Pirelli wants solution to testing with “obsolete” cars

F1 Fanatic round-up

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011In the round-up: Pirelli warn they must be given access to modern F1 machinery for tyre testing.

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It’s the Le Mans 24 Hours today (and tomorrow) so join us for F1 Fanatic Live from 1:45pm (UK time). We will of course be running into tomorrow and after the conclusion of the race F1 Fanatic Live will return for the IndyCar Iow Indy 250 from 7:30pm on Sunday evening in the UK.


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Pirelli: F1 must learn lessons (Sky)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “Of course it doesn’t take away our need to be able to test in representative conditions with representative cars. We’re still running round in obsolete, almost museum pieces, trying to do our job so there’s still a lot of work to be done to allow us to do what we call representative testing going forward.”

Pirelli may take FIA to court (The Telegraph)

“Senior figures at Pirelli are understood to be furious after they were hauled before the International Tribunal. The Italian manufacturer?s lawyer, Dominique Dumas, was adamant on Thursday that there were no legal grounds for them being in Paris at all given the terms of their contract with the governing body.”

Eric Boullier on the British Grand Prix (Lotus)

“We?re certainly not going to let two weekends of poor results stop us in our efforts. We have a very reasonable package to fit to the E21 for Silverstone – with a number of elements which should help with our performance – and we have plenty of other upgrades to come later in the season too.”

F1 With Added Energy (Red Bull)

“Oddly ?ǣ though perhaps understandable given the level of interest ?ǣ Renault took the opportunity today to also demonstrate what the engine will sound like with a simulated lap of the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore. As the engine manufacturers have insisted all along, it sounded distinctively like an F1 engine and not, as the naysayers had suggested, like a lawnmower.”

The changing face of McLaren F1 car liveries (McLaren)

“McLaren had never held true to the concept of adhering to a singular racing livery. When McLaren made its Formula 1 debut at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix, its Ford V8-propelled M2B was famously painted white with a green central stripe.”

Why Le Mans beats Formula One (The Telegraph)

“F1’s are so stifling that the key skills are in exploiting the loopholes and having a good legal department. Le Mans’ rules, on the other hand, are also prescriptive, but enticingly loose. So you won’t break them just by being different. All F1’s recent innovations have been to improve the spectacle (and largely for TV, not for the faithful in the bleachers). KERS, DFS [sic], tyres with the life of a butterfly and ‘pit stop strategy’ all add interest, but diminish the purity of what still bills itself as the pinnacle of the sport.”



Nissan ZEOD RC, 2013

This rather cheesy image is of the all-electric Nissan ZEOD RC which the Japanese manufacturer will race at Le Mans next year in the Garage 56 category for experimental cars.

See more pictures of the machine which clearly owes a considerable debt to the (Nissan-powered) 2011 DeltaWing racer here:

Comment of the day

Manule thinks “good faith” wasn’t a good reason for the International Tribunal to go easy on Mercedes:

I find this so called ??punishment? no punishment at all.

First of all, let?s cast off all this “in good faith” nonsense. Mercedes perfectly knew what they were doing, i.e. breaching the Sporting Code, hence they (and not Pirelli) made all possible efforts for this test to remain secret.

The whole purpose of a punishment is not to cancel benefit gained by a perpetrator, it is to ensure that this will not happen again, and to give an object lesson to those who are considering doing the same crime. From this point of view, it is a grave mistake to let the Mercedes escape scot-free.

What the International Tribunal is projecting with this verdict is that it is easily bullied, because it is all too obvious that this decision was made with the fear of Mercedes walking away in mind.

Banned from the ??Young Guns Test?? As many have said before, any team would swap it for a 1000km sole test with both racing drivers and cars. […]

The FIA International Tribunal made a complete joke of themselves, they should have either acquitted Merc from all charges, or deal a proper punishment for breaking the Sporting Code, no matter in what faith. What they did is neither here nor there, and it sends very bad signals on many levels.

The winner of last week’s Caption Competition will appear in tomorrow’s round-up so you still have time to suggest a caption:

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Domprez!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The last French Grand Prix was held five years ago today and won by Felipe Massa after his Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen’s exhaust broke during the race.

Images ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Nissan

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72 comments on Pirelli wants solution to testing with “obsolete” cars

  1. gweilo8888 (@gweilo8888) said on 22nd June 2013, 0:09

    The solution Pirelli seeks is simple. Invite every single team to the same test at an impartial location (ie. Ferrari’s test tracks don’t count, because it is essentially free for them to attend), and with a reasonable advance notice — then supply the same tires to every team on the same terms.

