FIA wades into tyre row with safety ruling

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013In the round-up: The FIA declares Pirelli can only make alterations to its tyres for reasons of safety rather than performance.

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Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

FIA: tyre tweaks can only be for safety (Autosport)

“In a blow to outfits like Red Bull hoping further tweaks would help them overcome tyre difficulties they have faced, the FIA has made it clear it will not tolerate further changes aimed at reducing the number of pit stops or decreasing degradation.”

Formula One’s $12bn IPO on track (The Guardian)

“I don’t know what they are doing [regarding the bribery trial]. At the moment I am a suspect with five other people. If they charge me presumably they will have to charge the other people. I hope they don’t but I think they will. Then we will see what happens. That doesn’t mean to say there will be a trial.”

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: “Who knows who will be in the car in 2015. I’ve been laughing with Jenson about it. But Jenson will drive here as long as he wants to.”

Claire Williams Q&A: I won?t give up until we?re back (F1)

“I think we definitely have a future world champion at hand [in Valtteri Bottas] – but of course we have to give him the car to allow him to prove his talent. He has done a good job so far. He has finished every race, made up positions with great overtaking manoeuvres, and is giving strong feedback to the engineers in order to improve the car.”

Time for Adrian Sutil?s luck to change (Force India)

Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley: “I felt really sorry for him, because he had the fourth quickest race pace. He would finished fourth or fifth.”

400 more horsepower for Vergne (Toro Rosso)

“While Jev?s regular transport puts out around 800 horsepower, the huge red truck pumps out an incredible 1200, although of course the weight difference ?ǣ 5,500 kilos for the truck as against a mere 650 for the race car ?ǣ means that the F1 car still has the edge when it comes to lap times.”

Alan Henry on the McLaren-Honda years (McLaren)

“By no means am I suggesting that I warrant attribution, or even credit, but the order stuck, and that?s how Honda Marlboro McLaren was born. From three scraps of paper.”

Comment of the day

Vjanik think it’s time for McLaren to ‘do a Brawn':

They should stop pumping money into fixing this year?s car and start focusing on 2014 (like Brawn did in 2008). If they spend too much time playing catchup this year and trying to understand their dog of a car, then next year they will be one step behind again. I hope im wrong but it wont be until 2015 that McLaren start fighting for the championship again. Despite the denials, i think that Mercedes will not share everything with McLaren next year, knowing full well that Honda would benefit.
Vjanik

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On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher won the last world championship race in Austria at the A1-Ring ten years ago today, despite this fire during one of his pit stops:

Kimi Raikkonen finished second ahead of Rubens Barrichello.

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94 comments on FIA wades into tyre row with safety ruling

  1. Dom (@3dom) said on 18th May 2013, 0:34

    So it seems like the actual tyre “compounds” won’t change then? Just something to prevent delamination. Have to say that seems fair, and follows regs if that’s the case

  2. Zantkiller (@zantkiller) said on 18th May 2013, 0:56

    the FIA has made it clear it will not tolerate further changes aimed at reducing the number of pit stops or decreasing degradation

    Good.
    Changing the regs mid-way through a season is just plain wrong. Ferrari and Lotus built a better car, deal with it.

    • Akira-Fan said on 18th May 2013, 1:28

      So us fans should be stuck with rubbish Non-Racing for the rest of the year just because Pirelli got it wrong?

      Look after the tires, hit this lap time, don’t race him, left front, left rear, let him past, stay on line, don’t defend, slow down.
      Thats all we hear at every race, there’s no racing now your just left with everyone doing there own thing, running to there own lap delta managing these stupid tires.

      Fair to some teams or not these tires need to be changed so that racing fans can actually see some racing again!

      • Jani (@jan1) said on 18th May 2013, 21:10

        Yes we should, because F1 is still called a sport not show. Its rare that sport side wins nowadays. They can change tyres to next year but not punish Ferrari and Lotus midseason because they have builded a better car.

      • Diego (@r3mxd) said on 18th May 2013, 22:23

        F1 is not about the fans, who narrow minded are you? is all about within and between teams.

        • q85 said on 18th May 2013, 23:55

          yes its about the fans. But above its a sport and a sport is only fair if the rules remain consistent through out the season.

