Boullier criticises Pirelli tyre tweaks

2013 F1 season

Eric Boullier, Renault, Nurburgring, 2011Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has hit out at Pirelli’s planned changes to the 2013 tyre compounds from the Canadian Grand Prix.

“There aren?t many sports where there are such fundamental changes to an essential ingredient part-way through a season,” said Boullier.

“Just imagine for a moment that, because a football team can?t run as fast as its opponent, the dimensions of the pitch are changed at half time. That there are changes to come can be seen as somewhat frustrating, and I hope they are not too extreme.”

Pirelli came under criticism from several quarters following the Spanish Grand Prix, which saw a total of 77 pit stops with most drivers making four changes of tyre.

Red Bull have consistently criticised the tyres since the beginning of the season and Bernie Ecclestone added his voice to the complaints after the Spanish race.

“It?s clear that Pirelli have found themselves in a difficult situation and under pressure from different quarters,” Boullier acknowledged.

He added that Lotus had designed their car to make the most out of this year’s tyres and did not deserve to be penalised:

“Last year, when we were designing our 2013 car, each team received information from Pirelli and everyone did the best job they could to develop a chassis which would make best use of the tyre characteristics. We even ran with some experimental 2013 tyres at the end of last season, to assist us in confirming our development paths.

“As with every season, some teams do a better job than others with their designs, and some drivers are more adaptable than others to the changes of both car and tyre. It is frustrating when you?ve developed a car from a set of tyre specifications which are available to everyone ?ǣ for tyres that are the same for everyone ?ǣ to then be told that they are being changed mid-season.

“That said, we have a team of talented designers and engineers who will be working twice as hard to ensure we adapt to these changes in the most competitive manner.”

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161 comments on Boullier criticises Pirelli tyre tweaks

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  1. Manished said on 16th May 2013, 17:32

    Well, Bernie seems to be afraid of Dietrich ‘s rage, he needs his backing particularly with recent Bribery charges.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 19:10

      I have though about the situation and I’ve come to an interesting conclusion: article 12.6.3 bascially prevents any changes to the compounds unless all the teams consent to it, so Lotus must have also agreed to the changes if that is the case.

      The only other possibly is that the regulation has been circumvented, allowing changes with only a unanimous decision which can only really be made by Ecclestone.

      So the conclusion is, either Lotus themselves have agreed to the changes or Ecclestone has been the one to pressure the changes, by holding Pirelli by the throat. So why is all the criticism being directed at Red Bull? If anything, it should be at Ecclestone.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 16th May 2013, 19:17

        @vettel1

        So why is all the criticism being directed at Red Bull?

        Because Red Bull were the ones crying the loudest and the most about these tyres.

        Though it’s funny, the teams had a chance to test the new tyres in Brazil, they used these very tyres in the first 4 races, in which Vettel won 2 of them; yet the European season has already started and Red Bull still can’t find a way to stop the car from eating tyres, even though Lotus and Ferrari can do this easily. You’d have thought that Newey being as good as he is should have come to a conclusion by now. But no, apparently he’s not good enough, nor as smart as Allison or Tombazis. :P

        That’s why Red Bull want tyre regulations to adapt to them, because they can’t adapt to the new tyres. Sad.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 19:24

          @kingshark that still doesn’t justify it: Red Bull aren’t the ones changing the compounds!

          It’s emphatically not related to the fact Ferrari and Lotus have built a car around these tyres, they only got real data for them in Barcelona (which is too late IMO). It just so happens that’s a trait of their cars and so Red Bull are having to adapt.

          One thing I really don’t get though is why everyone is jumping to the conclusion that Red Bull are obviously going to be the main benefactors: if the Lotus is good on it’s tyres, they’d still be able to manage one stop less theoretically whatever the tyres were like!

          • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 16th May 2013, 20:07

            @vettel1 The Lotus is good with this configuration of tyre – we have no idea if it will be good on the 2012/2013 hybrid tyre that we’ll get from Canada onwards.

          • Misteryoso said on 16th May 2013, 20:15

            Since RedBull and the other teams have cars that eat their tyres like candies, they can’t push their car to the speed that they want because the tyres will be destroyed in a few laps. By changing the tyres to be more durable, now their drivers can push faster to the speed they wanted to be.

            Lotus and Ferrari made their cars to be more gentle on its tyres compared to others. It’s the fault of the other teams that their cars are “tyre monsters”.
            The tyre allocation is the same for everybody. Why can’t they accept the fact that some teams did their homework better than others? Why can’t they focus their attention to make their car better instead of complaining?

            Race finish time:
            2012 Australian Grand Prix: 1:34:09.565
            2013 Australian Grand Prix: 1:30:03.225

            2012 Chinese Grand Prix: 1:36.26.929
            2013 Chinese Grand Prix: 1:36:26.945

            2012 Spanish Grand Prix : 1:39:09.145
            2013 Spanish Grand Prix: 1:39:16.596

            Is there a big, big difference worthy enough to decide to change the tyres mid-season? My opinion is NO.

            Formula 1 is the venue where the brightest engineers meet. I’m sure they can find a way to adapt to the tyres. It’s just a question on when.

          • jimscreechy (@) said on 16th May 2013, 20:43

            @Max Jacobson, very good points… with which I agree compeltely

          • Boomerang said on 16th May 2013, 21:32

            +1*100!

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 17th May 2013, 4:30

            that still doesn’t justify it: Red Bull aren’t the ones changing the compounds!

            @vettel1 They are not Pirelli to change it themselves. But they have brought Bernie into their bandwagon on their way to get what they wanted.

            It’s emphatically not related to the fact Ferrari and Lotus have built a car around these tyres, they only got real data for them in Barcelona (which is too late IMO).

            It is not as if they do not modify the car after the winter tests and bring the car as it was straight to Australia for race. It may be part of the traits, but to claim that alone is the cause makes the efforts the teams put in to make better use of the tyres belittled.