    Anything else is inappropriate.

    • W-K (@w-k) said on 22nd June 2013, 12:56

      Obviously don’t understand the concept of testing. Remove all unnecessary variables, i.e. use only one type of car/test.

      • gweilo8888 (@gweilo8888) said on 27th June 2013, 22:26

        Wrong. Is that the *cheapest* way Pirelli can test? Yes. Is it the fairest and best way they can test? No. They are quite capable of testing with all teams, and in fact would gain better data by so doing, because that data wouldn’t be specific to just one chassis. It would just cost them more money, and they won’t do that unless forced.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd June 2013, 0:24

      @gweilo888 – That’s not the problem here. Pirelli are developing tyres with cars that are two years out of date, and the cars have changed radically in that time. The result is that the tyres perform one way in development and another way during the races. Pirelli could fix the problem if they had full-time access to a current chassis that they could use independently of the teams (the way they do their current testing chassis), but the teams refuse because if they release a chassis to Pirelli, they lose control over its engineering secrets, which could be used by another team.

      Arguably, the secret test in Barcelona was the teams’ own creation. They demand change, then refuse to give Pirelli the tools they need to make it happen, and complain loudly when Pirelli give them tyres that they don’t like because of it. So as far as I’m concerned, Pirelli don’t owe the teams anything.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd June 2013, 0:25

        That’s supposed to be @gweilo8888

      • gweilo8888 (@gweilo8888) said on 27th June 2013, 22:28

        @prisoner-monkeys Sorry, but that is the problem. The teams don’t want to test with a current car — all barring Mercedes anyway — because they cannot legally do so under the rules. Announce a test session which all teams can attend, and most would jump at the opportunity. (Only those too poor to afford it might complain.) The FIA would not stand in the way of such a test, because the overwhelming majority of the teams all agreed on it.

        Pirelli doesn’t want a test like that, though, because it’s more expensive. Plain and simple.

  2. celeste (@celeste) said on 22nd June 2013, 0:15

    Can Pirelli go away of F1? I promise the next set of tyres that I´ll buy will be Pirelli if they just go away…

    • Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 22nd June 2013, 0:57

      You’ll have to make a pitstop three blocks away from your house LOL

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 22nd June 2013, 1:01

        mmmmm good point… maybe buy them and turn them in to a swingset?

        • F1 Cars could probably run with fewer pitstops if they plugged the tyres used as barriers in the tracks (I guess they are old Bridgestones or Good-years)

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 22nd June 2013, 2:27

            sounds like a lot of work, but maybe worthit. And them the Pirellis will have a good use as safety walls…

          • Mike (@mike) said on 22nd June 2013, 4:13

            This whole conversation is silly….

            If Pirelli wanted to, they could quite easily produce a quick tyre that would last the whole race. But that’s not we asked for is it?

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 22nd June 2013, 7:17

            I don´t remember asking for anything ;)

          • Mike (@mike) said on 23rd June 2013, 4:20


            We, as in community, as in viewers.

            … So what you are saying is…. When we had the bridgestones, and cars were only pitting because the rules stated they had to, you were happier?

            Maybe Pirrelli have gone too far, and I suspect that’s the general consensus at the moment, but you’re using F1’s problems, and I say F1 because it was the sport that dictated Pirrelli to create tyres that would wear quickly, to make unfair attacks on the company. Which in reality, might have very durable road tyres. I don’t know, I doubt you do either.

            But I don’t like people making such flippant jokes because Pirrelli is surely working very hard to deliver what the F1 community asked for. Next year they have already said that they are going to have to bring much more durable tyres. I’m sure you have read this, so why is it necessary to keep digging in your claws when you already know that what you are asking for now, more durable tyres, is coming?

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 23rd June 2013, 4:43

            @mike Personaly I didn´t notice back in the day… And if Pirelli can´t stand the jokes may aswell go away…

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 23rd June 2013, 4:52

            @mike And I do not longer believe in their integrity after this Mercedes thin, so I don´t mind if they are gonna build the tyres in cement I don´t want them to be in F1 and that´s my personal and unchangeable opinion.

