Ferrari join Lotus in criticising tyre revisions

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Ferrari have added their voice to the criticism of the forthcoming change in tyre compounds at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Pirelli are making alterations to this year’s tyres following the high number of pit stops seen during last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari used its anonymous “Horse Whisperer” column on its official website to put forward its objections to the planned change:

“These are difficult times for people with poor memories. Maybe it?s because of the huge amount of information available today that people are too quick to talk, forgetting things that happened pretty much in the recent past. Or maybe the brain cells that control memory only operate selectively, depending on the results achieved on track by their owners.

“A classic example of this is the current saga regarding the number of pit stops. Voices have been raised to underline the fact that various teams, some of whom got to the podium and others who were quite a way off, made four pit stops in the recent Spanish Grand Prix, making the race hard to follow.

“It?s a shame that these worthy souls kept quiet two years ago when, at the very same Catalunya Circuit and on the Istanbul track, five of the six drivers who got to those two podiums made exactly the same number of pit stops as did Alonso and Massa last Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix.

“In fact, there?s nothing new about winning a race making so many pit stops, even discounting those where it was down to changeable weather. One only has to look back to 2004, when Michael Schumacher won the French Grand Prix thanks to what was a three stop strategy, later changed to a four stopper. That was the key which allowed the multiple champion?s F2004 to get ahead of the then Renault driver, Fernando Alonso, who made three stops. And on that day and we remember it well, our strategy and the tyre supplier were showered with praise for allowing us to get the most out of the car.

“Today however, it seems one must almost feel ashamed for choosing a strategy that, as always for that matter, is aimed at getting the most out of the package one has available. On top of that, if this choice emerges right from the Friday, because all the simulations are unanimous in selecting it, then why on earth should one feel embarrassed when compared to those who have gone for a different choice, only to regret it during the race itself.”

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier also criticised the tyre compounds change yesterday.

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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181 comments on Ferrari join Lotus in criticising tyre revisions

  1. Jack Lenox (@jacklenox) said on 17th May 2013, 14:25

    I sympathise with Ferrari and Lotus. I don’t remember Mateschitz complaining in 2011 when almost every race ended with Sebastien Vettel winning about a minute ahead of everyone else, scooping up enough points to tie up the championship by Japan. That wasn’t racing.

  2. Patrick Boyle (@patrickboyle) said on 17th May 2013, 14:30

    Everyone seems to be ignoring the issue of delaminations. They are downright dangerous and clearly happening far too much. It’s quite possible that Pirelli intend to strengthen the bond between the tread and carcass, having little or no effect on the degradation and perormance. I think they’re just reluctant to come out and say that their tires are dangerous. Look at the shots of the Pirelli engineer covering up the tire on the Torro Rosso as it’s being rolled into the pits, they’re obviously quite sensitive about the issue.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 17th May 2013, 15:36

      Don’t forget that this dramatic delamination also broke a driveline and gearbox on the Mercedes. Pirelli tried to buffalo people about that at the time saying it was just due to debris or whatever, and thow they are trying to say that this is really an advantage because instead you would have an immediate deflation…because somehow long shreds of tire matrial spinning on a wheel while the car rides on the steel belt is better? They are generally not being honest about the delamination issue. They made a basic, eggregious design error here. The whole compounds controvesy ironically is obscuring this more serious issue.

  3. William (@william) said on 17th May 2013, 14:58

    I don’t have a problem with the tyres as it makes it more interesting. Those stupid Red Bulls what they want they get. Come on Paul Hembrey switch it back to 2013 tyres not 2012 tyres. I just hate it when drivers don’t go out on track immediately. Why don’t the broadcasters have a commercial break, if they keep doing this?

  4. DaveW (@dmw) said on 17th May 2013, 15:31

    As I said before, the comparison to Magny Cours is irrelevant, immaterial and pointless for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is refueling. The Horse Whisperer, as usual, is talking nonsense in the interest of stirring the pot.