            One thing I really don’t get though is why everyone is jumping to the conclusion that Red Bull are obviously going to be the main benefactors: if the Lotus is good on it’s tyres, they’d still be able to manage one stop less theoretically whatever the tyres were like!

            No, I don’t think it is as simple as that. Especially if the operating temperature window gets changed, it is poised to benefit one or a few teams to the detriment of the other few, right?

      • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 16th May 2013, 20:27

        @vettel1
        They could be doing it on safety grounds; if that is the case, then they can go ahead and do it without the teams permission/agreement I believe.

        • So why did Paul Hembery specifically state that the alteration was NOT due to safety issues since the delamination occurred solely at the surface and not in the structure of the tire?

          Something just smells REALLY bad here!

      • Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 16th May 2013, 23:40

        I thought the compounds were staying the same and it was the structure that was being changed to prevent them from overheating so easily. The overheating was massively increasing the chance of the rubber stripping itself off the belt which we saw happening a few times.

        Did I read wrong?

        • TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 17th May 2013, 9:30

          @spawinte – “I thought the compounds were staying the same and it was the structure that was being changed”

          If the tyre structure changes (internal cross-bracing and/or stiffer side walls for example) then the compounds will most likely have to change – the tyre characteristics are determined by the mechanical flexing and the way that it interacts with the carcass materials.
          If you stiffen the structure and keep the original rubber, likely it will experience very different heating/cooling cycles, probably outside its design specs. For example, the contact patch size will change and the heat generated by working the tyre will peak at different parts of a circuit.

          There are lots of useful articles and papers on tyres for motorsport – this one is quite good: Link or this one.

      • I think Red Bull and Mercedes are the instigators but I certainly believe that Ecclestone is responsible.

        I very strongly doubt that Lotus and Ferrari have agreed to these changes and it is very interesting that Paul Hembery specifically stated that it wasn’t a safety concern if your paragraph is correct. In that case the change is illegal – exactly as it should be – and Ferrari/Lotus can take FIA to court.

        I will be very surprised if it will take more than a week before Ecclestone starts talking about safety concerns.

        Personally I hate the comedy tires but a mid-season shift in team balance is simply a disgrace.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 20:32

      That argument that the race times aren’t drastically different is incredibly (there’s no other way of putting this) stupid also: the cars have been developed for a year, so should be significantly faster than last year. The fact they aren’t is worrying.

      @xjr15jaaag true, although that would still need the consultation of the FIA I believe. In which case, do we then assume the FIA is blatantly favouring Red Bull? I think that’s equally laughable.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 16th May 2013, 21:13

        The more laughable is yet to coming, the teams who succeed to manage these aggressive tyres they will be able to push more on the new one , all this “moaning campaign” is a desperate attempt from the energy drink company to destabilize Ferrari because these tyres showed the obvious weakness of their spoiled driver of how to manage them properly , i’m imagining how they will look like “clowns” after the Canadian GP ,oh wait they are already looking like “clowns”

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 21:24

          @tifoso1989 what a fascinating contribution to the discussion.

          It’s nothing to do with the driver, in fact Vettel is very good at managing tyres – it’s a trait of the car and I think that’s backed up from the fact you are the first person to mention drivers instead of cars.

          I am fine if it turns out to be the case Ferrari and Lotus will then simply be able to go faster on them as hopefully we’ll have real overtaking and battles then. I honestly couldn’t care less who wins with my F1 fan’s hat on as long as it makes for good viewing, which the Spanish GP didn’t.

          • Misteryoso said on 16th May 2013, 21:42

            Why can’t RedBull or other teams just focus their attention and be more productive in making their car better rather than complain, complain, complain? The playing field is even (in terms of tyres) since the same tyres are supplied to all the teams. They can’t accept the fact that some teams did a better job than them.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 22:58

            Misteryoso, both your points are easily dismissed.

            Race finish time:
            2012 Australian Grand Prix: 1:34:09.565
            2013 Australian Grand Prix: 1:30:03.225

            2012 Chinese Grand Prix: 1:36.26.929
            2013 Chinese Grand Prix: 1:36:26.945

            2012 Spanish Grand Prix : 1:39:09.145
            2013 Spanish Grand Prix: 1:39:16.596

            Is there a big, big difference worthy enough to decide to change the tyres mid-season? My opinion is NO.

            In the 2012 Australian GP there was a safety car, so that one is irrelevant. The latter two are relevant and prove exactly the opposite of what your opinion is: the tyres are having a pronounced effect as the cars should be a second a lap faster in accordance with qualifying pace, which should mean they’d finish a minute sooner over a race distance in theory. The fact they are close to or slower is proving the opposite of what you state.

            Why can’t RedBull or other teams just focus their attention and be more productive in making their car better rather than complain, complain, complain?

            The politics of the sport are handled by different members of the team than those who develop the car. Do you really think the same team who developed their way to the world championship last year after having a poor start are going to sit there and do nothing about it? Laughable.

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 17th May 2013, 4:16

            The politics of the sport are handled by different members of the team than those who develop the car. Do you really think the same team who developed their way to the world championship last year after having a poor start are going to sit there and do nothing about it? Laughable.

            Not sure if they are sitting their hands folded and waiting for their political wing to lobby and come out winning. Assuming that RBR mechanics and engineers haven’t been doing that, it looks like their efforts have not borne fruit to say the least. Or perhaps they’re lost in their way akin to McLaren. But when the team/driver is not winning any fan (not just you Max) would not agree that the problem lies with their favorite team/driver, would they?

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 17th May 2013, 14:37

            @seahorse They will almost certainly be trying to work on it (I didn’t say they had to be successful in their efforts!) as it can gain them crucial world championship points while the politicians do their politics!

            would not agree that the problem lies with their favorite team/driver, would they?