          Its like a team with a small goal keeper asking if the goals can be made smaller? No get a better keeper.

    • Julian (@julian) said on 18th May 2013, 3:19

      I agree. Changing the tyres to solve the delamination problem is fair play. Changing the compounds to increase the performance would create more of a farce then what we have now.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 18th May 2013, 8:03

      Problem is that the FIA changed regs mid-2011 to stop RBR. It’s hard to find arguments to why this is different.

      • Julian (@julian) said on 18th May 2013, 8:24

        That could be what the FIA are trying to avoid. They made that mistake once and look how that turned out. Perhaps they don’t want to repeat that mistake.

        It’s almost uncanny, the FIA have shown a lot of sense recently.
        I wish Keith still conducted that poll where we rated the FIA and the president. It would be interesting to see what everyone thinks.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th May 2013, 10:26

          @julian – The problem in 2011 was not that the FIA changed the regulations in the middle of the season. The problem was the way the teams agreed to it, and then tried to worm their way out of it.

          The idea of banning off-throttle blown diffusers was fairly sound. It had no practical application, put considerable stress on the engines, was ultimately wasteful, nd teams were sinking millions and millions of dollars into it. It basically amounted to an unsustainable spending war, and something had to be done to stop it. The teams agreed, and signed up to a staggered ban that gradually phased OTBDs out of the sport. This gave them enough time to consult with their engineers and scour the rules, looking for any and every loophole that they could exploit to keep as much of the OTBD effect as they could and retain as mch of an advantage as possible whilst robbing everyone else of the same advantages. And by claiming that not running an OTBD would damage their engines, they basically bullied the FIA into giving them concessions.

          If the FIA had have said “no OTBDs, and that’s final”, then all would have been well in the world. But by listening to the teams and letting them exaggerate and embellish and ultimately giving into them, the whole thing descened into a farce.

          • Nick (@nick101) said on 18th May 2013, 21:35

            @prisoner-monkeys

            The idea of banning off-throttle blown diffusers was fairly sound. It had no practical application

            Yeah, as opposed to 2.4L V8’s that rev to 18,000rpm, produce circa 750hp and weigh less than 100kg. Or aerodynamics so ferocious they allow the cars to take corners at 150mph+ and would, theoretically, allow the car to drive upside down on the ceiling.

            All of which have infinite practical applications for the every day motorist!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th May 2013, 11:09

            @nick101 – You don’t think that engines that weigh less than a hundred kilograms are of any value to the manufacturers or road cars? You don’t think energy recovery systems have any practical purpose?

            Off-throttle blown diffusers were excessive, wasteful, and created tunnel vision as teams relentlesly pursued them and ignored the things that might have a practical application.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 19th May 2013, 16:48

        “It’s hard to find arguments to why this is different”

        New to F1 are you? It’s different because previously, it benefited Ferrari and this time, it doesn’t.

    • Aditya F. Yahya (@adityafakhri) said on 18th May 2013, 9:54

      the thing is, change in tyre construction that supposed to stop delaminations also gonna change performance, wear, etc.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 18th May 2013, 12:29

        Good point, the two are not mutually exclusive. I expect this mess to rumble on throughout the season with whomever wins the title somewhat tainted (if it isn’t Alonso or Kimi). It’s a shame. Pirelli should have developed a proper hard tyre, whilst ‘experimenting’ with the 3 softer compounds at the start of the season. Instead, as even the hard tyre is degrading badly there is no where really to turn. Of course the de-laminations caused by the tyre construction are another issue altogether.

        I used to blame the FIA, but the more I think about it the more Pirelli are to blame for this 2013 situation. The tyre construction and compound change was justified because of the 1 stop races towards the end of 2012… but the hardest two compounds were selected “as to not affect the championship” for these races, so it’s strange for Hembery made this comparison as justification.

        All in all, I’m pleased for Ferrari and Lotus that the compounds aren’t changing, but please let’s go back to the 2012 tyre in 2014 Pirelli.

    • The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 18th May 2013, 10:54

      Totally agree. It’s very easy to dislike RB but putting that to one side it’s perfectly obvious that every team has had the same opportunity to build a car that is appropriate for the 2013 season Pirellis. Ferrari and Lotus have just done a better job of it (and I say that as a McLaren fan).