            And BTW animals are the only ones that have claws…

          • F1 Cars could probably run with fewer pitstops if …

            Yes, they could be run with fewer pit stops, in fact they probably could run the entire race without any pit stops, the tyre degredation is part of the contract the tyre supplier has to agree to.
            As I understand it, the reason for pit stops is they are a means to change the order of the cars in the race. One of the problems the 107% rule creates is it insists that all cars more or less have exactly the same lap time, which, by default, means there is also little variation in speed, which means overtaking is more difficult so there is less of it, which means you have lots of cars racing around a circuit without much change in the order, especially at the front, which equates to a boring race = no one wants to watch it.
            Now that everyone has jumped on Pirelli and Mercedes for doing this test with modern equipment, the out come of it will no team, especially a front runner like Red Bull, will want to do any testing with Pirelli because of the mud slinging that goes on.
            One possible way to fix this problem is to require the podium drivers and cars to be available for say 2 hours on the day after the race, or for 2 hours prior to the start of the first practice session for the next race, for testing tyres and other thing that benefits the racing like radios, telemetry, checking video cameras, etc.
            After all, earlier this year there was a problem with the F1 Live Timing, and presumably a modern car had to be used to fix this, and no one made a big fuss about that, even though a team could have benefited from that (for example, does placing the aerial on one side of the car give you better sector times than if it is in the centre of the car?), and a car has to be provided for testing the car radios worked all around the track (and again, maybe the testing team could have benefited from this knowledge). The list of “but they COULD have benefited from doing this test” items that need to be tested is probably very long, and the best cars to do these tests are the ones that were on the podium.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 22nd June 2013, 23:35

      Pirelli is a supplier of tires, nothing more. They supply what they have been asked to supply. In this case – less durable tire. Any complaints and grievences should be directed at people who asked for more ‘exciting’ tires, more pit stops etc. Stop making the scape goat of Pirelli.

      • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 23rd June 2013, 18:50

        No, they haven’t. In a nutshell, they were asked for “tyres for a two-stop race” rather than the one stop mandated by the rules. They have failed miserably:
        a) the vast majority of laps are to “target times”, so…
        b) drivers can only occasionally push to the limit, lap after lap.
        c) we see far too many three of four stop races.
        d) the temperature window is far too narrow.
        e) the tyre treads have delaminated, so…
        f) the very recent tyre-gate scandal, which…
        g) has led to one team bending the rules, and…
        h) the FIA legal department demonstrating flagrant creativity with the rule book.
        To claim that this is what the “community” wanted to see as a “good TV show” is ludicrous.

    • gweilo8888 (@gweilo8888) said on 27th June 2013, 22:29

      Easy promise to make. You’ll only have to drive on them for two hours, and then you can put whatever tires you want back on the car. ;-)

  3. Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd June 2013, 0:23

    Honestly, the FIA should be happy if they’re taken to court by Pirelli. It means that, despite the heaps of criticism the company got for doing what the FIA asked them to, they STILL want to supply tyres.

    If that’s isn’t love (or at least, commitment), I don’t know what is.

  4. James_mc (@james_mc) said on 22nd June 2013, 0:28

    Is it too simplistic to suggest that Alan Henry’s article on the McLaren website is a way of slowly introducing fans to the fact that McLaren aren’t going to be silver-and-red as they’ve been for the past 10-ish years?

  5. Calum (@calum) said on 22nd June 2013, 0:35

    That new NISMO Deltawing sequel is class!

  6. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 22nd June 2013, 0:44

    I think they just couldn’t punish mercedes (hard).
    The wording of undertaken by will hold up in court if you ask me.

    I don’t know if they gained more info from this test than the young drivers test.
    Here you can do programs you want, add parts and know which tires you are running…

  7. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 22nd June 2013, 1:41

    @keithcollantine I think the headline is misleading, I think you were after something to capture the below paragraph.

    When I saw the headline “Pirelli wants solution to testing with “obsolete” cars”, my original reaction was how Pirelli are missing the point of why F1 testing bans were originally brought about, as running old equipment would be unnecessarily expensive for F1 teams.

    “Of course it doesn’t take away our need to be able to test in representative conditions with representative cars. We’re still running round in obsolete, almost museum pieces, trying to do our job so there’s still a lot of work to be done to allow us to do what we call representative testing going forward.”