            I don’t think that is necessarily true: for instance, I knew last year Red Bull just simply hadn’t designed the car as well as McLaren at the start of last year. I think this situation is entirely different though as they had a clear rulebook, whereas I don’t think Pirelli’s data was as accuarte as it could’ve been (as they have hinted at themselves by complaining rightfully about the lack of testing and the age of their test car).

        • Boomerang said on 16th May 2013, 21:38

          I’m not Ferrari fan but have no doubt that their car will be competitive with any rubber…

          • puneeth Bharath (@puneethvb) said on 17th May 2013, 4:48

            I also personally think the tyres are too extreme as they are now.. However changing it mid season is not really a fair way of treating teams who did a better job in designing the car to be less aggressive on the tyres.. if safety is the only concern then the changes make sense .. but it is nt only about safety, is it? I find it more like the temporary ban of EBD in the middle of 2011… IMO any significant changes to the tyres (unless on the grounds of safety) should be made for next season..

            It is also very surprising that Redbull are the ones who are complaining the most(they are still very competitive) … and Mercedes who in IMO are struggling the most on these tyres are actually complaining less ( atleast in public)..
            Redbull are making it sound like their complaining is because the quality of the races are affected and the fans are not seeing great racing.. well I dont think so… Redbull are complaining because they know their chances are less for a 4th straight double championship if the tyres stay the same…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th May 2013, 9:33

      I doubt Pirelli are changing their compounds just to appease Red Bull. Red Bull might believe that they have enough clout to make Pirelli buckle and cave under pressure to change the tyres, but they don’t have much more power than the other teams, if they have any additional power at all. Furthermore, Pirelli wouldn’t be stupid enough to change their tyres just to suit Red Bull. Doing so would take a huge hit to their credibility, and they would likely lose the contract to supply the teams from 2014 on.

  2. Manished said on 16th May 2013, 17:34

    For those who complaint about the tyres, they also complaint F1 rely too much on AERO. Now that Pirelli brought the balance back on reliant to mechanical strength, team like Rbr were making sounds to get it changed.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th May 2013, 17:50

      F1 is still way too reliant on aero no matter the tires, and I wouldn’t call Pirellis needing 4 stops ‘mechanical strength’ nor for having drivers afraid to pass or defend for fear of killing their tires or taking them out of their operating window.

      I see nothing wrong with Boullier’s comments and I think this points out the shame of it all that F1 has felt the need to resort to gadgetry to create the story of F1 rather than letting it be a driver vs. driver contest and letting the story create itself. Stable tires with predictable behaviour, much less aero and no DRS, and we’ll see seat of the pants passing by drivers able to push themselves and their cars to the limits.

      Frankly part of me is glad to see this scheme of gadgety Pirelli’s designed to degrade backfire on them. On F1 I mean. I do defend Pirelli in that they are in general doing what they have been asked, even if they have missed the mark this year. But I fully side with the teams that have had to design their cars based on certain tires only to now have that changed on them mid-season. I have full confidence that Pirelli would not change them to intentionally favour or penalize one or two teams, but nonetheless they obviously have to change them and so it makes the whole situation stink and will inevitably favour some and harm others relatively speaking. Nobody is running away with the WDC or WCC right now, so to argue the change in tires by Canada is meant to hold one team back does not hold water.

    • Boomerang said on 16th May 2013, 21:42

      That’s why is the aero genius from RB’s helpless ;-) Now, Dietrich has to play in!

  3. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 16th May 2013, 17:38

    Couldn’t agree more with what Boulier has said here. You either develop a car to work within the regs and succeed, or you don’t and fail.
    Yes four pit stops is too many, but Barcelona is notoriously tough on tyres and I imagine by the time we reach races 8-9 most teams would have got a handle on two-three stop races, as they have done in every Pirelli year so far.
    I think there is no doubt whatsoever RBR’s lobbying regarding the tyres has had its desired effect. Let’s hope they cut out the “But we’re just a small team” line from now on, as this is an example of high pressure F1 politics in action.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th May 2013, 17:53

      Agree with you and Boullier.

      Everyone had a level playing field when Pirrelli gave all teams the tyres. Some did a smarter job by adapting their car to find the optimum balance between speed and tyre wear… and some of them didn’t.

      Its amusing to see Red Bull crying when things aren’t going their way, especially Mateschitz, who seems to have moved into ‘Luca’ status.

      I remember a lot of teams complaining when Red Bull had their ride height, flexi wings and other tricks onboard in 2010, and Horner simply smiled and said that they had just done a better job than other teams within the given regulations.

      Now that the tables have turned, and other teams seem to have capitalised on the changes, Red Bull want to change the tyres (rules) to favour them?!?!

      I find it amusing to see Red Bull cry after three years of dominance.. and I hope Pirrelli keeps them moaning all year long

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th May 2013, 17:59

      Can’t agree that this is all about RBR, but agree with you otherwise. RBR may be perceived to have been the most vocal, but that doesn’t mean the other teams weren’t also vocal. It’s hard to quantify who has been the most vocal and I don’t know that it really matters. Any team can stand on the highest mountain and shout the loudest…doesn’t mean they necessarily are going to have a point that everyone agrees with nor that they will get their way. We aren’t flies on the walls of the meetings that Pirelli/F1/teams have had. And now Boullier is summing it up in this article and he’s not RBR. And BE has chimed in that Pirelli has got it wrong. And he certainly doesn’t like teams running away with the WDC and sealing it up with several races to go and making the season end in an anti-climactic way, in spite of him not minding when MS/Ferrari did it, so I doubt he is hoping the newer tires come Canada help SV run away with it again.

    • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 16th May 2013, 18:39

      +1

    • Mike (@mike) said on 17th May 2013, 4:01

      @bleeps_and_tweaks

      I completely agree. Barcelona is notable in that we have had a similar situation every year. This year wasn’t out of the ordinary as Red Bull’s side are saying.

      @robbie
      I haven’t seen any other complaints other than those from Red Bull. Are you able to provide links?

