Pirelli keen to avoid claim of Red Bull favouritism

2013 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Pirelli are wary of making too many changes to the current generation of tyres which might be seen as favouring Red Bull, who have persistently lobbied for more conservative compounds.

In the wake of yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix Christian Horner said cars should not be making four pit stops per race.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said that while Pirelli do not want to produce four-stop races, it did not want to be seen as favouring Red Bull either:

“You can imagine, though, if we make a change, that it might be seen that we’re making tyres for Red Bull in particular,” he said.

“That’s been the comment made in the media that Red Bull are pushing to make a change and if we do something that helps them you can understand that Lotus and Ferrari won’t be happy. So it’s a very difficult situation we sometimes find ourselves in.”

Hembery says this year’s tyres are degrading more quickly than they would like because of the increased performance of the cars:

“The cars are certainly pushing a lot harder than what we’ve seen in the past. The downforce levels are getting close to 2011 when the cars had blown diffusers. We also are seeing that with our new structure of tyre we’re pushing much harder the compounds. So combine those two together and we find that we really are working the compounds much more than we have done in the past.

“We don’t get to see the cars, of course, until we get racing with them. We don’t have any in-season testing, we don’t have access to those cars for testing so unfortunately we do have to learn sometimes when we’re actually at the race event.

“We will make changes, we want to bring something to Silverstone to make sure we are back on track, we’re at two or three stops. That could mean compound changes, structure changes, we’ll decide that within a week.”

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146 comments on “Pirelli keen to avoid claim of Red Bull favouritism”

  1. Been a long time since I posted here but I need to remind some of the younger viewers that the sport has been dogged for decades with changes. If you are over 50 you will remember the aero advantage, over 40 the turbo era. Over 30 the auto everything seasons. The sport changes and those who lose out complain. This is not a game where the rules change to keep people happy. Everyone knew about the new tyres, only some modified the car to suit. F1 cars do not run at 100% and have not for a long time. Limited engines, gearboxes and the loss of T cars saw to that. The subject of complaint has changed, the sport has not.

  2. So by the Ferrari fans logic, RBR had all the tire issues all figured out in Bahrain and Ferrari was the team that had not designed their car appropriately for the tires. By the way Vettel was ahead by well over the 23 seconds required for a pit stop and could have finished there but decided to pit to ensure his tires would last.

    This is just extremely selective thinking colored by a recent win.

    The tires at the very least need to be made safe, as of now they are not.

  3. With these tyres you may as well not take part in qualy as grid position now means nothing. For years no one complained about the pole sitter winning races now it doesnt matter. Your better off sitting it out and saving tyres.

  4. The astounding irony being that Red Bull themselves are heavily responsible for current dissent among current F1 fans, in that no one wants to watch the same driver win everything at all times (i.e. the Schumacher era, go look at those plummeting ratings to see how well they liked it)

  5. Could someone please put up the closing laps of Monaco ’92 and educate some of these Johnny-come-lately RBR / Merc fans on why conserving tyres doesn’t mean poor racing !!

    1. That race had nothing to do with conserving tyres.

      In fact the hard compound they had back then meant they could go the full race without any pit stops with ease which is why it wasn’t uncommon to see people take that strategy.

  6. Tyres + Viral = TYRAL

    That’s where we are now in 2013, no matter how real or imagined. Driven by forces in and out of F1 it is now the lone defining subject of the season so far. Probably not as bad as the doomsayers and the Drivers & Constructors leader Red Bull make it out to be, but it’s now all that many of those covering F1 seem to want to talk about. Pirelli seems to add more fuel to the fire no matter what they explain or announce.

    As some wise folks have stated before, it is the same tires for all teams. Some teams have adapted and are racing better than others. Life goes on. Not complaining that people are discussing it. That’s what we do. The proportion has however, exploded and gone Tyral!

  7. Hysterics aside, the main issue with these tyres is that you simply cannot race on them. Yes you can win, but NOT by racing. If every one crawls around in a competition, somebody will still win. This is what a sport should be about.

    Ferrai did not race in Barcelona as claimed by so many people. Lotus did not race, Merc did not race, RBR did not race and McLaren did not race. Not only that, they did not even defend most of the time. This is why the tyres are bad on so many grounds.

    This is also not just an issue about degradation, but the fact that no matter the compound, they start to degrade immediately – after the first lap; irrespective of whether you push or not – again cue the constant tiptoeing on them. Surely, that cannot be right.

    But the biggest nub of it is Pirelli’s incompetence; as they simply do not understand the tyres themselves. All their predictions regarding the tyres have been wrong. From the working temp range, to how long they should last, to how many pit-stops expected on them. The construction is also shoddy, as evidenced by the number of delaminations – 7 so far this year (and we are only in the 5th race. Cue Hembery with yet another excuse again. This time, it is that the cars are using them harsher than expected. He gave a reason for extreme degradation in testing, in Barcelona, he gave another reason.