      Preventing the delamination we have seen this season makes sense and the FIA stepping-in on this basis is an unexpected but positive result. A little part of me does suspect however that the FIA are just trying to be seen to do the right thing and that the changes to be made by Pirelli on the basis of “safety” will still play ultimately play into the hands of RB

      • obviously said on 18th May 2013, 12:02

        A little part of me does suspect however that the FIA are just trying to be seen to do the right thing and that the changes to be made by Pirelli on the basis of “safety” will still play ultimately play into the hands of RB.

        That’s what worries me too. I really, really, hope we won’t see any change that erodes Ferrari’s and Lotus’ advantage.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 18th May 2013, 12:24

        I don’t really think there was much of this “opportunity” you are referring to: if the teams all understood the tyres and had enough data, they wouldn’t be having these problems in the first place (unless they were truly massive idiots, which they aren’t assuredly). I really think in particular this season and last it has been luck of the draw who has built a car that suits these tyres.

        • The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 18th May 2013, 17:36

          Even if you’re right, by your own logic changing the tires now will just penalise the teams that have had the “luck” so far and potentially hand it to others. Oh, and with the majority of the season left for the new lucky team(s) to do more than just catch-up.

          You’re absolutely right in saying that these guys (and girls) aren’t idiots. What appears clear though is that with the emphasis now on simulators rather than on-track testing, the vagaries of the Pirelli tires seems to result in significant differences between anticipated performance and actual.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 18th May 2013, 18:07

            @thebladerunner it’s too late now for it, but what I think Pirelli should do for next season is have all the compounds essentially finalised by September of this year, hence allowing teams the time to use them in free practice (if they so choose) to gather data on their own cars, which is a known quantity obviously. Therefore if they then feel changes need to be made they have the time to do so for Novemeber, where they can test them again and get finalised data. That eliminates the variables and then the teams can only have themselves to blame, so we won’t have such a big farce as we do now.

        • Diego (@r3mxd) said on 18th May 2013, 22:28

          luck? luck? 2013 tyre specs in brazil, and all of winter testing, and your telling me Newey the “genious” has failed to deliver a car that is good and also good on the tyres? im just going to lol @ u for that.

          Ferrari didn’t cry when in 2011 they had a car that was waaaay to soft on the tyres, they were quiet hard on them in 2012, but no one cried “Pirelli” as your RB team.

          Luck doesn’t apply here, good use of judgement with the given available data is what made Ferr and Lotus play out good with the tyres.

          • q85 said on 19th May 2013, 0:18

            2011 it was strongly rumoured the tyres were changed before the first race. I remember Jarno saying so.

            Ferrari were quick in pre season then no where in melbourne.

          • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 19th May 2013, 3:40

            The attitude of the RB fans here perfectly mirrors that of the team itself…

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 19th May 2013, 11:43

            @r3mxd this is a highly unusual situation where the teams with superior downforce levels (Mercedes and Red Bull) are paying for it as it hurts these frail tyres. That to the best of my knowledge hasn’t happened before, so in essence the tortoise is beating the hare. That has got to change I think.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 19th May 2013, 17:25

            @wsrgo I don’t think that’s entirely accurate: I’d rather the rules permitted more engine development over aerodynamics, which I’m sure Red Bull disagree with.

            I for one haven’t changed my perspective: I even said last season that I felt one or two stops was ideal and after the Bahrain GP I said (not with as much forcefulness to reflect the fact the situation wasn’t as bad) that I think the tyres should be changed to reduce their influence. That was still okay though: 2 to 3 isn’t awful but 4 is too much, especially since now drivers are unable to push on the tyres (which is what sets this apart from 2011).

            It just so happens RBR know what is good for the racing!

  3. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 18th May 2013, 0:58

    Regarding the COTD, in both 2009 and 2011 Ferrari gave up on developing their car to focus on the next season, and both times the car was at best underwhelming and in 2012 was a complete dog until mid-season. Mercedes have done it a few times as well, I think. Brawn in 2009 benefited from Honda pouring a huge amount of money and resources into the car’s development (if I remember right they had 3 different wind tunnels being used), which is unlikely to be repeated in this era of resource restriction. Cutting and running with development isn’t a guarantee for success the next season.

