Four-stop races “is too much”, says Horner

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Cataunya, Barcelona, 2013Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the Spanish Grand Prix showed the current generation of tyres are too aggressive.

Asked if having four pit stops per car in a race was excessive Horner said: “I think for the fans it is too much.”

“It’s difficult enough when you’ve got all the information on your computers and all the strategy tools. I think it does get too confusing. And I think three is the absolute limit.”

Horner has been among the critics of the current tyres this year. Pirelli responded to complaints about their compounds by bringing more durable hard tyres to this weekend’s race.

“We mentioned it earlier in the year, I got lambasted, ‘it’s Red Bull complaining’,” said Horner. “But I’d like you to find a driver in the pit lane that’s really happy with the situation.”

“I think everyone wants to see the drivers going wheel to wheel and racing each other and it not being so much a strategic element to this racing,” he added.

Sebastian Vettel finished fourth after qualifying third. “We?re not going the pace of the car, we?re going the pace of the tyres,” he said.

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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61 comments on Four-stop races “is too much”, says Horner

  1. Loetkoe (@loetkoe) said on 12th May 2013, 16:17

    I think it’s pretty easy to find someone who’s happy with the situation; Kimi Räikkönen.

    • Manished said on 12th May 2013, 16:52

      i remember in melbourne, only kimi and alonso didn’t face the grainning issues while their teammate were nowhere. Same in China.

      According to Pedro Dela Rosa, Alonso and Kimi are very sensitive on tyres, hence they could change their driving style every lap to look after them.

    • Nomore (@nomore) said on 12th May 2013, 17:14

      and Fernando Alonso

    • +1, agreed. I think there is nothing bad in four-stops races – it’s very interesting to observe such races and look to the team strategies. The thoughts that “four stops is too much” from the head of top team sounds at least like a childish. Spanish race shows that the better benefits from such strategies may obtain Ferrari and Lotus. Ferrari conducted a good team work, Lotus is always on on the ridge similar situations thanks to Kimi and its lightning-fast response to changes in the state of the tires. This may help to create the best pit-stop strategies.

  2. magon4 (@magon4) said on 12th May 2013, 16:17

    I have to agree with Vettel and disagree with Andrew Benson, who criticizes RBR and Vettel for saying this.
    It is true, though, no doubt about it – the tyres have to be A factor, not THE factor.

  3. Jake (@jleigh) said on 12th May 2013, 16:20

    I’m not so sure it’s the 4 stops that is the problem, more the fact that nobody is ever really pushing 100%, with lots of different drivers pushing to lots of different levels at different times in the race. It means most passes and differences in pace are pretty much irrelevant.

    F1 needs to look at GP2. The feature race yesterday was superb, and even the slightly dull sprint race this morning was a vast improvement over the farcical bus trip that was the Spanish Grand Prix.

  4. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 12th May 2013, 16:20

    We also had 4 stops in Barcelona in 2011, and 3-4 stops in 2012.

    Today it was the circuit more than the tyres IMO.

  5. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 12th May 2013, 16:21

    Horner is starting to sound a lot like di Montezemolo at Ferrari; for Red Bull it’s the tyres, for Ferrari it’s testing. At the end of the day the Red Bull isn’t faster than the other cars if it can only do this by destroying the tyres, so I find Vettel and Webber’s constant moaning a little pointless. Both they and Mercedes need to figure out how they can use the inherent speed they have from an aero/engine point of view, without melting the tyres 3-4 laps quicker than Lotus and Ferrari.
    In terms of the championship todays result was brilliant for a lot of fans, because it was looking like RBR were pulling away again.

  6. magon4 (@magon4) said on 12th May 2013, 16:26

    Nico Rosberg told Sky Germany´s Tanja Bauer that he was having to go so slow with a fast car in his hands that even she could have managed the times he had to clock… he´s really frustrated.

    • dkpioe said on 12th May 2013, 18:26

      Rosberg needs to realise his car was built wrong, fast for 1 lap, but not for 76. mercedes need to go back to the drawing board and build a good race car, not a qualifying car. they tested at barcelona at the start of the year, so what is their problem?

  7. tmax (@tmax) said on 12th May 2013, 16:27

    We were watching the Pitlanes more than 50% of the race . The Pitlanes were more active than the race track today. If these tire situation persists, I think the TV networks should do Split screen broadcast where they show the race track on one half and the pit lane on the other half because the actions is happening at both the places simultaneously and continuously .

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2013, 16:28

    Wins: hails the team

    Fails: complains about tyres.

  9. markp said on 12th May 2013, 16:31

    If vettel says they drive to the limit of the tyres not the car why is their a gap between cars? Everyone would finish nose to tail driving to the same delta. some teams limits are better than others so tough luck. ebd led to a worse season than this so far and rb protested so hard when they wanted to change mid year so they should have to wait until next year. the tyres do need to be more durable but knowhere near Bridgestone durable. you cannot change during the season its unfair on ferrari and lotus who are better than rb. i take tyres tyres tyres over exhausts exhausts exhausts.