    Yes, they are the same for everyone, but this does not make them a good thing. If you tied every footballer legs together and asked them to play, it still would not be a good thing, just because “its the same for everyone”? Yes, it’ll make for a good spectacle, but that’s about it. Or am i misssing something here?

    Surely, F1 better than this.

  8. by the number of sudden tyre d-lamination’s on the weekend it seemed to me that Pirelli are headed in the opposite direction or is it a QA blunder? DiResta blowing a tyre down pit straight, I dont understand how that’s not a safety concern right there….if it had been Michelin they probably would have pulled out :)

  9. Everybody is given the same tyres, if these people claim to be the greatest teams, engineers, drivers, crewmembers, etc in the world then shouldn’t they be able wrap their heads around what isn’t really a problem in the first place? Maybe the people that travel around with this circus really aren’t the “best in the world”…… Or then again maybe it’s just a case of smart people looking for a complex solution to a simple issue & just simply over-thinking it.

  10. First of all tyre are same for everyone. No one is getting an advantage over it. Its just your car design. every one knew how the tyres will be when testing began. If Kimi can manage a podium with 1 less pitstop it means they have a better car on tyres which is some what a Genius car design. Ferrari are doing ok too.
    So i say Redbull Pls stop this rubbish about tyres.. So sad your car design it not the best.
    But i do understand 80 odd pitstops are too much for 66 laps. But then again Cataluniya always hard on tyres..
    So many teams have so many strategies in the race. If we look closely about the race no one was sure who is goin to win the race until they all finished their last stops.. so in a way its good…
    NOTE- This is just my point of view only…

  11. Pirelli’s have done a fantastic job of producing tyres which had changed the dynamics of a F1 car. Its a challenge for the engineers to not only build a car around its aerodynamics but also its tyres. Now after its three years stint in F1(recently),Pirelli are facing its hardest criticism.But thats understandable because with the tyre structure failures with Merc,FI and I guess even I saw similar failure in the last race with one of the Torro Rosso’s(if I am not wrong). But I am amazed how the RedBull’s are so much vocal with this tyres? We have seen a Bridgestone era where an almost a race distance could be performed with a single set of tyres & now a Pirelli era where tyres are as important as any other development of the car.
    It is easy to produce a tyre that can last an entire race distance and you could then see a Red Bull / Ferrari/ Merc/ McLaren winning each a every race fare and square. But with the current situation of tyres it is different and thats why its interesting. But yeah I believe the structural failure is a real embarrassment for Pirelli’s,that compromises safety. But else its quite ok with how it is.
    Criticizing is not the way they are doing a job what they are told to do thats it. Its ethical or unethical is upto the FIA/FOM the teams. Red Bull and Merc should have been smart enough to atleast consider the tyres while designing the car. They were not unknown to the situation,were they? If Pirelli changes it entire tyre structure and make it more durable then why didn’t they do it at the start of the last season? Now teams who have considered tyres as a major part of there car development is sure to either gain or loose which is an unkonwn. Hence I think it would be very wrong to take such step now.

  12. “It is a bit bizarre – unless you all want us to give tyres to Red Bull to help them win the championship, which appears to be the case.”

    This is really rediculous. So we must do everything to avoid the best and the fastest being helped. What if Nike had the same philosophy? “Usain Bolt wins every sprint with two fingers in the nose. We don’t want that, therefore we make shoes that fall apart when someone puts too much pressure on it. Since Usain Bolt puts the most pressure on the shoes, he will suffer the most, therefore the sprint is exciting again.”

    I am certainly no fan of Vettel and RedBull, but if they are indeed the fastest then they should win.

  13. You know, heres a strange concept. If there is a genuine problem, then fix the problem, don’t worry about how it appears to the rest of the media.

    There seems to be a problem that is creeping in with delaminating tyres, so start there. If Pirelli feel that they missed the mark on the durability of the tyre, then fix that.

    But that is such a cop out to say we are too scared to do anything because it might be considered beneficial for one team and not the other.

  14. I’ve seen a lot of reference to red bull having more downforce than their rivals this year, but I have seen nothing other than speculation that suggests that is the case. Out of everyone arguing ferrari and lotus are only kinder on tyres due to lower downforce, do any of you actually have any mechanical or aerodynamic engineering experience? Please explain to me how you all know how much downforce each car produces, and how exactly this affects these pirelli tyres? Also, while were here, can you explain to me exactly what the different suspension solutions of the top teams does to tyre performance? I’m sure the geometry, set up, and driver input is more important to tyre wear and warm up than aero, but ill gladly listen to anyone who can explain how it isn’t. Please provide links to reputable sources, don’t spew unfounded claims :)

  15. In Barcelona 2011 Vettel and Alonso both did 4 stops.
    Alosno had a great start, lost out in the end due to his care and tyre deg.
    Vettel ended up winning.

    Where was Bernie then??? Y din redbull complain then?

    This PURE favouritism…

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