    IMO McLaren should continue to try and improve the current car, maybe even get a few wins in late in the season a la 2009, as long as they’re not pulling resources away from next year. Ferrari, Merc and Red Bull all have teams working on next year’s car while developing this year’s, so why should a team like McLaren with similar resources not do the same?

    • Dom (@3dom) said on 18th May 2013, 2:23

      In addition to this point, they’ve already stated that they need to understand their aero correlation issues to make sure they don’t have the same problems next year too

    • brny666 said on 18th May 2013, 21:13

      Ferraris problem was due to stable regs, correlation mishaps and RB. They were building cars that they though would be good enough the following year because the though they understood the limits of the regulations, but starting from scratch under stable regulations sets you back as other teams with a better base car have a head start and out-develop you (case in point McLaren this year), RB just moved the goal posts by coming out with better and better ideas to exploit the regulation. Than they had wind tunnel problems – on McLarens part that is a must fix. This year Ferrari are closer because (all teams understand the regs better and) RB are closer to the limit of what they can do with the car due to the reg changes that were made to reign them in.
      However next year is a clean slate completely where this years performance means nothing so the more time, money and man-hour you spend on it the better chance you have of finding something others didn’t and have a run-away season like Brawn did in 2009.

  4. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th May 2013, 1:11

    That’s a bit of a warning sign if ever I saw one to Pastor Maldonado from Clare Williams.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th May 2013, 1:45

      I think you’re reading too much into her comments

    • thehemps said on 18th May 2013, 3:34

      Haha. Crashdor brings in about double the money of all the other pay drivers put together. He might as well own Williams.

      They wouldnt dare ‘warn’ Crashdor. Caterham, Sauber, Marussia and even Force India would love his money.

      Pastor Maldonado will be in F1 for a long time. Get used to it.

    • Michel S. (@hircus) said on 18th May 2013, 12:30

      Indeed. Isn’t this the first Williams designed with Maldonado as the senior driver? They’re apparently not very impressed

  5. AlanD said on 18th May 2013, 1:22

    So if the compounds ain’t changing I guess that means were stuck with all this stupid tire management, Lap Delta Non-Racing seen so far this year :(

    I don’t see how what we have seen so far could even be called racing, Its just a series of uninteresting position changes based on a stupid flappy wing & ridiculous bubblegum tires, No racing or overtaking to be seen.

    I’ve been a fan of F1 since the 70s & I’ve stuck with it through driver aids, refueling & the DRS/Pirelli-era upto now. However im done & shall not watch another F1 race until DRS is gone & Pirelli bring raceable tires!

    I shall also never buy Pirelli tires for my road car ever again.

  6. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 18th May 2013, 1:26

    The main problem when you give up completely the development of the car is that you will loose positions (and therefore money) in the constructor’s championship, Mclaren depends a lot in prize money and sponsors more than selling cars unlike Honda.
    From a business perspective it makes more sense to keep developing this car at the same time as next year’s because that way they’re not throwing any season away, will they win either of those however? that’s another matter.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 18th May 2013, 12:35

      I agree with this. Sponsors aren’t going to be too happy if they ‘give up’ on 2013 this early in the season.

      It’s also easy to cite the 2009 Brawn story because of its success, but BMW’s disaster of the same year (after abandoning their 2008 title bid) should also not be forgotten.

  7. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 18th May 2013, 1:54

    Even when this decision to avoid the “tweak” is fair (…), that means the damage to the show is done. Ferrari has to win this championship, ok. But it would have been much better to see Ferrari and Lotus going for the battle at 100% of their car capacity, not to see them cruising at 80% of revs, while the others can’t catch them because they are just going at 60% of revs.
    When I read the cars were going in Barcelona slower than a GP2, that shows the problem is not “just a lot of moaning”
    (source about laptimes: Button)

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 18th May 2013, 9:34

      @omarr-pepper I’m not sure how accurate Jenson was, but I don’t have access to GP2 laptimes, so I can’t say anything. But a GP2 feature race is of 40 laps, a sprint race around 28 laps, whereas an F1 race is around 66 laps. Obviously, an F1 car lugs more fuel and so laptimes are comparable in the first stint.