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th May 2013, 15:29

        @mike I’m sure your point to me is that if I have no proof that others have complained then therefore it must just be RBR. I would say to you that since we are both (I’m assuming) armchair fans you also have no proof that I am wrong. I think it is highly likely, let’s put it that way, that others besides RBR are unhappy with tires that delaminate and tires that require a 4 stop strategy and tires that limit the drivers and their cars being pushed. There seems to be an overwhelming number of people who think the tires are a huge issue this year, and not a positive one. If you want to try to imply that only RBR are unhappy, then knock yourself out. I highly doubt that is the case. I also highly doubt that if it is only RBR that are unhappy, Pirelli would feel compelled to make changes. I would think we would be hearing an uproar from all the teams if only RBR was complaining and was also going to get their way. Like I said before, we aren’t flies on the wall, so you have imho fewer legs to stand on than I do in terms of ‘links’ to other complaints than RBR’s. At least I have a good argument as to why I think there must be. Do you think, whether we’ve been privy their words or not, the teams that have experienced delamination have simply said nothing and shrugged their shoulders and said ‘oh well… that happens all the time…good tires Mr. Hembrey…keep up the good work.’

        • Mike (@mike) said on 18th May 2013, 5:48

          @robbie

          1. Delamination and tire wear are two separate problems. Don’t confuse them.

          2. What the teams say is good for the sport isn’t necessarily what’s good for the sport.

          3. Neither of us can know anything, other than what we have seen in the media.

          At this time, it appears to me to be a typical case of the team that’s doing badly, trying to change things to help themselves, and the teams that are doing well, trying to keep things as they are.

          In my opinion, I don’t think F1 should be changing rules mid season.

  4. SubSailorFL said on 16th May 2013, 17:43

    Agree with Boullier. Run what they brung and adapt. They can tweak in 2014.

  5. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 16th May 2013, 17:50

    I think this whole tire saga is too much, last year we had the same thing happening and eventually teams got on top of things, Pirelli need only to address 2 problems, delamination becuase it’s very dangerous, and their tyre allocations because the allocations from the previous season aren’t compatible now. Deg should remain the same as teams have already harvested a lot of info and tweaked their cars accordingly

  6. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 16th May 2013, 17:51

    when I was against Pirelli making changes, all u people were against me. Now that Boullier says smething similar I see so many ‘I agree’ comments.

  7. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 17:52

    Just imagine for a moment that, because a football team can’t run as fast as its opponent, the dimensions of the pitch are changed at half time.

    That’s a terrible example as far as I’m concerned: in football, that is written in the rules that the pitch has to be a certain size, it’s not written in the rules how durable the tyres have to be and rules are in place to cover changes to the compounds.

    I’d say it’d be more like changing the ball during a contest, like the World Cup: the Jabulani proved to be a very problematic ball in the 2010 World Cup with how unpredictable it’s flight path was, so I think Pirelli changing the tyres would be akin to them changing the ball. Sure it may cap some player’s advantage as they have mastered how to tame the ball, but it was just luck of the draw. It would have improved the competition to change the ball to give it a more predictable flight path, which is similar to what Pirelli are doing to make the degredation more predictable.

    Frankly if it benefits the sport as a whole, I don’t care about indicidual team’s opinions (as long as it is with justification).

    • LosD (@losd) said on 16th May 2013, 18:00

      It doesn’t benefit the sport as a whole, it just benefits the sports whiniest team.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th May 2013, 18:03

      In 2011 they did 4 stops at Barcelona and by the end of the season they were doing two stops. If RBR start dominating the races after Canada then I’m not even going to bother watching the rest of the season.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 18:38

        @joshua-mesh

        If RBR start dominating the races after Canada then I’m not even going to bother watching the rest of the season.

        It benefits the “Show”. Cant call this a sport.

        Is it just me, or are these two comments a massive contradiction? If you wanted it to be a “sport” surely you would be supporting the changes towards a less gimmicky F1?

        • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th May 2013, 19:34

          @vettel1 what you consider a gimmick is just a matter of opinion. I dont believe the rate the tyres wear out at can be considered a gimmick. In motorsports the rubber wears out faster the harder you push and I think its good that drivers look after their rubber, because its an important aspect of motorsport! The point is that they are making a very drastic change to the most important part of the car, because some cars are not designed to look after their rubber.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 19:44

            @joshua-mesh if the majority of teams feel that this is an issue that needs addressed, who are we to criticise there judgement? It’s not exactly as if it’s something the general population of us don’t want, because as much as there are claims of favouritism the rate the race results speak for themselves: fans aren’t enjoying this season as much as the previous two.

            Also, who has said the changes will be drastic? I do believe Pirelli said they want two to three stops maximum, which isn’t far off 4.

          • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th May 2013, 19:48

            @vettel1 the teams are willing to make unsports-like choices in order to improve the _show_.

            A huge chunk of the fans on this site support Lewis and Button and both of them are in poor cars. Lewis specifically tends to qualify well and then the car’s lack of race pace leaves his fans with a big anti-climax. The result of the race tends to often have an effect on the ratings.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 17th May 2013, 4:03

            @vettel1

            if the majority of teams feel that this is an issue that needs addressed, who are we to criticise there judgement?

            Please back that one up with links.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 17th May 2013, 14:31

            @mike well we know Mercedes have been very vocal with their complaints, but what I can do is the opposite: only two teams have actually oposed the changes. By logical deduction it is therefore safe to assume the other teams are not against the changes and indeed for them to go ahead in the first place there will have to have been a unanimous agreement at the very least.

            The two teams are of course Ferrari and Lotus: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/05/17/ferrari-join-lotus-criticising-tyre-rules-change/

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 17th May 2013, 14:46

            only two teams have actually oposed the changes. By logical deduction it is therefore safe to assume the other teams are not against the changes and indeed for them to go ahead in the first place there will have to have been a unanimous agreement at the very least.

