.

  15. Gaston (@gastonmazzacane) said on 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.

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