  8. Why not Pirelli makes a “raffle” and offers the test to the other teams in the remaining races? They still have enough number of races to attend every team…
    It’s illegal, but you just lose your Young Drivers Test for doing so

  9. S2G-Unit (@s2g-unit) said on 22nd June 2013, 4:59

    The problem I have with Pirelli now, is that we asked for tyres that degrade to allow for a strategy. We did NOT ask for tyres that degrade even when drivers tip toe around the circuit. Why can’t they just manufacture a tyre that can go for 15-20 qualifying laps with a gradual drop off each lap? That way drivers can actually defend.

    Now when a drivers tyres die, he then has no defense against attacking cars. Then add DRS on top of it.

    Is there some way through this site we can have a poll or something shown to the FIA.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 22nd June 2013, 6:23

      @sg2-unit Pirelli suggest that happens because these tyres were not developed for/with a top 2013 car, but with a somewhat modified 2010 car and speculation on how new cars behave. And their solution is to test in-season with current cars to develop for next year(s).

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 22nd June 2013, 9:20

        Don’t forget this works both ways. Not only were the tyres developed based on an educated guess about the nature of the cars, the cars themselves were developed based on a guess about what the tyres would be like. Hence this claim about the likes of Lotus and co doing the “best job” of developing the car being nonsense. They’ve been lucky that their guess about the tyres was better than anyone else’s.

        And it’ll be the same next year. Except for Mercedes of course, who have had a sneak preview of 2014 tyres..

        I do wonder whether the request to develop high deg tyres is a contractual thing. If not, perhaps Pirelli should just put their money where their mouth is and turn up with ‘Bridgestone style’ tyres for 2014 that let a driver push for the entire race and do just one stop two laps before the end..

        • Manished said on 22nd June 2013, 10:18

          Lucky? you don’t need to be lucky to run your car softer on the tyre. however, doing so sacrifise aero and pace of the car. Running softer suspension compromised your aero, hence lesser downforce overall. Engineers do not design car by getting lucky.

          The only teams that got the balance right are Ferrari and Rbr.

        • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 22nd June 2013, 23:44

          I think you’re insulting Lotus right now. Everyone made they assumptions about the tires based on informations they had. Lotus’ thought process was simply more correct than for instance Red Bulls’. If you call that a “guess” than all science and invention is based on guesses. You don’t need to have a physical tire and lots of experimenting with it to conceive a reasonable care design which will function well with certain idea of tires.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd June 2013, 8:25

      Why can’t they just manufacture a tyre that can go for 15-20 qualifying laps with a gradual drop off each lap?

      Because they’re limited in what they can physically do with the tyres. And they don’t want tyres that are too similar to the ones they used last year.

  10. DavidS (@davids) said on 22nd June 2013, 5:13

    How about having the teams at the back of the grid supply the cars and drivers, with some sort of cost subsidisation arrangement in place. Only the bottom three teams from last years championship participate on a rotational basis.

    They’ll get some valuable testing time, and give young drivers some time in the car.
    Pirelli gets a current spec car (albeit not a competitive one) to get data from.

    And hopefully, maybe if the tyres were developed using cars with less downforce will force the top teams to design their cars with less aggressive aero.

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 22nd June 2013, 7:33

      very good idea . if this results in either marussia or caterham being given an undue advantage then let them be so . they are still going to finish 1 minute behind the leader

    • W-K (@w-k) said on 22nd June 2013, 13:19

      Didn’t Pirelli buy last seasons HRT car, and then get rid of it on ebay, because it was not considered to be representative of current F1 cars.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 22nd June 2013, 15:30

      That would sentence one of the teams to drop out of F1, since last place doesnt get the prize anymore. Giving an advantage to either Caterham or Marussia would be just as bad.

  11. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 22nd June 2013, 6:13

    Completely disagree with the COTD, it’s all speculation:

    1. Can you look into Ross Brawn’s head, to be sure he didn’t act in good faith? The tribunal thought he did.
    2. How do you know the tribunal’s verdict was out of fear of Mercedes pulling out?
    3. The YDT is more valuable for car development that the Pirelli test. Yes, it’s a huge advantage to run the racing drivers, but it was an advantage for Pirelli since they got the most accurate data. Mercedes were not trying things out with setup or new components and would learn very little, regardless of who was driving.

    In my opinion, Mercedes did the test to help Pirelli, and therefore F1, under the impression that the FIA would OK such a test. Even IF they were hoping to gain an advantage in the process, they weren’t trying to cheat here, and therefore shouldn’t be punished harshly, in my opinion.

