Pirelli to make hard tyre more durable

2013 F1 season

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

2013 F1 season

Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

Advert | Go Ad-free


99 comments on Pirelli to make hard tyre more durable

  1. Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 25th April 2013, 9:13

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

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th April 2013, 9:46

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

    • othertales said on 25th April 2013, 14:08

      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.

  2. LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 25th April 2013, 9:22

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

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th April 2013, 9:25


      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.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2013, 14:02

        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.

        • othertales said on 25th April 2013, 14:20

          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?

          • 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.

          • Forrest (@forrestc3) said on 25th April 2013, 21:03

            They got rid of the blown diffuser after 2011.

        • hobo (@hobo) said on 25th April 2013, 15:19

          @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.

        • @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.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 25th April 2013, 9:39

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

    • Mihkel (@kossur7) said on 25th April 2013, 9:59

      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.

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 25th April 2013, 10:09

        @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)

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 25th April 2013, 10:31

        @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

        • @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.

    • ozmarck (@ozmarck) said on 25th April 2013, 17:04

      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. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 25th April 2013, 9:26

    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.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 25th April 2013, 9:37

      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.

    • 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.

    • ozmarck (@ozmarck) said on 25th April 2013, 17:11

      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. Eggry (@eggry) said on 25th April 2013, 9:33

    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. Candice said on 25th April 2013, 9:36

    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

  6. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 25th April 2013, 9:44

    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.

    • LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 25th April 2013, 10:42

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

      • Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 25th April 2013, 10:47

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

        • LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 25th April 2013, 11:38

          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.

          • Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 25th April 2013, 13:41

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

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2013, 14:15

            @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.

        • @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.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2013, 14:09

      “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. bruce (@eliy) said on 25th April 2013, 10:05

    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. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th April 2013, 10:52

    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).

  10. John H (@john-h) said on 25th April 2013, 11:03

    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.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 25th April 2013, 11:20

      @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.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 25th April 2013, 12:13

        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!

        • 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) said on 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!

  12. JUGNU (@jugnu) said on 25th April 2013, 11:53

    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.

    • Matt (@hollidog) said on 25th April 2013, 12:19

      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?

      • Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 25th April 2013, 12:48

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

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2013, 14:23

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

          • David not Coulthard (@) said on 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…..

        • @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?

      • Dizzy said on 25th April 2013, 13:06

        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.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2013, 14:25

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

        • othertales said on 25th April 2013, 15:06

          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.

          • Dizzy said on 25th April 2013, 16:48

            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?

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2013, 18:57

            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. andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th April 2013, 11:54

    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. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 25th April 2013, 12:28

    “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?

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 25th April 2013, 12:30

      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.


    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2013, 14:28

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

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 25th April 2013, 14:52

        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.

        • Dizzy said on 25th April 2013, 19:50

          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. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 25th April 2013, 12:46

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

    • Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 25th April 2013, 12:46

      * wouldn’t

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2013, 14:33

      “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.

      • @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.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.