      And those who say GP2 races are flat-out(like Dizzy below has said), what races were you watching? Coletti tried to be flat-out in the Sprint race. Another lap and he would have been passed for the lead by Frijns. Nasr did a good job keeping the tyres alive early in his second stint, so that he was able to blast away and pass several cars at the end. The only driver who was able to push from start to finish, pretty much, was Dillmann, but he went hards to hards, and kept his mediums options for the Sprint, a risky choice(ultimately discounted due to his full-stall).
      I sometimes wish people paid more attention to races before opening their mouths.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 18th May 2013, 15:33

      Ferrari has to win this championship, ok. But it would have been much better to see Ferrari and Lotus going for the battle at 100% of their car capacity

      I don’t know how do you knew about Ferrari & Lotus potential to pretend that they were not going 100% of their car capacity, but anyway you have to remember that F1 is all about cars not Airplanes or Helicopters ,When Ferrari & Lotus have built their cars they have focused on how to get a compromise between aerodynamic grip and mechanical grip and they succeeded whereas Red Bull has as always concentrated their efforts 100% on aerodynamic (their domain of expertise) , the tyres where tested last year and even for us the fans we knew that the 2013 tyres will be aggressive, so if Red Bull get it wrong they have to blame their selves for not been able to built a proper F1 car by this i don’t mean that their car is crap or it is not fast but i mean that they maybe forgot for once that the are producing cars & not Airplanes
      And for those who complains about racing these days : the only way to have proper battles on the track is to remove all the benefit of the aerodynamic devices (wings ,exhausts), give more freedom to engine development , chassis ,suspension… all the element that ensure mechanical grip … and bring back the 1970’s large rear tyres , just look at the Ferrari of Niki Lauda , the March of Ronnie Peterson & Mclaren of James Hunt and you will understand why at that time there have been real battles on the track

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 19th May 2013, 11:46

        @tifoso1989 but F1 cars are “aeroplanes” these days, hence why championship wins have been dominated by aerodynamic innovation since perhaps even the 70’s. The fact it isn’t now is purely a result of the fact these tyres can’t cope with aerodynamic load: a highly unusual situation as usually aerodynamic grip helps tyre presvertaion as it prevents sliding!

  8. Dizzy said on 18th May 2013, 2:47

    Something to think about for those who don’t feel the Pirelli tyres or level of tyre management is any worse this year than the past, Look at GP2.

    In the past both GP2 races each weekend were pretty much flat out from start to finish & both were usually exciting with the Sunday morning sprint race tending to be more action packed.

    However in 2013, Drivers are now having to watch the tyres a lot more & your now getting big portions through the Middle of the Saturday feature race where not much happens as everyone is trying to manage there tyres. Then you get the final 5 or so laps at the end where everyone starts pushing again & things heat up.
    The Sunday sprint race is even worse, 90% of the race is pure tyre management with nobody wanting to risk pushing that hard for fear of destroying there tyres & again its only the final 5 or so laps that are worth watching now.

    Remember that fabulous race at Istanbul in 2006 with Hamilton driving flat out on the limit for the sprint race after an early spin, Fighting his way back upto 2nd. With the tyres as they are now I can’t see a drive like that happening because after a few laps of pushing hard the tyres would be destroyed.

    A parallel to F1, Vettel at Abu-Dhabi last season. He was pushing fairly hard to come through the field & the tyres held up & allowed him to drive hard. Try the same thing in 2013 right now & the tyres would fall apart after a few laps.

    David Coulthard in a post Spain article – “I couldn’t go any faster. Not because I was having to manage the tyres, but because I physically could not go any faster within the grip the tyres generated.”
    Hamilton during Spanish Gp – “I can’t drive any slower.”

    The 2013 tyres are too extreme & should be changed in both F1 & GP2 so we don’t see anymore of this extreme levels of tyre management!

  9. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 18th May 2013, 3:20

    Maybe a stupid question here but why did the change the tire compound in the first place if the 2012 tires worked the way they wanted them to work? Maybe it’s just an American way of thinking but our racing series here use the same tire compounds/construction for years with them really only being changed when needed via a repaved (or worn out) track.

    • obviously said on 18th May 2013, 5:05

      @fisha695
      Check out this article. http://www.pitpass.com/49073-Is-Pirelli-really-to-blame
      It has a great explanation on what the differences are between 2012 and 2013 tires and what it is that they tried to achieve and how those changes playing out.