    • @adrianmore
      1. If Brawn acted in good faith, why was the test held in secret? Why not made public? Why no invitations to press or even fans interested?
      2. Nobody knows for sure. But that’s a weapon big teams have always used to influence. Mercedes is also an engine supplier let’s not forget.
      3. How do you know that no new parts were tried on? Encrypted emails exachange, secret test, all obscure whatever it was declared in front of the FIA tribunal.

      IMO Mercedes has tested 1.000 Kms with current car specs and drivers. Punishment should be 1.000 Kms taken off the next FP1s. The only one punished yesterday was the Merc young driver.

      • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 24th June 2013, 10:29

        @chemakal 1000km for doing a test that even if in their 2011 car would have still been a 1000km… It is quiet easy to see why they went for the YDT, because if they did test new parts or any thing else developmental (which can’t be proven) they can’t further in the year. Thus a YDT that allows for development not previously available prior in the year is gone, due to the chance that they already did development for the current car. Also MGP have a road map of what they are expecting from the sport it would have been a financial mess to pull out over this spectacle. Also if you believe that Merc GP tested new parts, you must in turn believe that Ferrari also may have done the same thing as well. A 2011 spec car is not that far off a 2012 or 2013, RBR has demonstrated that.

        Why would it be public held, what use is the public being their, Ferrari didn’t invite people either and much more Ferrari paid for the test set up. Also not too many test are open for the fans, and some allow the press but most do testing first then when set, do test after initial development. Look at the 2014 LMP1 Porsche, it is in the development phase but we know it is built their are spy shot pictures yet when they are ready they’ll show the press what they have been up to. Same goes for MGP and Ferrari tests, but they most likely don’t see the point in telling the press about a boring “tire test”. Either way the test wasn’t secret, the Carbon helmets were for security purpose to hide the drivers from public eyes that could clearly hear and take notice that something post-race was going on days later. Don’t you think people are likely to be more interested if they can tell it is Lewis and Nico driving, or if it seems like random test drivers?

        So in the end you can’t speculate all you can say is MGP used current drivers (so did Ferrari) and a 2013 spec car which is against the rules, and we now know even if Charlie and the FIA said go ahead, the rules still stand.

    • W-K (@w-k) said on 22nd June 2013, 13:27

      Totally agree.

      And did the secret test by Ferrari, (not Pirelli) last year, which apparently did more than the allowed 1000 km, enable Massa to improve his performance. If so should Ferrari/Massa be punished?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd June 2013, 14:15

      Me too.

    • LuvinF1 (@luvinf1) said on 22nd June 2013, 17:49

      It is always interesting to read fellow fans’ comments – especially gut reactions to events and circumstances.

      Now as COTD, as much as some of us might disagree with it – it appears to be representative of the majority in the poll that Keith administered on the controversy (too soft v too harsh).

  12. Atanu (@ilovevettel) said on 22nd June 2013, 8:08

    One dumb question regarding engine allocation…..

    If a team is out of allocated number of engines, who pays for the extra engine? Is it the team or is it the engine supplier?

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd June 2013, 8:29

    I seem to recall Pirelli previously lobbying for teams to let them use newer chassis, but the teams refused because they didn’t want details of some of their engineering solutions out of their control.

  14. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd June 2013, 8:31

    Le Mans’ rules, on the other hand, are also prescriptive, but enticingly loose. So you won’t break them just by being different.

    Ironically, all of the Le Mans Prototypes look identical.

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd June 2013, 13:18

      I think that article does a poor job in general. He states pit stops were ‘added’ to F1 for excitement, but pit stops in Le Mans are good, basically saying it’s better because there are more rules in place for pit stops. It’s basically a big repeat of one line: ‘F1 isn’t relevant, but Le Mans is’ without ever going beyond the emotional responses to both.

      Not to mention the dripping cynicism which would suit satire, but if this is the author’s best case at convincing readers, the people who love F1 and are underexposed to Le Mans are not going to watch Le Mans, and the people who don’t watch F1 will go ‘yeah, tell ‘em, mate’.

      The FIA is planning more than 20 Grands Prix for 2014, but they’re still only planning one Le Mans. The good news is that it only takes one.

      Seems like the rest of the WEC isn’t relevant as well, then.

  15. matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd June 2013, 9:57

    See more pictures of the machine which clearly owes a considerable debt to the (Nissan-powered) 2011 DeltaWing racer here:

    Wasn’t the actual racing-spec Deltawing from 2012?

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