Pirelli bring tyre changes forward to Canada

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Pirelli will introduced revised tyres in time for the Canadian Grand Prix, the official F1 tyre supplier has announced.

The changes are being made to guard against a repeat of Sunday’s race in Spain, where most drivers had to make four pit stops, and to put a stop to the delaminations suffered by some drivers in recent races.

“From Canada changes to be made to bring back two to three stops,” Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said on Twitter. “Some structural changes combining elements 2012 and 2013 products.”

Hembery explained the thinking behind the decision: ??Our aim is to provide the teams with a new range which mixes the stability of the 2012 tyres and the performance of the current ones. As a company, we have always moved quickly to make improvements where we see them to be necessary.

“After evaluating data from the first few races this year, we?ve decided to introduce a further evolution as it became clear at the Spanish Grand Prix that the number of pit stops was too high. The Spanish Grand Prix was won with four pit stops, which has only happened once before in our history.

“These changes will also mean that the tyres are not worked quite as hard, reducing the number of pit stops.

“With limited testing time, it?s clear now that our original 2013 tyre range was probably too performance-orientated for the current regulations. However, having identified this issue, we?re determined to rapidly resolve it.

“It?s worth underlining that the current regulations for winter tests limit the opportunity to test the tyres under the same conditions as the race season because of the lower temperature and restricted time. The teams are of the same opinion as we are in wanting longer testing times and different locations for the next tests. We developed the 2013 tyres on the basis of careful simulations that were, however, not sufficient, taking into account the improved speed of cars (up to three seconds per lap).

“We?ve also taken this step to avoid the delaminations that were caused by track debris. It?s important to point out that these delaminations, which occur when the tread comes off, do not compromise the safety of the tyres as the core structure of the tyre is not affected in any way, helping drivers to complete the lap and to change the damaged tyres safely. These delaminations were due to damage from debris that overheated the tread.

“We?d like to thank all the teams for their continued and extremely valued support as we worked with them to identify the correct compromise between the pure speed that makes us the world leader in the ultra high performance sector and a global spectacle that is easy for Formula One fans to follow.??

Pirelli previously announced it would not make changes until the following race at Silverstone. It had warned that making changes to its tyres could be seen as favouring Red Bull, who have lobbied for changes.

Pirelli has allocated the super soft and medium tyres for the Canadian Grand Prix.

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216 comments on Pirelli bring tyre changes forward to Canada

  1. tmax (@tmax) said on 14th May 2013, 16:24

    Mr Bernie Ecclestone is loving this…..first the Vettel-Webber Rivalry. Then the Tire Wars …. F1 is become a media darling. I am guessing that CNN might get into F1 broadcast now. This is getting better than Politics. Everyday breaking news…. :)

  2. Ninad (@nin13) said on 14th May 2013, 16:40

    No idea why people are crying so much. If new tyres are durable and one team starts dominating, then people will again complain that F1 is boring.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 14th May 2013, 23:44

      I’m too a bit mystified to why they changed last year’s compound, unless they want teams to spend first few races teams to figure out the tyres every year.

      • Dragon (@dragon88) said on 14th May 2013, 23:48

        Well, that’s exactly the reason why they’ve done it.
        If they give the same tyres to the teams every year, the engineers would soon understand how to optimise their car’s performance whilst being kind of the tyres, meaning that the number of pit-stops would steadily decrease to probably 1 per race.

  3. obviously said on 14th May 2013, 17:37

    Last year Pirelli handed the championship to Red Bull by going completely conservative in the last third of the season.
    It’s not really all that unexpected that they are going to help Bernie’s golden buy win another WDC. After all, Bernie is there to make sure every little decision goes Red Bull’s way. During the season, that can accumulate to just enough to beat the opposition by a handful of points.

  4. Yoshisune (@yobo01) said on 14th May 2013, 18:00

    A couple of things. How do we know that Red Bull is going to dominate after this change? Seriously, there’s nothing to suggest that. The fastest car over one lap is clearly the Mercedes, the best cars on Sundays are Ferrari and Lotus. Sure, Red Bull has been complaining about these tyres probably because they think they can gain something, but I just don’t see a Red Bull domination. The rules are really strict, the field is quite close.