    Everyone claiming that Lotus and Ferrari will lose their relative form because the tires become more durable is jumping to conclusions. It’s not the total tire life that affects relative competitiveness of the cars, it is the rate of degradation and the change in the rate of degradation—the shape of the curve, not how far it goes. It’s not clear that the change in compound will affect the degradation curve. After all, the ostensible brief for Pirelli is not to reduce stops. That does not mean that the tires will degrade more gradually, just that they will last longer. Nonetheless, a longer-lasting tire, given the limitation on available tires, should tend to let the drivers drive more an drive harder on Saturday and Sunday.

    However, the more important issue is shape and construction of the tire–which implicates suspension design, set up, even aero. No one knows how the move to the new shape and the change back to kevlar bands will affect any car and somehow no one is focused on this at all.

    • Nomore (@nomore) said on 17th May 2013, 15:54


      The Horse Whisperer, as usual, is talking nonsense in the interest of stirring the pot

      Or maybe are you ?

      Everyone claiming that Lotus and Ferrari will lose their relative form because the tires become more durable is jumping to conclusions

      They know their cars more than you know (or everyone of us)…if they contest this change, they have a reason…don’t they ?

      However, the more important issue is shape and construction of the tire–which implicates suspension design, set up, even aero.

      Yes and Ferrari and Lotus have designed their cars based on this tires, which were given in Brazil 2012.

      how the move to the new shape and the change back to kevlar bands will affect any car and somehow no one is focused on this at all.

      If RB pushed for this change, logic says that they will benefit, it was no need to change the construction of a tyre. The delaminations problem could be achieved without changing the construction nor the degradation.

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 17th May 2013, 16:11

        The only clear point of substance here to respond to, i.e, the one that goes beyond school-yard bluster, is incorrect: the delamination problem cannot be solved without changing the construction. The reason for the delaminations is the change of the belt design. Your possibly substantive addtional point that the teams designed their current cars based on data for tires that would not be used this year is just inexplicable.

        • Nomore (@nomore) said on 17th May 2013, 16:59


          The reason for the delaminations is the change of the belt design

          Can i have the link from pirelli expert where this is mentioned that : “to correct the delaminations we shall change the construction” ? … I will be waiting for that

          Your possibly substantive addtional point that the teams designed their current cars based on data for tires that would not be used this year is just inexplicable


          As normally when no argument is in play, people ends with : “is just inexplicable.”

          It si explicable and it doesn’t need too much too understand why changing the tires now will affect the outcome of the championship. i.e the championship will be manipulated.
          It si wrong to change the tires (now, at the end of the season i agree…), and basically it wrong to change the rules of a game once the game has started.
          But as ferrari said today different brain operate in different mode.

          Here is a good article why Pirelli is going to change tires :

  5. Michael Brown (@) said on 17th May 2013, 15:44

    Since the tires have been moved 1 step softer each season, compared to 2011 the current tires are:
    2013 – 2011
    Hard – Soft
    Medium – Super Soft
    Soft – Super Super Soft
    Super Soft – Super Super Super Soft

    That’s just rediculous

    • Paul2013 said on 17th May 2013, 17:03

      That is exactly the same for every one and those were the tyres from the begining, but RDB did not prepare the cars properly so…. we change the rules (that is rediculous).

      • Danilo Schoeneberg said on 17th May 2013, 17:51

        It’s not the same for everyone. All teams were given the data about the Pirelli tires for 2013 in late 2012. Pirelli’s test car is a 2010 Renault, so only Lotus have the data to cross-match the Pirelli tire data with the data of the car they were developed with. So as the only team Lotus had a cross-matched base from which to extrapolate the design parameters for their 2013 cars. That’s why Lotus could run 2 stops at Melbourne when everyone else needed 3 and they could run a 3 stopper at Barcelona when the opponents needed four. And that’s why Lotus is crying the loudest now. They’ll lose their unfair advantage.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 18th May 2013, 12:46

      That’s actually an interesting way to think of it: effectively then we just did a race on the soft and super soft at one of the most punishing tracks on tyres! That’s why they need changed IMO.

  6. obviously said on 17th May 2013, 16:48

    There’s a beautiful technical article on Pitpass about tire-car interaction. I hope Keith doesn’t mind me posting a link here, because it can help people appreciate the challenge 2013 tires have bring, instead of just seeing the “not pushing 100% all the time” or “too many pitstops” side of the debate.
    I certainly hope this change Pirelli brings will be minimal and won’t remove this exciting challenge that teams were faced with in the first 5 races.