            @vettel1 I think it is unfair to assume so. There is always a 0 between a negative and a positive. The logical conclusion should either be that they are not bothered with what is happening with the tyres or that they feel ‘what are we supposed to do?’ and are in the no opinion category.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 17th May 2013, 15:30

            @vettel1

            By logical deduction it is therefore safe to assume

            that they have not given the media an opinion yet, therefore we can not know what side they are on.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 17th May 2013, 15:53

            @mike what I’m saying is the changes would’ve been vetoed by the teams if the majority of them felt the changes weren’t going to benefit them. Red Bull and Mercedes don’t have enough power on their own to overthrow Ferrari.

        • Max, I normally agree quite welk with you, but this time I think you are way off.

          As many have pointed out there is no serious issue with the current tires compared to last year. I personally don’t support the artificial comedy tires at all, but now we have them, the teams have designed according to the data they recieved, and clearly the teams who are supperior in aero design are now less superior at some tracks. Is that a reason to change the playing field mid season?

          I support the return of race tires but obviously not balance changing alterations mid season.

          As I think you pointed out your self; the change is not even legal and the argument that Lotus and Ferrari will do just as well after the change is silly at best: the more durable the tires get, the better downforce can be utilized. How much it will alter the balance is yet to be seen the mid-season changeis simply a disgrace that will hurt the credcredibility of the sport tremendously!

      • “In 2011 they did 4 stops at Barcelona”

        Yeah, with the Soft and Hard compounds.

    • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 16th May 2013, 18:05

      Frankly if it benefits the sport as a whole

      But who decides if it benefits the sport as a whole. The drivers? The team principles? The fans?

      Everyone has a different perceptions of what is benefiting the sport and what isn’t.

      • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th May 2013, 18:07

        It benefits the “Show”. Cant call this a sport.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 18:24

          @joshua-mesh It’s still officially called a sport though :P

          As for your point on 2011 though, as far as I recall I can’t remember the degradation curve being this bad: you literally were unable to push on the tyres last Sunday, which I don’t recall being the case in 2011. Even so, I still didn’t think that was a good balance: I think races like Abu Dhabi 2012 were good – where drivers could push but tyre strategies were still important.

          @davef1 the fans definitely: if it weren’t for the fans quite simply there would be no F1 – sponsors wouldn’t buy into the sport, it wouldn’t be televised and it would crumble without the viewing public. I get there is also a divide between them, but that is purely because of the mistaken assumption this change is being made solely for RBR’s persistent whining: in fact, I do believe the announcement that changes were being made happened after Paul Hembery had talks with Bernie Ecclestone. Besides, changes can’t be made for one team’s interests:

          Article 12.6.3: Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the Championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.”

          So these changes are assuredly not being made based on the complaints of “the sports whiniest team” @losd. That is a mistaken assumption on fan’s part looking to portray Red Bull as the evil antagonists.

          • But how do you explain that Ferrari and Lotus officially protest against the changes? To say they have previously agreed to the same changes doesn’t make any sense. It makes no sense they would both do the opposite of what they say and it makes no sense they would everhave agreed at all. I just don’t believe they have and I believe the changes are against the rules. There is no reason the teams should accept balance altering changes based on a silly “four stops are too much” statement.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 16th May 2013, 19:45

          Hembery himself said 4 stops was too much. When you have drivers too scared to defend position because of damaging their tyres then I think its right to make changes. This has less to do with ‘the show’ and more to do with ‘motor racing’. I know you’re a Ferrari fan, but surely you can recognise what was wrong at Barcelona, or do you disagree with Hembery?

          The new tyres they bring will still be soft enough to benefit Lotus and Ferrari anyway.

          • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th May 2013, 19:52

            4 stops was kind of expected on the track that is the toughest on tyres.

          • Lajo (@lajo) said on 16th May 2013, 20:19

            @joshua-mesh
            No, it wasn’t, at least Pirelli did not expect it and if anyone, they should know what to expect form their tyres. 4 stops on the 2 hardest compounds is far from OK. Pirelli says the aim is 2-3 stops which means there must be appropriate compounds for all kind of tracks (for example, 2-3 stops on soft/supersoft in Monaco, 2-3 stops on hard/medium in Barcelona).

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 17th May 2013, 4:09

            @lajo With the increased degradation compared to the two previous seasons, the compounds have become softer and hence you cannot compare this season’s hard blindly with 2011′s hard. I doubt if Pirelli did not expect this to be a 4 stopper. Prove me wrong. This is all part of the F1 politics and it has nothing to do with what the fans feel. In fact the majority of the fans have been influenced by the media to raise their voices against these tyres.

    • Carlos Furtado das Neves said on 16th May 2013, 20:50

      Hello to all F1Fanatic fans.
      Great analogy with the Jabulani !
      If you don’t mind, I’ll add another issue.
      And what about if the ball explode during the trajectory to the goal…
      That’s not the true nature of the sport. That’s an ACCIDENT !
      And nowadays this unpredictable compound tires burst into pieces when nobody is expecting.
      Not one, but 4 or 5 Teams suffer with this situation.
      And more to come until somebody is going to the seriously injured.
      Can you imagine what will happen if a tyre explode when the car is running at 200+ mph ???

    • paulista said on 17th May 2013, 1:24

      Sure it may cap some player’s advantage as they have mastered how to tame the [Jabulani] ball, but it was just luck of the draw

      Right, if some players managed to master the Jabulani it had nothing to do with their skills and dedication, it was pure dumb luck. Just like Lotus and Ferrari with the tyres. Of course if RBR had managed it, it would have emanated of their uncanny awesomeness.

    • chiliz00 (@chiliz00) said on 17th May 2013, 7:41

      @Max which way did you vote at the beginning of the year when Brawn looked like they would run away with it. I also have to ask you honestly, would you be this strongly opinionated about the change had this change been working against RBR? I’m just curious to now whether your comments are really objective or it’s RBR fan in you speaking?