    Pirelli is changing the tyres because they can’t do anything else. Admitting your own fault and changing everything is a massive blow, no one would do that. Pirelli, the one and only tyre supplier in Formula 1 (which is one of the most famous motorsports in the world), misjudged. It sounds awful, and I’m sure it’s not easy for them.
    If they kept these tyres, their reputation would be even worse than it is now. They wouldn’t have changed them otherwise.

    I think that Hembery was a bit naive yesterday. He already said that they would change something and he knew that the media would go crazy, so he tried to calm them down saying that they don’t want to give Red Bull an advantage. It was a bad move, I guess, because most of the people yesterday read “Pirelli, bla bla bla, fauvoritism, bla bla bla, Red Bull, bla bla bla, tyres”. Today “Pirelli brings tyre changes”. And now everyone thinks that Pirelli did this because Red Bull ordered them.

    What I want to say is that Pirelli had to do something. They will be overwhelmed by criticism, but they think it’s the best decision, and I think it is, too.

  5. HCA said on 14th May 2013, 18:31

    the whole tyre situation this year shows how utterly absurd pirelli’s brief was to begin with & i actually said back in 2010 when what pirelli were asked to do was was made public that we would eventually reach a situation like we see today.

    the tyres pirelli created for 2013 were pathetic & needed to be changed, however equally changing them in a way that even allows the perception that a team is been favored & a team is been hurt by the changes is equally dumb.

    all it shows is how pathetically artificial f1 has become & just how far away from been the pinnacle of anything its become!

  6. Harry Westwood (@sirspuddington) said on 14th May 2013, 18:31

    wow, took them this long to notice? and besides, since the cars this year are faster as it is, this will put more load on the tyres than last season so that will make them wear a bit faster, so 2012’s tyres would be the perfect balance between wear and performance, as they almost were/were last season.

  7. Ohwell said on 14th May 2013, 18:50

    Kimi must be bursting a vein or turning to drink soon. He’s finally in with a chance to actually win WDC and then they go and change the tyres that are working so well for him at the moment.

  8. GT_Racer said on 14th May 2013, 19:35

    Bernie saying what I’ve been saying since the start of the year, That despite what Paul Hembrey & the fans of Pirelli constantly say, They have NOT done what they were asked to do & have gone way further than what they were actually asked to:

    “The tyres are wrong, not what we intended when we asked Pirelli to produce something which did a half race”

  9. Latvian (@latvian) said on 14th May 2013, 19:47

    I don’t understand why people say that some teams have done better job to make their cars for existing tires. because all teams get those tires in their possession ONLY in da first per-season testing. by that times all cars are already designed. so how come Ferrari and Lotus did a better job? they just got lucky.

    • Lajo (@lajo) said on 14th May 2013, 21:14

      Exactly. In Ferrari’s case there might be something apart from sheer luck, but the Lotus E21 is pretty much an evolution of the 2010 Renault which is Pirelli’s development car.
      It’s hugely hypocritical of Lotus to bash other teams for complaining about the tyres when they are pretty much designed for their car…
      This all doesn’t mean it’s OK to change things in the middle of the season but all the crap was stirred up by FIA/Bernie/whoever else has been trying to drag down RBR to reduce their dominance (it isn’t specifically RBR they target, it could be any other team getting too strong…)

      • Latvian (@latvian) said on 14th May 2013, 21:37

        in that case F1 is more like a reality show than a sport. the best team and driver should win always. and nobody should throw a stick in their spokes.

        me personally enjoyed a Ferrari dominance a lot. I witnessed a historical achievements.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 15th May 2013, 14:09

      by that times all cars are already designed. so how come Ferrari and Lotus did a better job? they just got lucky.

      @latvian So you mean to say that none of the teams developed their cars post those few days of winter testing? What is the point of testing then? Just to see their cars can run a lap or two? Agreed that there are not much of structural changes visible to the naked eye between the car unveiled and the car that raced in Melbourne. Almost all the teams do develop their cars after winter testing as well as in-season. It is not like a good night’s dream, they end up with a car that handles its tyres pretty well compared to its competitors.

  10. markp said on 14th May 2013, 20:10

    What are the protocols on such decisions? Does every team have to agree like with testing? Ferrari would never lie down if it erroded an advantage so that the change is happening and not a word from ferrari means this must be good for them? Pirelli must have given details of what they want to achieve and ferrari must feel its good for them. i hope the new tyres bri.g bigger issues for rb and ferrari + lotus hammer them by an even greater margin in canada, then what? Have rb made an agreement about testing to get ferrari on board? The stories behind the headlines might be very complex.