      • sars (@sars) said on 18th May 2013, 9:32

        An easy to understand analysis that I urge you all to read, thanks for posting @fisha605.

        The work the teams are doing to increase consistency of airflow on the rear defuser will not necessarily be wasted if the wall stiffness is increased, which is essentially the safety aspect of the change. However whilst the compound cannot be altered, does this mean that teams will now suffer getting temperature into the tyres quickly and cool when following another car in dirty air as per 2012?

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 18th May 2013, 10:29

      I ask myself the same question over and over again….

    • colin grayson (@lebesset) said on 18th May 2013, 10:45

      F1 cars are continually evolving , tyres need to change with them
      they will have to be different again next year

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 18th May 2013, 11:32

        @lebesset they have to change next year as the cars will be drastically different: they didn’t have to this year for that very same reasoning.

        • colin grayson (@lebesset) said on 18th May 2013, 13:36

          unfortunately that isn’t true …by the end of last season the tyres were adjudged to be too conservative [ remember all the criticism ?] and needed changing ; what seems to have happened is that pirelli didn’t know how much extra downforce the teams would be able to generate at the rear with 2013 cars ,the word is that the best [ RBR ] are back to double diffuser levels

  10. Maciek (@maciek) said on 18th May 2013, 4:51

    Say whaaaa? The FIA steps in to make a sensible ruling that enforces consistency rather than unnecessary randomness? Hmmm, must have woken up in opposite world, best go back to bed.

  11. Klaas (@klaas) said on 18th May 2013, 5:09

    Who knows who will be in the car in 2015. I’ve been laughing with Jenson about it. But Jenson will drive here as long as he wants to.”

    Sergio Perez must be feeling very confident and reassured after reading this. And Jenson can underperform for as much as he likes because merely his will to stay with McLaren will suffice in order to get a new contract. McLaren are doomed with this management.

    • sars (@sars) said on 18th May 2013, 9:41

      He qualifies badly through no fault of his own and then gets from 14th to 8th on a 3 stopper with THAT car and you call that under performing.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 18th May 2013, 10:57

        @sars I’m pretty sure that was through fault of his own…

      • Klaas (@klaas) said on 18th May 2013, 12:32

        I’m not talking about last race or any particular one. I’m talking about his performances in general: poor qualifier compared to his team-mate Hamilton and competitive in only a very narrow operating window. I believe the Woking boys are in the woods right now with the car development as their leading driver is the same guy who used to cry about ‘problems with car balance/no grip/oversteer/understeer’ while his team-mate was cruising to victory. What irony would be if McLaren actually come up with a winning car and Button would label it as undriveable.

    • ^Mo^ said on 18th May 2013, 10:39

      @klaas What makes you think this is the official position of McLaren? It’s just PR banter. I wouldn’t believe half the crap they mention in the news. If a football club mentions in the press they fully trust their manager, you know what time is it.

      • Klaas (@klaas) said on 18th May 2013, 12:14

        It’s not like McLaren are saying that they fully trust Jenson to turn the teams performances around this season just like Ferrari were saying for the last 3 seasons about Massa’s driving. It’s more like ‘Jenson can take his seat for granted while there are things to consider for the other guy’.

        • ^Mo^ said on 18th May 2013, 13:26

          @klaas Believe me, if Ferrari felt they could get someone who was better than Massa in that seat they would’ve (like how they tried to get Webber, who ultimately decided to sign with Red Bull again). The problem with the Massa situation was that while he was underperforming, there wasn’t anyone else good enough available at the time to take the seat. You shouldn’t believe everything a team tells the press. Jenson knows he can’t take the seat for granted, Pere knows that and McLaren knows that. But you just don’t tell that to the press. To the press you’ll tell everything is great and wonderful.

          Another example, if Red Bull releases a statement saying that Webber and Vettel are getting along just great, would you believe that as readily as this?

  12. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 18th May 2013, 6:43

    Really happy by the FIA’s decision. I think Pirelli are really being given a lot of stick when they have done an excellent job over the last couple of years. I remember that last year as well they had a race with 4 pit stops and while it is too much, most other races have generally hovered around 3 stops. In any case you have to think whether they would appreciate being in a position where 4 stops is only 1 more than normal and 2 more than ideal. The day people start seeing 1 stop races is the day Pirelli will start receiving flak for making non-degradable tires. They are not exactly in a Win-Win situation here and teams being both for and against them is not helping either.

