Pirelli hard tyre, Sepang, 2013

Pirelli to make hard tyre more durable

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Pirelli hard tyre, Sepang, 2013Pirelli have announced they will change the compound of their hard tyre from the next race in Spain.

F1’s official tyre supplier says the new hard tyre will be similar in construction to that used last year,

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “After evaluating tyre performance over the balance of the first four races, we took the decision ?ǣ in consultation with all of the teams ?ǣ to change the hard compound from Spain onwards, as we did in Barcelona two years ago when we also introduced a new hard tyre for the rest of the season.”

“This latest version of the hard compound is much closer to the 2012 tyre, with the aim of giving the teams more opportunity to run a wider range of strategies in combination with the other compounds, which remain unchanged.”

Although the aggressiveness of Pirelli’s 2013 tyres had been criticised by some teams, such as Red Bull, Pirelli claim the majority of teams support their choice of compounds.

The new hard tyre will be used for the first time at the next round, the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya, where it has been allocated along with the medium tyre.

Pirelli will bring the soft and super-soft tyres for Monaco, and the super-soft and medium tyres for Canada.

2011-2013 F1 tyre allocations

Circuit 2013 Option 2013 Prime 2012 Option 2012 Prime 2011 Option 2011 Prime
Melbourne Super Soft Medium Soft Medium Soft Hard
Sepang Medium Hard Medium Hard Soft Hard
Shanghai Soft Medium Soft Medium Soft Hard
Bahrain Soft Hard Soft Medium No race No race
Catalunya Medium Hard Soft Hard Soft Hard
Monte-Carlo Super Soft Soft Super Soft Soft Super Soft Soft
Montreal Super Soft Medium Super Soft Soft Super Soft Soft

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Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

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99 comments on “Pirelli to make hard tyre more durable”

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  1. Yeah, when tyres started blowing up by “debris” , they had to do something

    1. Just about any tyre will blow up if you drive over debris. It’s not a phenomenon unique to Pirelli.

      1. Not true.

    2. Yeah, I’m finding these ‘debris’ very strange.
      How could they only affect Massa on race day and not any other driver? Is Massa’s race line that much different or particular to him that he would find a way to drive over those ‘debris’ but no other driver was affected, at least to the extent that he was?
      That onboard footage of his right rear tyre failing seems very extreme to just be put down to ‘debris’.

      Could it be that Ferrari are somehow pushing the tyre usage boundaries in Massa’s car by way of rear suspension angle, load, balance, etc.? Remember the controversy between Pirelli and RBR in Belgium about extreme camber angles and safety.
      Not saying that it would be the same parameters that Ferrari are pushing, but could be a combination of different car settings ‘forcing’ the rear tyres outside of Pirelli’s recommendations, together with yes, possibly some debris that wouldn’t have affected the tyros under a recommended operating window, as didn’t other teams on race day.

      This said, not sure how Hamilton’s practice incident fits in this scenario.
      But it’s Massa’s exclusive double problem that I’m finding difficult to accept with just ‘debris’ on track during the race.

      1. It’s quite possible that debris flew off massa’s front wing and punctured the tyre as it was said that many pieces of debris was found when inspecting the tyre.

      2. Pirelli posted pics of the debris, the pieces were pretty damn large. And the debris keeps moving around all the time, so the driving line isn’t such a huge factor.

  2. Medium tyres in Montreal? Just playing into Red Bull’s hands again, write this championship off.

    1. @lifew12

      Just playing into Red Bull’s hands again

      If that actually turns out to be the case expect a lot of complaints from the other teams.

      1. If in fact RBR are successful, it will not be because they have the same tyres as everybody else, it will more likely be because they have designed a car with higher grip levels. Variety is the spice of life but the WCC is about building the best race car and no team, RBR, Ferarri, McLaren, Williams etc. should be penalised for doing so.

        1. Well, rules were put in place to challenge Ferrari’s domination a few years back and many of us welcomed that as healthy for the sport.
          Why shouldn’t RBR be challenged now? Or any other F1 team in the future?