      I personally don’t think that it’s fair to change the tires in the middle of the season as some have commented Lotus might lose the slight advantage they had where they might have been able to get through a race doing 1 less stop.

      Has this been done before?

      Slightly off the topic has there been a change to the rules in F1 mid way through a season? The reason I ask is if not then, apart from safety reasons, why would it be acceptable to change a specification mid way through a season?

  8. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 16th May 2013, 17:55

    100% agree with him. Everyone knew what the tyres were going to be like. Ferrari and Lotus got it right, Mercedes and Red Bull got it wrong and it’s their own bloody fault. Simple as that. Red Bull and Mercedes have big enough budgets to invest some time in improving their current problems but they’ve failed to do so which is tough for them. Is it really fair for Ferrari and especially Lotus (who probably don’t have the budget to keep up) to be punished for getting something right?

    It’s like getting an A in a exam but then being told it won’t count because your classmates complained that you’re too clever.

    • Awesome example!

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 18:03

      Ferrari don’t have the budget? What?!

      I don’t agree with comments like this as Pirelli themselves have admitted that due to the age of their test car the data they are giving the teams isn’t perfect and one set of development tyres isn’t exactly much to go on over the winter, especially since they’ll have started development of the cars by then! You could maybe argue Ferrari and Lotus gave themselves more leeway in anticipation of this type of situation arising which I will accept but I say this to that claim: essentially, you are supporting teams who don’t push the boundaries?

      • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th May 2013, 18:06

        The teams had more than enough information. Thats a real weak excuse Max.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 18:54

          @joshua-mesh from a three year old car? If they had more than enough information they’d all have maximised the potential of the tyres before the season even started and that’d make Pirelli’s role redundant. Really weak criticism.

      • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 16th May 2013, 18:22

        Read again:

        Ferrari and especially Lotus (who probably don’t have the budget to keep up)

        I meant just Lotus, not Ferrari. My bad.

        But please. Not supporting teams that don’t push the boundaries?

        Ferrari pushed the boundaries last season and ended up with a donkey for the first couple of races. Contrary to that Red Bull pushed the boundaries in 2011 and ended up dominating with an excellent car being driven by an excellent driver.

        Sometimes you must play it safe and sometimes you must take a risk. Red Bull and Mercedes took a risk and it didn’t work. It’s not like Red Bull have been massively affected by this but their sense of entitlement is getting ridiculous. You can’t win every race. Just glance over at the drivers and constructors championship and tell me Red Bull are suffering massively due to the tires.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 18:29

          @davef1 right I see, my mistake (I thought it was referring to both the aforementioned teams)!

          I think the very fact Red Bull aren’t suffering all that much is telling of how bad these tyres really are: I’ve never seen such vocal complaints before from the title leaders, so really I think we should take notice, not dismiss them as “whinging”.

          I’ll let @robbie ‘s comments finish off my point.

          • obviously said on 16th May 2013, 18:37

            Red Bull is whinging all day and night, because they know they only lead due to Ferrari’s misfortunes. Massa is a bit fluctuating as always, but they know Alonso would have won both Malaysia and Bahrain if it weren’t for those two errors and misfortunes.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th May 2013, 18:41

        Pirelli themselves have admitted that due to the age of their test car the data they are giving the teams isn’t perfect and one set of development tyres isn’t exactly much to go on over the winter, especially since they’ll have started development of the cars by then

        @vettel1, I fear you have let your Vettel coloured glasses let you read only what you wanted to there, I’m sorry to say.

        What Pirelli HAS been saying is, that THEY have very little information about how the teams are developping the cars for the next season, as well as not having any realistic option to test the tyre during the season and therefore can only develop using simulator data. And when the new season’s cars finally hit the tracks, Pirelli learns hardly anything usefull from testing on which to base their choice of compounds.
        From what Boullier mentions, its pretty clear that Pirelli has been supplying the teams with data of what they were working on as early as possible to make teams use in their car development.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 19:37

          @bascb inaccurate data is as useless as no data. Obviously the teams haven’t found the data to be prefect, otherwise the majority of them wouldn’t have been having issues with the tyres! I’m not blaming Pirelli here, I just think they need better methods of giving data to the teams as clearly for the majority it’s not working…

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th May 2013, 19:49

            But the Data given from Pirelli to the teams is accurate @vettel1. The inaccurate data is that what the teams and pirelli gather when they can finally put it on the cars on a cold track in Spain!

            The only way to do what you say is if either the compound and construction would be set in stone more a whole season up front, and were run in sessions during the previous year, or if teams would have to stop developing half a year up front and Pirelli could then go and test the tyres on those cars!

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 20:08

            @bascb what I think they should do is pretty much as you suggest in the first instance: actually have all the compounds for the next season finalised by say September 1st, hence allowing the teams time to test them during free practice should they so chose. That way, the reassign that the teams were simply taking a stab in the dark couldn’t be used but I think that is very legitimate reasoning for the time being!

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th May 2013, 20:23

            A couple of points there @vettel1, first of all september 1 or November 10 is not all that different for development of the car, the basics of it have been laid down by about april anyway, so September would be too late too.
            And the thing is, it doesn’t change the anything really. The teams that do not get it exactly right will still blame the tyres instead of flaws in their design, just like they do now.
            And it does not give any solution to the delamination thing. Because we still would only find out about that after the first couple of races with these tyres, but unlike now, the supplier couldn’t even react to id during the seson even if they wanted, they would have to wait for the next year. But they still would not even know whether the issue would actually occur (or be worse) with next years cars.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 20:35

            @bascb fair point on the foundations of the cars, but them finalising all compounds by September would make a huge difference, as then the teams have ample time to test them at a variety of circuits and give feedback on them if any changes need to be made imminently and still then have time to test the changes.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th May 2013, 18:05

      Alonso was right when he said F1 is no longer a sport.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th May 2013, 18:09