    At the end of the day no team would want to feel that the tires let it down in a race. However, the situation is the same as engines. I will always believe that like the Engines, the brake temperatures, the tires are also the prerogative of the TEAM and DRIVER to manage. Can’t call yourself a complete driver if you can do only 2 out of 3.

    And as far as the question of having pushed the tires too far. I don’t think that is the situation. In any case it is too early to decide and pass judgement over them. All that is happening now is that Lotus and Ferrari are able to manage them better than Red Bull. We are not witnessing a lottery like last year and getting Pirelli to change them would not do anything except make all of this worse and even more unpredictable. If I was Pirelli, I would be close to the point of leaving the sport right now.

  13. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 18th May 2013, 7:50

    I suppose it’s fair that the tyre compounds are not changed mid-season, although selfishly I am disappointed as I was hoping for a tyre change to improves Mercedes’s fortunes.

    What irks me a little bit is that the FIA comes up with a ruling, and that’s that. The rules in the rule book after often subject to interpretation, and only the FIA’s interpretation is valid. It reminds me of the exhaust-blown diffuser mess in the middle of 2011, when the FIA (under pressure from HRT, hilariously) suddenly decided that something which was legal before, was no longer legal.

    Anyway, the situation with the tyres is different now, even though it is unclear what a “change to the tyres” constitutes. And it’s not like tyres have never been changed mid-season before. The tyres were already changed for Bahrain this year (and not for safety reasons), and also in 2011 the hard compound was hardened for the Spanish Grand Prix.

    The problem with this ruling is that Pirelli cannot test their product before releasing it. If the tyres turn out to be unsatisfactory, which was their conclusion after Spain, then we all have to put up with it for a whole season, and hope next year’s products will be better.

    For this reason, this might not be the victory Ferrari now think they have won. For next year, Pirelli will have to err on the side of caution (especially given that the new regulations will call for tougher rear tyres), so the 2014 compounds may be much harder than Ferrari like, given that they have gone better on the soft compounds since Pirelli’s entry into the sport in 2011.

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 18th May 2013, 12:42

      this might not be the victory Ferrari now think they have won

      Ferrari couldn’t have won anything since they didn’t do any fighting. It’s more like Ferrari haven’t lost anything since RedBull/Merc couldn’t get the tire compounds changed. And I think in this tyre war the team who had more to lose was Lotus since they work the best with these tires. Ferrari are somehow intermediate between tire-savers and tire-eaters.

  14. Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 18th May 2013, 7:50

    Changes they make for safety reasons could still change the tyres performance and durability.

  15. TMF (@tmf42) said on 18th May 2013, 8:13

    I think the FIA is wrong in this case for 2 reasons. They had no problem changing the rules mid-2011 in an attempt to stop RBR. And second Pirelli is not given any testing time with actual cars and they perform a guessing game just as much as the teams do. They delivered a pre-liminary version in Brazil 2012 and ran the final compounds in Jerez and Barcelona at temperatures they themselves admitted were useless to get any good data from it. Now you see a tire that’s failing with delamination and degradation that doesn’t meet Pirelli’s own target of 2-3 pit stops.
    So why not let them fix it – ah yeah, the situation is different because this time it would actually disadvantage RBR again.

    • obviously said on 18th May 2013, 11:25

      Well next time they vote, maybe Red Bull shouldn’t oppose in-season testing so much. It’s obviously much needed.

      They had a week or two ago, because Pirelli is begging them to introduce some testing since new powertrains will be completely different, and Red Bull still voted NO.

      It’s just stupid. Instead of keep talking about results not matching and correlations, they should do some in-season testing, since this is completely stupid. How can you not have a singe test during a seasons? (not counting a single young drivers test, since they can’t help much in development)

    • caci_99 said on 18th May 2013, 11:45

      They changed the rules in 2011 only for one race, and that was wrong! After that race they got back to the original rules with which the season started. Now, if you are against changing rules in mid season, I think you should applaud the decision.
      As for the testing, well, as @obviously said, the teams should agree for mid season tests, or they need to find another way to better test the tires for the coming season.

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