          1. rules were put in place to challenge Ferrari’s domination a few years back

            Not the same thing at all. Among other things, Ferrari were using bespoke tyres which nobody else had access to. The change then was to require everybody to run on the same tyres. Nobody back then said “Let’s make tyres with the specific purpose of making the Ferrari’s slower”, which is the case with Red Bull today.

          2. They got rid of the blown diffuser after 2011.

        2. @hohum – Maybe a better car on harder tyres, yes. But not on softer tyres, which appears to be @lifew12 ‘s point. Everyone was given tyre specs and testing time, and RBR was not as nice to the softer compounds. They’ve complained. Changing the tyre constructions to make them firmer or more durable and/or changing tyre allocations to harder compounds is directly impacting the championship and directly favoring RBR while at least indirectly harming its competition by not allowing them to benefit from a more tyre-friendly design.

        3. @hohum +1 – I don’t see how this is really a factor to be complaining about: Pirelli themselves have highlighted the fact that the soft tyre needs work so making a switch with the mediums is the logical thing to do.

          Also, if Australia is anything to go by Lotus will have the advantage here again and not Red Bull as @jonathanproc has pointed out to me.

    2. Why do you think so? 2013 medium is almost identical to 2012 soft which is not so durable.

    3. Totally agree, in Bahrain reb bull also was given an advantage when Pirelli used medium instead of the soft tyre. Pirelli have made the tyres last less, but use harder tyres for almost evey grand prix this year, compared to the years before. And I guess it is mainly beacuse Red Bull moan about the degretation.

      1. @kossur7 It’s not harder than last year. This year’s compound is one step softer than last year’s. except teams’ experience and knowledge, it’s hardly harder. Actually softer(especially the option for Canada and Monaco)

      2. @kossur7 I challenge your theory. It helped Lotus turn what was an impossible 2-stop race, into a 2-stop. They helped Lotus shave that extra stop from what would’ve been soft-soft-hard-hard – while with 3 sets of hard tyres, Vettel would just have done soft-hard-hard-hard

        1. @raymondu999 – I concur with that theory: it actually played into Lotus’ hands somewhat that the tyre selection was harder, as it made the two stop possible which – judging from the degredation we saw in China – would have been impossible with the softs.

    4. Red Bull don’t need this. They need to make more durable de Soft and Super Soft compounds. I think this decision favour Ferrari and Lotus.

  3. After evaluating tyre performance over the balance of the first four races…

    I would like to hear some of the details of the outcome of that evaluation. I didn’t see any problems with the hard tyre, and in Bahrain people could do up to 20 laps on them, which seemed just about right. Also, with the majority of the teams asking Pirelli not to ask them to change the tyres, why do they change them? I’m hoping some brave journalists will get some answers for us in the coming weeks.

    Apart from the fact that I don’t understand it, I also don’t think it’s a good idea. I suppose I should reserve judgement until the next race in Spain, but I like the lengths of the stints on the current hard tyres. For me there’s no need to go back in the direction of one-stoppers.

    Finally, I thought the problems were with the soft and super-soft tyres. If Pirelli had made those a little more durable, I could understand, because as it is those compounds were barely raceable for some teams.

    1. since they made the hard harder, I think many misunderstanding their intention. I don’t think they’re trying to tyre conservative. on the contrary, I believe this is the sign that they don’t want to use them too often.

    2. with the majority of the teams asking Pirelli not to ask them to change the tyres, why do they change them?

      I’m pretty sure that what the teams say in public and what they say behind closed doors to Pirelli are two different things.

    3. Its true, I think exactly thesame, That was the idea, increase the life of the softer compounds. The hards are ok. I think this help Ferrari and Lotus.Like alwalys ….

  4. Logical move. Difference between hard and medium was too small. also tyre choice for upcoming races are not too conservative or too aggressive either.