  11. Jimmy Hearn (@alebelly74) said on 14th May 2013, 21:09

    ferrari does employ Bridgestones former technical chief, no other team boasts such an advantage. And to say this change only helps a few is myopic and silly. Everyone from Ferrari to Lotus has said that they are only driving at around 80%. Well, Force India might actually have to prove they have a good car and not one that is easy on tires.

  12. celeste (@celeste) said on 14th May 2013, 21:42

    I think this is getting silly.

    First: if Lotus, Ferrari and Force India can do so much good with these tyres, wouldn´t be safe to asume that they will still be good with the new modification? They could be races where Lotus only has to do one or two stops. So I don´t see a reason to feel sorry for them. And two days a go everyone (Mercedes, Lotus, Alonso, Button, Perez, McLaren) was crying about what an horrible race Barcelona was so people better start remember that.

    Second: I dont watch F1 to see drivers let in themself get pass. So I wanna see racing and if this new tyres gonna allow racing bring it on.

    Third: Safety was a concern with this tyres, so maybe people should think in the well being of the drivers.

    When Pirelli says the tyres from Canada will be more like 2012 tyres what does that mean?

    The 2012 tyres were more durable than this year’s tyres, which suffer from high degradation. Pirelli has indicated that it will change the construction of the tyres to be more like the 2012 products.

    The 2013 tyres have a different construction from the 2012 products, with a steel belt inside the tyre in place of last year’s kevlar belt. It is likely that this decision will be reversed with the revised tyres, as Pirelli moves back to a proven solution.

    The weakness of the 2012 tyres was wear; typically the inside shoulder of the tyres would wear out and teams would run the tyre until there was no rubber left on the shoulder and then make a pit stop. However the teams understood how to manage them quite well by the end of the season.

    For 2013 Pirelli tried to fix the wear problem by getting the contact patch of the tyre more reasonably positioned, but it seems that in changing the construction to achieve this they have gone too far.

    Although the reason given for the change is that four stops is considered too many for a race and they would like to reduce that to two or three stops, there is also the safety aspect in light of the tyre failures in Bahrain and Spain. In changing the construction, they have obviously done something to affect the tyre’s integrity.

    So don´t come saying that this is only because of Red Bull

  13. Gazz. said on 14th May 2013, 22:12

    Fantastic news!
    In all fairness, the delaminations, slow punctures and tyres generally ripping themselves to shreds was becoming a worry if anything.
    I understand completely where people are coming from in the defence of Ferrari and Lotus’ ability to compromise their cars correctly for the current tyres to perform well on their cars.
    However if you look at it from RBR/Mercedes point of view, they are only being shot in the foot for producing cars that don’t perform as well on the tyres, now the balance has shifted, Ferrari/Lotus are being shot in the foot for not producing cars with enough downforce to compete with the quicker cars, it seems whatever Pirelli chose to do, the disadvantaged teams would have to adapt to compete, only by going down this route we have a few positives:
    1) Safer tyres that aren’t going to shred themselves.
    2) Tyres that allow drivers to push harder, thus focus more on racing, opposed to tyre strategy
    3) Less Pit stops

    I am no Red Bull fan, infact, I have found seeing Sebastian Vettel cruising to three titles painful if anything, but I’d see him win a fourth any day over the utter nonsense I saw in Barcelona.

    But being a Hamilton fan, maybe I’m biased ;)

    • Steven Burns (@stevensanph) said on 15th May 2013, 7:17


      I really can’t stand Vettel, but I’d much rather he cruised to a 4th title than watch another ‘race’ like Spain. I don’t want the worlds best drivers say “I can’t drive any slower” or asking “Are you sure I can race?”

      I say give them overly hard tires like they did in Austin 2012… lets the cars race 100% in a low mechanical grip environment.

  14. obviously said on 14th May 2013, 22:28

    Since new parts are in development for months, this big change means that many teams will have their 2 or 3 months worth of work thrown to trash basically. Since the pre-season testing it was obvious that tires are yet to be mastered, so many developments will be targeted at addressing the tire issues.
    Now, with this change, it means all the development that went into improving tire usage will go down the drain. And not only that. The different aerodynamic characteristics of the new tires means that many teams will find their successful aero updates suddenly not working.
    This is complete farce.

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