  10. tmax (@tmax) said on 12th May 2013, 16:37

    When will F1 return to the Good ol days when Brawn to come over radio to michael and Say “Michael I need another 7 seconds in the next 5 laps ….Push push push…. ”

    Nowadays it is all slow slow slow ……

    • markp said on 12th May 2013, 16:47

      Michael push push push your team mate is 20 seconds back in 2nd we can lap the Mclaren in 3rd by half distance.

      Ah the good ol days

    • dkpioe said on 12th May 2013, 18:43

      ofcourse that sought of call by Brawn to Schumacher was an easily obtainable goal because of the package they had.
      Oh , yeh, the good old days when ferrari had unlimited testing and tyres made specially for them by bridgestone, at the expense of every other competing teams performance, yeh those were great days…

      • anon said on 13th May 2013, 4:44

        It was obtainable if you were Schumacher. Made me laugh when people would call Brawn a strategy genius. An aggressive strategy only works if you have a driver with the talent to reel off half a dozen consecutive qualifying laps.

        By the way, all the teams had unlimited testing, Ferrari didn’t even have the biggest budget, plus Bridgestone were at a huge disadvantage since they only had one top team testing for them while Michelin had three top teams (McLaren, Williams, Renault).

        That’s how amazing Schumacher was.

    • LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 13th May 2013, 13:48

      Vettel could have won many races in 2011 by over a minute had he chosen.

  11. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 12th May 2013, 16:48

    Couldn’t agree more: I think tyres should definitely play a role as they have made the racing more exciting in general, but when it’s like this it backfires and actually makes the racing worse than it was with indestructible compounds I think. There definitely needs to be a balance struck.

  12. Irejag (@irejag) said on 12th May 2013, 16:56

    I agree 100% with Mr. Horner. It is the cars and drivers that should be pushed to the limit, but the current tires are preventing that from happening and it is resulting in very boring racing.
    But I also feel strong dislike for these tires for a few other reasons.
    1) As much as I respect the skill level of the mechanics in F1, I still feel that we are seeing them far too much recently. I want the drivers to decided who wins, not the mechanics. It is a team sport, I get that, and if it were up to me I would a graphic at the start of every race showing which mechanic is assigned which part of the car so that they could get more recognition, but at the same time I don’t want them to decided the race. Although sometimes that is unavoidable, they are human after all.
    2) One day these tires are going to pick a very unfortunate time to blow up and cause a major accident. What if Grosjean’s tire had fallen apart going into the first corner of the race? F1 says that they are concerned about driver safety and they have taken many steps since Senna’s death, but as far as I am concerned these tires are a huge step backwards. For the safety of the drivers the tires NEED to be reliable.
    So, that is my rant.

  13. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 12th May 2013, 17:14

    These tyres need to go, we must go back to the 80s when drivers could push the entire race distance. Oh wait… fuel saving. Maybe to the 90s or early 2000s then? Oh wait… processional races, everyone on the same strategy. Guess it’s never perfect.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 12th May 2013, 17:49

      @kaiie in the 80′s if I’m not mistaken we had drivers trying to only do one stop or not do any. I think if the objective was to do one stop or revert to a two at every race nowadays it’d be near enough the perfect situation (if we got rid of DRS at tracks/places where it really isn’t necessary)!

  14. matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th May 2013, 17:53

    4 stops is fine. But having 4 stops and still having to really manage tyres at any point is a bit ridiculous.

    • dkpioe said on 12th May 2013, 18:45

      Ferrari chose 4 stops this race so they could push and not worry about tyre wear. it worked for them.

      • Did it work for them? Just about…. I think you’ll find Alonso actually had a puncture going into the final sector coming into his last stint, and had he continued the following lap without pitting, would have suffered a tyre failure like we’ve been seeing on various cars this year. It would have put him out of contention for the race win, and, likly out of the race, since these tyres have a habit of actualy exploding rather than slowly deflating.

        • Merv (@) said on 13th May 2013, 8:26

          Yes it worked for them, 1st and 3rd split only by awesome Kimi.

          Alonso, or any other driver can pick up a puncture on any strategy, it’s a result of driving over a sharp object, not a result of what the tyre strategy happens to be at the time.

          • Bit niave.

            Bit coincodental that the ‘puncture’ came while he was pushing on the tyres just before his last stop. and when these tyres are pushed, they can explode, we’ve seen this in numerous races with numerous cars this year, its not right, and its not safe.

      • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 13th May 2013, 12:03

        In relative terms, Alonso could push compared to Raikkonen. But compared to qualifying pace, they were both far away from pushing!

  15. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 12th May 2013, 18:04

    I am more fed up with people complaining about the tyres than the tyres themselves. However i do agree that the rate of degradation is too much. no one wants to see f1 cars doing pedestrian laps times.

    • dkpioe said on 12th May 2013, 18:45

      which we are not seeing, the times are still incredibly fast

      • They are incredibly fast IF the drivers dont actually race each other, and therein lies the problem, and, why most people are complaining. If they defend or attack, its over, strategy ruined. We saw this with Hamilton in Bahrain, he was able to sit behind the Rosberg train and not over use his tyres, he came home in 5th, while Rosberg fell way back from pole.

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