  5. bad new to Lotus in term of qualifying. Harder tyre, much harder to heat up the tyre for 1 lap.

    however, Kimi might try out 1 stopper in Spain. LOL

    1. It is only the harder tyre that is changing and teams aren’t going to qualify on that.

      1. Its true.

      2. Maybe it forces more teams to use softer tyres in Q1.

  6. I think Pirelli know better than most of us, however, I just don’t want to end up in situation where we have a compound that doesn’t last for less than 10 laps. Pitstops do make the race interesting, but too many pitstops make the race a farce.

    1. I don’t want to see those boring one stoppers again

      1. Like Monza, Abu Dhabi or Austin last year, which were one of the best races of the season?

        1. I was referring specifically to the Red Bull stinkfests that we have been especially at the end of 2011 where they could run the whole race even on the soft tyres and only pitted because the rules mandated it.

          1. I have no idea what are you talking about then, because what you are trying to describe didn’t happen.

          2. @lifew12, I guess you mean that RBR are best at tyre management and they should be penalized for this, @armchairexpert, for all the talk about the tyres being the same for every one, yahda yahda yahda, they really mean RBR should be stopped from winning.

        2. @armchairexpert – well the last two examples had very little to do with tyre degredation. In Abu Dhabi, the race was great predominantly for Vettel’s recovery drive and all the action involved in that, plus Hamilton’s retirement allowing for a great challenge at the front.

          In Austin, it was actually due to the tyres being too durable: they wouldn’t get up to temperature and so they lacked grip, making for an exciting race (that again though wasn’t the major influencing factor, it was the fact Hamilton and Vettel were very closely matched).

          So really, those two races were rather exceptional and had little to do with the fact the tyres were durable so less stops were made. As for Monza, was that really particularly exciting? The only interesting thing I thought was Perez tearing through the field, and what was that caused by? Hey presto, good tyre conservation!

          Basically what I’m trying to say is that those races weren’t exciting because of the lack of tyre conservation.

    2. “pit stops do make the race interesting” really ? if so you should really enjoy Monaco, it will be won and lost in the pits, now who’s best at pit stops ? Oh no! RBR again.

  7. good news for kimi and lotus

  8. May or may not play into Lotus’ hands. Kimi will qualify in Mediums, and try a 2 stopper with good result. But then, Ferrari, McLaren may also try the same. So time for Kimi to try 1 stopper.

  9. From the F1F Twitter account:

    So the hard tyre which did 24 laps in Bahrain is to get harder, but not the soft which only managed 7 in China?

    I would imagine that this decision was made in part based the tyre allocations for the next few races, and also by the track surfaces of upcoming events. The next race is at Barcelona in mid-May, and it’s not until the Korean Grand Prix in early October that we get to a circuit with a surface consistent with the one in Shanghai and Bahrain. Although a few of the intervening races – including Barcelona, Silverstone, the Nurburgring and Spa – have sections of circuit that are very new, they are predominantly older surfaces. Pirelli are probably expecting better performance from the soft compound on these circuits, and by the time we get to Korea, India, Abu Dhabi and Austin, the teams will know enough about the behaviour of the tyre that its performance will not be an issue (as was the case last year; the teams understood the tyres by the German Grand Prix).

    1. Agree.

      I think a tyre should be able to run at least 15 laps. Anything below 10 laps is ridiculous. And its performance falls very quickly too.

  10. This is a good decision IMO. Ok, nobody wants to see Red Bull running away with the championship (well, not many anyway), but then the other teams really should try harder and not rely on the tyre compound to level the playing field.

    Now they can run a better soft tyre whilst still having a good gap between the two compounds to enable alternative strategies.

    1. @john-h Well, the other teams might not just lack of downforce because they’re lazy but could be result of trying hard to understand tyre than Red Bull.

      1. Good point, but that’s why its ok that the changes are relatively minor I think. Bear in mind that the Red Bull still seems better on its tyres than for example the Mercedes.