      And it’s not like Red Bull are totally failing on these tires either. I think they are sitting with very strong odds of another WDC/WCC. I think they, like most of the teams, simply think these tires suck. I’m guessing they feel that the way they have to manage the races these days has nothing to do with the F1 they’re familiar with or would like to be involved in…one where cars and drivers can push to the limit in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing. I think Ferrari and Lotus, while they appear to have a better handle on these tires for now, and at some tracks, would also agree these tires are not their favourites, and would be just as vocal as RBR if they were struggling even just a little bit more than they have been. They may appear to be less vocal for now, but that could change. And it is also very possible that the new tires come Canada help everyone equally, but we also all know that different tracks treat different cars and different drivers differently no matter the tires.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th May 2013, 18:17

      @davef1 Now that I reread your post above I have to disagree that ‘everyone knew what the tires were going to be like.’ If that was the case the teams would be on top of the tires and we wouldn’t be having this discussion and the likes of BE wouldn’t be chiming in to say they got it wrong. I know you are not suggesting that everyone knew the tires would be delaminating, would require 4 stop races, and would require swapping out by Canada, and were fine with that, didn’t say a word when they allegedly ‘knew’ what they were in for.

  9. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 16th May 2013, 18:00

    It’s so hard not to agree with Boullier. Just because some teams are having a bad time at it, doesn’t mean they can improve and do it better.

    Some teams found themselves struggling to put heat on the tyres in previous seasons. So would that mean that Pirelli needs to make a change on the compounds to make it easier for them? of course not !

    Lotus and Ferrari have been going faster and longer than Red Bull and Mercedes. It’s up to Red Bull and Mercedes to make a better job and catch them up !

    This is all regardless of your ideology towards racing. It’s fundamental that F1 doesn’t change this drastically in the middle of a season. It’s very dangerous…

    • Jonathan Chalk (@jonchalk) said on 16th May 2013, 18:15

      Agree 100% – see Gary Anderson’s analysis on BBC website – basically when Vettel won with four stops and 77 total pitstops in race, no RBR whining then. Lotus and Ferrari should be applauded for designing the cars to suit the tyres, not penalised.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th May 2013, 18:25

      It’s fundamental that F1 doesn’t change this drastically in the middle of a season. It’s very dangerous…

      I don’t entirely disagree with that but then, so is delamination of tires dangerous. And so is audience viewership in danger. And…nobody has said the change to the tires will be drastic.

      Just want to add here my observation of Spain. Did we really see much in the way of passing in general, let alone from DRS useage or having a tire advantage over the driver in front. That race was almost as processional and dependant on pit strategy as the MS/Ferrari processional era. So what is the point again of gadgety tires and DRS? To shake things up? Might as well have not had either in Spain.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 18:56

        That race was almost as processional and dependant on pit strategy as the MS/Ferrari processional era. So what is the point again of gadgety tires and DRS? To shake things up? Might as well have not had either in Spain.

        +1! I think even worse actually, because at least in the Schumacher era we had drivers pushing and making mistakes.

        • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 16th May 2013, 19:17

          Alonso, Kimi, Massa, Gutierrez, Ricciardo, di Resta, Maldonado all appeared to be pushing to some extent.

          Just cause Vettel and Perez were told to hold back doesn’t mean everyone was running to the delta and conserving tires.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 19:26

            @davef1 no they weren’t: Alonso himself has said he was at 90%. He was 7 seconds slower than Maldonado’s race-winning time despite the cars being around a second a lap faster: that doesn’t sound like “pushing” to me…

          • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 16th May 2013, 20:31

            It is also a slight problem when most of the race leader’s laps were slower than the GP2 pole time (don’t quote me on that, I read it in a comment on one of the other articles).

          • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 16th May 2013, 20:45

            @vettel1 Oops wasn’t aware of that and looking at the race times I do kind of see your point. I really should do my research before making a tit of myself :P

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 16th May 2013, 21:00

        @robbie delamination is a problem that can be fixed. But the compounds? midway through the season?

        As for your observation about the Spain GP, I agree with most of it. But so what if there are teams that could push for longer and faster? is it up to them? no it’s not. So changing the “rules” basically it’s beyond unfair. Just like Silverstone 2011.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th May 2013, 21:30

          @fer-no65 Silverstone 2011 holds little parallels: that was a deliberate attempt at capping Red Bull’s advantage by prohibiting a technology they had maximised. This is changing something which is exactly the same for all cars and which is not something produced by the teams.

          @davef1 it’s alright, I just have been getting really frustrated at that statistic getting thrown around proclaiming it proves the tyres are doing little to the amount drivers are pushing when in actual fact it proves the exact opposite! ;)

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th May 2013, 0:48

            Silverstone 2011 holds little parallels: that was a deliberate attempt at capping Red Bull’s advantage by prohibiting a technology they had maximised. This is changing something which is exactly the same for all cars and which is not something produced by the teams.

            @vettel1 depends how you look at it. Yes, they supply the same tyres to all the teams, but two teams did a much better job. So changing the characteristics of the tyres is holding back those teams and making the whole field levelled, with “easier” tyres.

            You could say that Lotus and Ferrari developed their car better in that aspect: tyre usage. Whereas in 2011 Red Bull maximized the blown diffuser, better than others.

          • LosD (@losd) said on 17th May 2013, 10:55

            @vettel1 “Silverstone 2011 holds little parallels: that was a deliberate attempt at capping Red Bull’s advantage by prohibiting a technology they had maximised.”

            First of all, it was not aimed at Red Bull, it was aimed at removing the insane and dangerous downforce levels that the Mercedes and Renault-based teams had (and McLaren had maximized the tech much more than RBR, as their hit from the rule change showed).

            Second, there is no difference in how it hits: All were barred from blowing diffusers, the few who gained a big advantage from it were hit. Same now: All have to follow the tyre change, only the few who has a car that use the current tyre properly will be hit.

