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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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.

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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. cg22me (@cg22me) said on 18th May 2013, 8:53

    I hope Sutil’s luck changes.

    I am one of the few Di Resta fans out there, mainly to see another Brit do well, but I agree that Sutil has been effective on par with or better than Di Resta at most races, albeit from further down the grid due to one unfortunate situation or another.

    The one time Di Resta has pulled it together over Sutil, though, is in qualifying, which maybe would help Sutil stray away from the danger zone a bit more.

  2. Boomerang said on 18th May 2013, 9:59

    First time in my life my ears enjoy the music played by FIA ;-)

  3. James Brickles (@brickles) said on 18th May 2013, 10:01

    The British commentary during Michael’s pit stop was priceless. Rubens had made his pit stop a couple of laps before and the fuel rig had failed. Michael makes his pitstop, the fuel rig works initially and James Allen and Ted Kravitz were saying how he gets all the luck and everything goes his way… then the fuel rig sets on fire.

    Great drives from both Schumacher and Raikkonen in that race. Raikkonen held on to 2nd place despite a crippled engine.

  4. Jason (@jason12) said on 18th May 2013, 10:20

    Improving the tyres for safety will also improve their performance.
    I don’t see how the two are mutually exclusive.

  5. Dragon (@dragon88) said on 18th May 2013, 10:23

    ‘”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.”‘

    Exactly what my point, and the point that many other sensible people made in the other topic, was.
    Thanks goodness there is still some credibility left in this sport.

  6. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 18th May 2013, 13:41

    This does look like a bit of a slap-down, doesn’t it?
    “Almost everyone likes the tyres” Pirelli.
    “Okay, so maybe 82 pit stops is just few too many” Pirelli.
    “So we’ll change them for Canada” Pirelli.
    “No. You won’t” FIA.

  7. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 18th May 2013, 16:03

    On the one hand, it is fair that the tyres are not changed – everybody had the same opportunity to get their cars working with the material at hand.

    On the other hand, I feel that the tyres are really detrimental to the racing. Four stops with the two hardest compounds available and still tyre wear was important enough so that most drivers refrained from defending (admittedly on the circuit that is probably the hardest on tyres).

    Whilst the Spanish Grand Prix was the most boring race caused by the tyres, the real eye-opener was in China. In the last laps, Vettel shows how much pace there really is in the cars, and it is just sad that drivers are not able to come even close to using the cars at their full potential.

  8. Mark (@marlarkey) said on 18th May 2013, 17:14

    So the “on this day” shows an era when fuel management was the dominant factor in F1 and teams which managed their fuel strategies better did well and those that didn’t failed.

    Hmmm… tyres, fuel, gearboxes, turbo boost… everything goes in cycles and there is always someone whining about being disadvantaged.

  9. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 18th May 2013, 19:10

    Finally some common sense from the FIA.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th May 2013, 19:50

    Common sense prevails!

    Who would have thought that it would come from the FIA?

  11. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 18th May 2013, 20:47

    If we think F1 qualifying is crazy, just imagine what would happen if they all did 32 km/h going round Monza? This links to today’s WTCC Salzburgring qualifying session

  12. Paul Barrass (@damleda) said on 19th May 2013, 10:02

    I had to wade in, as I am sick of all of these allegorical comparisons with football, where people are saying you can’t change the goal size, or the size of the pitch, etc. but find them all to be terribly thought out, and lacking any relevance.

    I’m going to give my own football comparison in a moment, but first I’d just like to mention in the hope that readers on this site watch other motorsports, please remember that the current WEC prototype classes are all saying they can pretty much race flat out for a full race. Given that their stints are longer, their cars heavier, and their budgets (except perhaps for Audi) smaller, I find anything less (than flat out racing) very annoying. In fact, given that one race (Le Mans) covers more miles than the entire Formula One season, the ‘management’ of vehicle parts in F1 really cheeses me off.

    Anyway, I promised a football comparison, and here it goes: Imagine that in the premiership, each game is played out in roughly the same manner, with manager’s putting together the best team they can afford, the best team overall usually wins, but the game has developed into a purely long ball game, and the teams with big strikers and great long ball delivery men are winning all of the time and everyone (fans) is missing the tackling. The Premiership introduce a new rule which means a certain boot must be worn that bursts if it kicks a ball too hard which means initially that people keep the ball closer and there is much less long ball deliveries, and much more dribbling and close 1-2’s. The following year they introduce an even softer boot, which they find goes soft just after a few 1-2’s and then can no longer be used to pass effectively at all, so people just change the ball feet to feet, and keep swapping their boots…

    In this scenario, the team with the players who are skillful at dribbling and not damaging their boots will win (statistically), but it means that every team, even the teams that win are constrained in the way they can play football by an artificial constraint, and the game itself is being altered without purpose outside of the original scope of the change. In our example, not only is the long ball game removed, but skillful 1-2s, free kicks, corners, etc. all change as a side effect of our new boot law.

    Now in such a scenario only the teams affected would be complaining, and I am sure the teams doing well would not want to change, but would it be football and if it isn’t, should it be corrected? Likewise, in F1, it isn’t about the teams who are complaining. It’s about whether what we have now is the premier Formula, and if it isn’t, then should it be corrected. I would argue that the WEC prototype class is, in many ways the current crop of the FIA regulated formulae for actual motor racing (as a combination of machine and driver), and on that basis F1 should be corrected.

    I understand that that will almost certainly help some teams and hinder others, but let’s not forget that of all the sports in the world, the FIA change the rules, or ‘clarify’ them mid-season almost once per year, especially when one or more teams is seen to have an advantage. How can the organisation allow that, and then ban tyre changes? It is beyond me…

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 19th May 2013, 10:43

      I Man U starts dominating, the Football Association to find a way to change the rules to sabotage them. Thereby introducing entertainment and unpredictability?….

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 19th May 2013, 19:38

      @damleda +1. My particular footballing analogy involved the ball, specially the Jabulani (a very troublesome beast which few players could get to grips with) but they both do the same job (I’d probably have a hybrid of the two actually: a ball that explodes when a certain force is applied though it and the players responsible then being forced to serve time in the sin bin).

      I don’t really understand why the reaction this year is so much more vocal than last or the year before: it is nothing new Pirelli ammeding the compounds to benefit “the show”, so why has everyone suddenly mustered a protest is bemusing to me. Perhaps it is the fact that Red Bull is now involved.

      • Anele (@anele-mbethe) said on 20th May 2013, 7:25

        That right there is the only reason people are complaining. The rate the race comments were filled with complaints now suddenly nobody wants changes. It’s a constant F1fanatic theme. If any team was going to benefit the most it would have been Mercedes not redbull who’s two wins demonstrate that their problems where mostly track related

  13. JimG (@jimg) said on 20th May 2013, 11:51

    “[Valtteri Bottas] is giving strong feedback to the engineers in order to improve the car.”

    Did anyone else have a mental picture of Bottas shouting “MAKE IT FASTER!” ;-)

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