        I never mentioned the teams being lazy and I understand your point of view. I think you can probably argue it one of two ways, but no one had access to the tyres until Melbourne so having this artificial period where teams ‘try to understand the tyres’ means that some teams can luck-out to some extent at the start of the year which I don’t personally like… but hey, at least its not like 2012!

        1. late changes or in season changes are totally unacceptable and should only be done on the grounds of safety alone. Teams test and develop round these tyres, just moving the goal posts could make or break your season and that is simply not fair.

          It happened in 2011 and was swept under the carpet. Ferrari had the tyre nailed and then they got to melbourne and they were no where. Jarno Trulli was one of the few to question the change but the change ruined the championship.

  11. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    25th April 2013, 11:08

    “…giving the teams more opportunity to run a wider range of strategies in combination with the other compounds,”

    Sounds good!

    1. Sound good but I see quite the contrary happening. Last race we had 2-4 stoppers. With harder compounds 1-2s. Wider!?!

      1. @chemakal I don’t think those on a 4-stop in Bahrain had planned the 4th stop. They came in because they had to, not because they planned to the night before.

  12. Encouraging signs but i think the soft tyre needed the most improvements as we saw in the last races. I hope the races are not too dependent on tyres. 30-35% is ok but 90% race all about tyres, managing tyres, not using the 100% pace of the car is not right.

    1. I don’t understand why people want the cars to be able to run at 100%, by the sounds of things most people do not want Red Bull to have an easy ride. Seeing as they have the fastest car, will this not give them a huge advantage, thus creating the problem that everyone wants to avoid?

      1. Most of those calling for “100%” are angry Red Bull fans.

        1. And most of those calling for more tyre management and less racing are angry fans of other than RBR teams.

          1. David not Coulthard (@)
            25th April 2013, 14:45

            Barely anybody are.

            We could be looking at a paradox here. People don’t want Red Bull to win, yet they don’t want the things that basically decrease Red Bull’s lead (perhaps to a level below 0), hmm…..

        2. @aimalkhan – I think that’s a horrible generalisation: I’m a Red Bull fan, yet I only want slightly more durable compounds because I think it will improve the racing as drivers may actually make mistakes from pushing. How is that a bad thing may I ask?

      2. For me its not about wanting them at 100% & its not about been ‘angry red bull fans’ (Im not a red bull fan).

        Its more about not liking the fact that ‘races’ have now turned into driving running around running at 80% & under been told to run to a specific lap time. That isn’t the sort of racing many want to see in F1 & thats why many fans have been critical of it.

        When you have a situation where drivers are not racing the cars around them because there too busy running to whatever lap delta there been given which means there lapping slower than a GP2 car, Something isn’t right.

        All you hear on the team radio feed is drivers been told what lap time to run at.

        1. Amen, at least with the harder tyres we get to see a little bit of racing.

        2. We shouldn’t forget that in the past, during the many golden ages of F1 that we love so much, drivers could never run 100% most of the time because of reliability problems with transmission, brakes, engine, fuel consumption, etc.

          Even if the current tyres allowed for 100% driving, drivers wouldn’t be allowed or able to race that way in order to prevent a DNF from mechanical failure.

          So manage the car, manage the tyre — an F1 race never was like a computer or arcade game where you can drive flat out. That’s what a qualifying lap is about.

          And because teams can gather so much data during a race now, run simulations, plan different race and mechanical scenarios, F1 is increasingly a sport of tactics, pit stops strategy and how different teams react and approach the same racing challenges differently, inside and outside the racing track.
          Give them more durable tyres and it still won’t change this.

          1. I never said that in the past they were driving 100% & im fully aware that was never the case.
            There were races where individual drivers ran flat out, But it wasn’t every driver at every race.

            As I say my issue now is just how much tyre management is been done & just how far off the pace there running.

            In 2011 the Pirelli tyres were of a harder compound/construction & we saw a lot less of the tyre management which we see in 2013 so far, Even last year there wasn’t as much as there has been this year so far.

            As I said in the races there often slower than what a GP2 car could do purely because thats the lap time the drivers have been told to do to look after the tyres. When in the past has this been the case?