    • tvm (@) said on 17th May 2013, 17:39

      Yeah I’m sure that “Matt Sommerfield” has a much better grip on tires than 4 former f1 champions who has actually tried these tires and think they are crap…

      Why not artificially degrading Gearboxes, Suspension, Engines, Fuel if I may ask?

      These Pirelli tires are useless, the signs are everywhere for only the ignorant to ignore.

      If people could just admit that they want pro wrestling F1 it would be so much easier to understand.

      • kubica2 said on 17th May 2013, 18:42

        4 former champs who want to be champs again will complain when they are not getting their way – they should work harder.

      • obviously said on 17th May 2013, 22:31

        Your reply is a perfect illustration of how the side you are defending behaved during this few months of intense lobbying and slanting. Just be loud and try to undermine opposition’s arguments by insulting them.

        Did you even read the text? It’s interesting and informative, no matter what your view is.

  7. Paul2013 said on 17th May 2013, 17:00

    They are completely right, RDB is having problems, SO PIRELLI CHANGE THE RULES!
    Vettel should drive as Alonso did and stop moaning. But obviously if RDB does not have adventage they could not win a fly driving a bike.

  8. sato113 (@sato113) said on 17th May 2013, 17:19

    they’re only complaining because they stand to loose out from it. yet they dont mention that at all…

  9. Danilo Schoeneberg said on 17th May 2013, 17:33

    Whoever does the Iraqi Information Minister routine for Ferrari there must be thinking, F1 viewers are window-licking idiots. Who do they think they can fool with that ‘others have won on four stoppers, too’ shtick? When Vettel won two years ago and Schumacher in 2004, the CHOSE to make 4 stops. It was a tactical option and in between stops they pushed the raw stuffing out of their cars.
    At barcelona teams were FORCED to adopt a four stopper as the tires could be run more than 15 laps without dropping 5 seconds a lap. And even with four stops drivers were endlessly told on team radio to go slow and preserve tires.
    The tire change doesn’t come because of RB’s or Mercedes’ complaint. It comes because Pirelli was shown in a devastating fashion, that its tires are simply not fit for use an a race car.

  10. GT_Racer said on 17th May 2013, 18:15

    I think a lot of those complaining about the change & blaming it on Red Bull are ignoring the facts.

    Yes Red Bull was critical of the 2013 tyres, However they were not alone & as I’ve detailed before this year 90% of the grid (Teams & Drivers) had voiced complaints about the tyres.
    Red Bull were more vocal in public but in private practically the entire grid had voices issues to Pirelli.

    People say that Red Bull had no concerns when they won in Sepang & Bahrain, However they were just as vocal even while they were winning:

    Also look at the bigger picture, People in the media who have been supportive of Pirelli over 2011/2012 have begun to criticize the 2013 tyres. Martin Brundle has been one of the biggest supporters of both Pirelli & DRS yet he has been quite critical of both a few times through 2013.
    David Coulthard is similar, He was quite vocal in his dislike of the tyres post Spanish Gp on the BBC Forum.

    You also see the fan response, In 2011/2012 Pirelli seemed to have a big majority of the fans support, So far in 2013 there has been a lot more criticism from the fans, You see it on this website but you also see it via twitter, facebook & other things as was documented on sky when they spoke to some media people who monitor fan reaction on social media.

    The people who seem to think changes were made just because of Red Bull are just flat out wrong on this, Its perhaps true the changes MAY benefit Red Bull (And Mercedes lets not forget), However its clear that the majority of people both inside & outside of F1 disliked the way the tyres were & also don’t ignore that Pirelli themselfs have said there data shows they went too far & its because of this that changes have been made & not because of 1 team.

    Also speaking to someone on Wednesday, There are a lot of people within F1 unhappy about the way Pirelli have played the situation to the media. There are several top people in FOTA uncomfortable with Paul Hembrey’s comments indicating Pirelli have the power to decide who’s competitive & who isn’t. There’s no suggestion that Pirelli have, will or have thought about manipulating the tyres to hinder or benefit any team, There just nervous about the impression it gives out & would rather he stop singling out any team when making those sort of comments.

    • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 17th May 2013, 21:02


      This is EXACTLY what i have been saying all along. Hembery thinks he is media savvy, but all he is doing is making his company look like a fool. Hemebry is the one who brought up the Red Bull favouritsm issue and the one who is making Red Bull the scape goat of the debacle – despite virtually every team and driver voicing concerns over the tyres. They have made this issue far worse than it could have been – If only they had quietly gone about rectifyng a mess that is of their own making.

      As i said, it seems Hembery relishes the fact that Pirelli is essentially a “kingmaker” and just cannot help but gloat about it. It is about making the teams sit up and take notice that Pirelli have the power to influenence the outcome of the championship – even though that is not their aim.
      Bad move IMO

  11. kubica2 said on 17th May 2013, 18:38

    What i find strange about this whole Pirella changing the tyres thing, is how it is now about the “FIA helping Redbull” whereas for the last 15 years it always seemed the FIA wanted Ferrari to win. is that because Redbull are briging in more money to the sport??? a few years ago, this situation would have been absurd – where ferrari is working well with the tyres, and the tyre company changes tyres which will seemingly drop the performance of the ferrari in relation to the other cars.

  12. Mark (@markfill) said on 17th May 2013, 19:18

    First,THE struggling team is Red Bull…does anyone care if Caterham’s cars can’t cope with the tires?
    Second,what makes the F1 world go ’round?MONEY,MONEY,MONEY.Red Bull supports TWO teams in F1;you can be quite sure THAT fact has been pointed out to Bernie by the RED Bull hierarchy.Fair or not,it is the MONEY that is changing the tire compounds.
    On a side note,how can Pirelli state that Barcelona was an exciting and enjoyable race,then, in the next sentence say that a four stop strategy isn’t in the best interests of F1?

  13. Swindle94 (@swindle94) said on 17th May 2013, 19:26

    If only Ferrari had the power to veto a change made to f1 or something like that. Oh wait….

  14. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 17th May 2013, 19:43

    Horse Whisperer said it all, I mean, honestly – I don’t even know who to side with on the tyre debate, perhaps I don’t want to take sides at all.

    When thinking about the tyres and the effect they have on the racing, there’s just too much to discuss about and so many sides as well but thinking it about now, I’m watching the pinnacle of Motorsport and it’s feeders and I want to see the best 22 drivers in the world racing hard with their peers and with passion and heart via trying to extract the most of their machinery and utilise their race craft to the best of their abilities, irrespective of how the tyres are constructed, excitement will certainly stem from that. Generally-speaking, as long as the racing is quality , lengthy and keeps me on the edge of my seat and not seemingly artificial, I don’t care how the tyres are constructed.

    Then again I’m sympathetic towards Pirelli because they’ve done what they were asked of and they get the majority of the blame, If us fans are looking at someone that’s culpable then don’t look beyond the FIA or to some extent, us. We asked for higher-degradation tyres dissimilar to the durable Bridgestones of 2010 and we got what we wanted, notably last season. Aren’t we partly responsible for Pirelli going too far and constructing tyres that are now unpredictable in regards to safety rather than tyre wear and behaviour. We need to acknowledge that we are having an influence on a sport, not a show.

  15. GT_Racer said on 17th May 2013, 20:05

    BTW world-wide the TV figures were down big time for Barcelona & that includes in country’s where the TV broadcasting has remained unchanged.

    I gather that internal fan survey’s done by RTL in Germany suggest’s that DRS & the Pirelli tyres are the reason.

    • AlanD said on 18th May 2013, 0:49

      I gather that internal fan survey’s done by RTL in Germany suggest’s that DRS & the Pirelli tyres are the reason.

      there were 2 poll’s on the speed channel website last year asking about tyres & drs. final vote on both was overwhelmingly negative.

      speed’s viewing figures were also in decline & there were many complaints about both drs & pirelli from fans on there old message boards.

      the current formula is going to kill f1 if tv figures continue to decline, although it might be good as getting rid of all the casual fans who think drs & pirelli are the best things ever & getting back to the core audience may see f1 finally drop there artificial gimmicks! :)

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