            - And this is clearly a deliberate attempt to cater to the whiny team.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 17th May 2013, 14:43

            @losd I don’t agree: they are trying to both address the delamination problems and the fact which Pirelli themselves have pointed out in that 4 stops is too much.

            @fer-no65 I can see where you’re coming from, but what I’m trying to say is that the blown diffusers of different teams were not the same (some were also better than others) but the tyres are exactly the same for everyone and will remain so.

  10. Liam McShane (@motor_mad) said on 16th May 2013, 18:04

    I just want the Bridgestones back.

  11. Jonathan Chalk (@jonchalk) said on 16th May 2013, 18:19

    …..and seriously, who (apart from rampant tifosi :-)) wants a return to Ferrari / Bridgestone situation?

  12. MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 16th May 2013, 18:26

    To be fair, I agree with Boullier on this, you can’t move the goal post every time something goes wrong. I have never understood banning Aero parts that are not illegal based on the regulations, but more so due to their outright strength and working too well for the team that created them. Or because there may be some irregularity with said part and banning it the following season via “regulation update/changes”. I didn’t like when EBD was banned or DDD (double decker diffusers) and a slew of other changes based on innovative thinking from engineers.

    Now, I will say that I can’t fully agree with Boullier because of the principle of the sport at hand. In other words, Pirelli have made an extreme with this tire, too many drivers are having to nurse a car from stint 1 forward, and those that push the cars like we’ve seen Ferrari and Merc do to get a win or podium finish know full well that the tires are going to burn out quickly and know they will be making several pit stops and must keep pushing to make up the deficit. The issue here is Pirelli had a functioning tire before this season, they are the ones that changed the goal post and the teams are now asking for a rational tire and not the one currently given. Yes one or two teams will not reap the benefits of the current formula, but if anything I think Lotus will benefit even more.

    Let’s stop and think about this, the current tire works well with Lotus and we’ve heard from Kimi that the car allows it to have life even when everyone else think it should be roasted. However, if the new formula gives tires 3-5 laps life or even 6-7, that could potentially put lotus in a spot where they only need one stop. We saw them carry a tire several laps further than many people thought it could go in Spain, with a hot track in the final stint. So I feel that the tires cant be changed so much to benefit one team to the point they are extremely fast (i.e. Merc or RBR) but rather they will help everyone last longer and cut down stops and add length to each stint. Thus Lotus will only benefit further and keep reaping benefits on a great current chassis.

    It’s troubling that people can’t see that, but this is subjective to some degree. Also I feel Pirelli will not make the tires change so much that Merc GP (which people seem to think will benefit) will be leading the championship five races or so from now, due to a better compound that last a couple laps extra, or takes slightly more time to come to peak temperatures. I think in all the tires will just be made to last a bit longer and work in those optimum temperatures a little longer which will overall decrease the need for say an extra pit stop unless the teams push the cars to the point they need it. I feel the tires may be 3-5 laps more life and thus that would overall take out the need for another stop, but at the same time making teams have a strategy and still manage tires just to a lesser extent.

  13. James (@jimbobian) said on 16th May 2013, 18:31

    If Boullier doesn’t like the tyre changes surely he can block them as per the regs that ScarbsF1 tweeted a few days back: “Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the Championship season without the agreement of all competing teams”… all competing teams. Now I agree with Boullier, I think it is wrong for the tyre compounds or indeed any regulations to be changed during the season, but if the rules state that all teams need to be in agreement for the changes to go ahead what’s stopping him blocking them? Back in 2005 we had a similar – all teams need to be in agreement to make sure this Grand Prix isn’t a joke – situation, the team who had safe tyres blocked the changes and got a ton of points. Boullier should do the same now, block the changes and make good on the car they’ve built.

  14. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 16th May 2013, 18:37

    There is no good reason to significantly change the tyres half way through a season unless its purely for reasons of safety. Red Bull’s argument that racing is now a lot more confusing doesn’t seem to make much sense when you consider that Vettel made four pit stops (with a total of 77 pit stops in the entire race) in the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix. The argument that driver’s can’t push is also silly. There has always been an element of tyre management in F1 and it has always been the case that cars which can manage their tyres better are able to push harder. Teams have to design their car with this in mind; if they don’t then they deserve to lose out.

    Lotus and Ferrari have designed cars that can manage the tyres well and should be reaping the rewards. I’m not even sure why Red Bull are complaining given that they are still doing well and are championship contenders. And Mercedes have no grounds for complaint given that they have been affected by the issue of tyre degradation for 3 seasons now and seem incapable of fixing it. This whole affair smacks of political interference by Red Bull in particular which amounts nothing more than the whining of a team who can’t get everything their own way.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 16th May 2013, 23:13

      I’m not even sure why Red Bull are complaining given that they are still doing well and are championship contenders.

      I agree with a lot of the anti-RBR comments on here, but I really don’t like these ones. I mean, if RBR were complaining because they weren’t leading the championships then people would be saying “oh, they’re only saying it because change would benefit them”.

      The very fact they are doing so well actually adds more credence to their comments.

      • Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 17th May 2013, 0:56

        Well they are only doing it because it benefits them. They aren’t doing as well as they could be doing on different compounds and you could argue that Vettel is only ahead in the Driver’s Championship because Ferrari have made some silly mistakes over the last few races. But if we regard that as a blip, then it looks like Alonso is in a very strong position to capitalize in the next few races on his car’s pace. Unless we get new tyres, of course…

  15. markyrc (@markyrc) said on 16th May 2013, 18:41

    Well he has a point, changing the tyres now will probably give some help to some teams, but others, like Lotus, would suffer from that, and that is a bit unfair. To me there are to options, stick to the current tyres, trying to fix the delamination issue though, and have some boring races like the last one in Spain, or they could change the tyres and spice things a bit for the sake of the sport and the fans. It’s not an easy one.

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