          2. Actually, they had to race 100% all race long if they had another driver right behind them determined to race 100% and pass them or detonate. Naturally they would “manage” a substantial lead.

  13. Ok, so they made the decision “in consultation with all of the teams”, which basically was my objection against changing the tyres mid-season. Good for them for admitting they were wrong in the first place, instead of just going ahead with tyres they don’t feel comfortable with. Excellent decision.

  14. “in consultation with all of the teams”

    So after consulting all of the teams they change the hard tyre. I find this strange, last week Pirelli said the majority of the teams told them not to change the tyres at all. What’s changed in a week?

    1. Found the article I was thinking about. So are we to believe that in 6 days the teams have gone from supporting Pirelli’s aggresive tyres to asking them to make the hardset tyre even more durable? Very strange.


      1. Seems as though Hembrey will say whatever the PR department tells him to say. Bit disappointing really.

    2. “What changed in a week” nothing, a tsunami of reality just swamped them.

      1. I’m not sure that’s true. The racing has been good thus far this season and that is largely down to Pirelli fulfilling their mandate perfectly. Yes, it can be a bit tricky to follow at times but I have “watched” each of the first 4 races this season on my timing screens alone and I could still follow the strategies exactly with a bit of help from autosport’s text commentary. I don’t want F1 going back to the dark days of 2000-2004 after having had the racing we’ve had since Pirelli came back to the sport. We complain when there are too many pit stops (see early last season and this season so far) and we complain when there are 1 stop races (e.g. Abu Dhabi, Austin last year), Pirelli can’t win!

        The tyres are perfect as they are, changing them in season will affect some teams more than thers and that isn’t fair…in exactyly the same way that messing with the off throttle blow diffuser rules mid season did a few years back.

        1. dark days of 2000-2004

          What was wrong with 2000-2004?
          There was some brilliant racing & some great overtaking in each of those seasons.

          OK Schumacher/Ferrari won the championships in all of those seasons, However that should not automatically make those seasons somehow dull & boring. Especially given that 2 of them were very close fights (2000/2003) & while the others were less close for the title they all still features tons of great racing & were overall enjoyable seasons.

  15. Didn’t perilli say they would buckle under pressure from the teams? Advantage Redbull now.

    1. * wouldn’t

    2. “Advantage Redbull now” puleeeeze, where is that chorus “the tyres are the same for everybody” perhaps the 10 other teams need to work on making their cars faster, this is supposed to be racing.

      1. @hohum +1! @aimalkhan the teams shouldn’t be lucking-out on points from the fact downforce is hurting these tyres. They should be making their cars faster, not relying on the fact these tyres are far too degradable.

        I anything, this decision is helping Lotus and Ferrari anyway (remember they were fastest in Australia with that tyre selection) so I really don’t see what your problem is.

  16. this is one of my biggest issues with making these silly tyres purely to ‘artificially spice things up’, the tyre supplier can basically decide & manipulate the races/championship.

    who’s competitive on each weekend & who struggles is no longer down to team/driver, its now based more around what tyres the tyre supplier takes to each track & what changes they may decide to make to the compounds.

    we saw in 2011 pirelli made changes to the hard compound & the changes totally killed ferrari whenever that tyre was used, the more conservative tyres towards the end of 2012 favored red bull which gave them an advantage over the others, whenever the soft’s are used this year mercedes struggle with wear & the change to this hard compound may have a negative affect on teams.

    intentional or not, pirelli are having an artificial effect on the races & they can basically determine the order based on what compounds they take to each race.
    what if we go to the final race with a close championship & they pick a compound that hurts one of the contenders & decides the championship.

    its not fair for teams to be forced to run on compounds there car doesn’t like or that there driver doesn’t like the feel of. teams & drivers should be able to pick there own tyre compounds, be it from pirelli or another supplier if they wish. having there package handicapped because of what the tyre supplier does is not what the so called pinnacle of motor racing should be doing.

    ive been a massive f1 fan since i was taken to the f1 at brands hatch in ’72, sadly im starting to lose interest because of all this meddling, artificial gimmicks & silly tyre rules.

    its no longer fun watching the cars because of all the artificial passing with drs & because they run around to a pre-determined lap-time rather than drive them hard close to the limits. i dread to say it but its boring to watch the cars cars.

    1. if they got rid of soft tyres, drs etc. Red Bull would win everything and people would turn off

      1. “if they got rid of soft tyres, drs etc. Red Bull would win everything and people would turn off”

        yet even before we had the pirelli tyres & the drs the tv viewership was going up. even in 2010 when people say there was no overtaking the tv viewership was at a record high.

        yet in 2012 with pirelli, drs & no red bull dominance the tv viewership was down in just about every country. ok in the uk you can point to the bbc/sky deal, however in places like germany, italy, america, canada, china, australia, japan etc… where the tv broadcast arrangements were unchanged less people were watching.

        so its the pirelli & drs which has seen peopel turning off while what we had before was seeing a big rise in people watching.

    2. If they can manipulate the championship as you say then Bernie will be thrilled and will no doubt insist on personally selecting the tyres to ensure the championship is not decided until the last race. Maybe this is the whole point.

    3. You have nailed the whole thing completely sir! Amen to what you just said!

    4. At least this comment makes a change from the usual chorus of “Vettel didn’t win the world championship, it was Adrian Newey”, though the suggestion that Paul Hembery is solely responsible for Vettel’s triple championships is even more laughable.

    5. this is one of my biggest issues with making these silly tyres purely to ‘artificially spice things up’, the tyre supplier can basically decide & manipulate the races/championship.

      who’s competitive on each weekend & who struggles is no longer down to team/driver, its now based more around what tyres the tyre supplier takes to each track & what changes they may decide to make to the compounds.

      Yup. I’ve been saying this for a while.

      The Red Bull criticism is amiss though. The whole point of the tyres in 2012, and especially 2013, was to hobble Red Bull, and hobble SV in particular. That has unintended side effects sometimes. Sorry, Mercedes!

      The thing is, Seb has prospered hugely in the tyre management era of F1. Even in 2010 with the Bridgestones his WDC owed a lot to superior tyre management. Tyre management is one of his strengths. I think the best “anti-Vettel” tyre program would also be the best F1 tyre program, period – make decent, predictable, no-gimmicks tyres and let the various teams and drivers get on with it.

  17. I wonder if this will make Mercedes rethink their strategy to start focusing on 2014. If they can get a tire that lasts a little longer then they can compete. But from what Wolff was saying yesterday, they’re already moving over half their resources over to 2014…and will keep moving more.

    I guess if they’re happy with 4th or 5th, then why should I care.

    1. Since we haven’t even got a tyre supplier for 2014 let alone any tyre specifications surely it’s going to be difficult to solve that particular problem no matter how much resource you have.

  18. Great! Back to 1-2 stoppers. That will give teams wider range of strategies? Winning pays out. Complinents toRBR PR dpt

    1. Back to 1-2 stoppers.

      Whats wrong with 1-2 stoppers?

      I’d much rather see cars racing out on track than sitting stationary in the pits 3-4 times a race.
      I remember when there were zero pit stops in a race & nobody was complaining about needing more pit stops back then.

      I really don’t get the fascination with needing as many pit stops & as much strategy as possible?
      Whats so great about cars sitting in the pit lane?
      Whats so great about cars jumping other cars purely through strategy?

      I thought we were here to watch cars racing out on the race track? Thats what I want to see more of at least!

  19. I hope it’s a small tweak rather than a totally different tire. I’m also glad they didn’t change the soft or super soft, partly because I want to see how these 2013 compounds behave at Monaco.

  20. I am glad that whoever it is that Pirelli take notice of have nudged them in the right direction, any real racing we get now happens when the hard tyre is available to the teams, and the harder and more durable the better if you want to minimize the advantage the leading car has over the following cars.

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