Alonso blames Pirelli for ‘worst Saturday of 2013′

2013 British Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari. Silverstone, 2013Fernando Alonso says Pirelli’s choice of tyres for the British Grand Prix is partly to blame for Ferrari’s struggles.

“Really disappointing – we were not competitive all weekend,” said Alonso after qualifying today.

“It’s not normal to see one Ferrari out of Q3, the other one tenth in Q3. But is what we deserve, we were not good enough today.

“Obviously the race is still very long, anything can happen, we will do our best to recover position. But it was a bad Saturday.”

Asked why Ferrari could only manage tenth and twelfth on the grid he said: “I think we didn’t improve the car enough in the last four or five races, we brought new parts that maybe didn’t deliver what we expect from them. The others they doing a fantastic job.”

“Pirelli’s choosing medium and hard, continuously for every race, which we know that only helps two teams, and we need to keep working.”

“We can consider this the worst Saturday of the season so far, having never finished so far down, but now we must react immediately to try and return to the form we showed at the start of the year,” he added.

“We definitely expected a lot more here, because this is a track that suits our car?s characteristics better than others.

“In Q3, we hesitated a bit over tyre choice: we went out on the hards because they had worked well in free practice this morning and in Q1. Then we switched to medium with the idea of just coming back to the pits if it did not go well but then we decided to finish the lap and nevertheless our rivals were quicker.”

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115 comments on Alonso blames Pirelli for ‘worst Saturday of 2013′

  1. andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th June 2013, 16:56

    “Pirelli’s choosing medium and hard, continuously for every race, which we know that only help two teams, and we need to keep working.”

    I’ve said it millions of times: Pirelli’s tyre choices should have been made for every race before the season got underway. A situation like this where Lotus and Ferrari are criticizing the tyre choice was a disaster waiting to happen – one that could have been avoided very, very, very easily imo.

    • Gaz said on 29th June 2013, 17:03

      Totally agree. The issue here is that once the season is underway, personal preferences (by those at Pirelli) dictate what tyres they think they should bring to each race weekend. Whether they admit it or not, they can’t ‘un-know’ that the harder tyres suit Mercedes/Red Bull. I don’t believe they are necessarily favouring any teams, but I can see why people would come to that conclusion (I say this as a Ferrari fan).

      • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 29th June 2013, 17:10

        There isn’t a shred of evidence that the harder tyres suit Mercedes/Red Bull more than Ferrari.

        • andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th June 2013, 17:15

          That’s not the point! Alonso believes Pirelli are favouring two teams, which wouldn’t be the case if the tyres would be allocated pre-season.

          • @andae23 do you believe in a world where Alonso wouldn’t have just said “Pirelli’s choosing medium and hard, continuously for every race, which we know from last year, only help two teams…” had that been the case?

            If so, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you ;)

            This is a non-story.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th June 2013, 21:55

            @hwkii I … I … what? :P

        • Gaz said on 29th June 2013, 17:18

          I think it’s evident that they do, as tend Lotus/Ferrari have better wear rates in races than Red Bull/Mercedes when the softer tyres are used. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s Ferrari’s or Lotus’ responsbility to get their cars to work with the harder compounds…

        • karter22 (@karter22) said on 29th June 2013, 17:20

          Are you serious??? Just look back at the results those two teams have had in the previous races where those tyres have been used and then ask yourself if there is a “shred” of evidence.
          Geez, some people man seriously!

          • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 29th June 2013, 19:03

            I repeat, there isn’t a shred of evidence that the medium/hard tyres favor Red Bull and/or Mercedes over Ferrari, either in qualifying or in the race.

            In both Malaysia and Bahrain Alonso matched his best qualifying position of the season – third – on the medium tyres. He crashed out in Malaysia and had DRS problems in Bahrain, but the tyres were not a Ferrari weakness. Alonso won a very empathic victory in Barcelona on the medium/hard tyres.

            On the supersoft tyres in both Monaco and Montreal Alonso could only mange sixth in qualifying.

            Compare to Vettel – SV has five podium finishes.

            3rd on the supersoft/medium combo.
            1st on the medium/hard.
            1st on the medium/hard.
            2nd on the supersoft/soft.
            1st on the supersoft/medium.

            The Red Bull has been strong on all the different tyres. So has the Ferrari, but they’ve lost points due to non-tyre issues.

          • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 29th June 2013, 19:34

            @jonsan please just keep in mind that its not just the tyre’s used. Its the tyre and track combo. For example, the heat generated at a track like Catalyna would be far higher than the heat generated at a track like Silverstone. That is why the compounds change according to which track is visited.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 29th June 2013, 20:40

            @jonsan

            Then why does Red Bull keep saying the tyres should be harder, and Lotus and Ferrari want them to be softer?

            In this instance, you are wrong. The Red Bull and Mercedes cars will work better the harder the tyres are, because they put more energy into them. The Lotus and the Ferrari are the opposite, and will in general, benefit more from softer tyres, as they are able to preserve the tyres longer.

          • Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 29th June 2013, 21:49

            @Joshua

            But isn’t the heat generated in Barcelona and SIlverstone pretty much the same, specially if the weather and temaparature is similar on both track..?

            I mean, both tracks are high-speed & high-G circuits, maybe Silverstone a bit more, but Silverstone has usually colder track surface beacaus of the climate.

            What your take on this?

          • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 29th June 2013, 22:16

            Then why does Red Bull keep saying the tyres should be harder, and Lotus and Ferrari want them to be softer?

            Ferrari does NOT want the tyres to be softer. Nor does Red Bull “keep saying the tyres should be harder”.

            Ferrari are the opposite, and will in general, benefit more from softer tyres, as they are able to preserve the tyres longer

            There’s no evidence of that happening, at least not any more often that it happens to other teams.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 30th June 2013, 4:06

            @jonsan

            So why in the article just above, do I read Ferrari’s driver saying…

            Pirelli’s choosing medium and hard, continuously for every race, which we know that only helps two teams,

            And Red Bull does want the tyres to be harder, here are two links of them saying they want harder tyres.
            Christian Horner
            Dietrich Mateschitz

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th June 2013, 22:23

        The problem with that (choosing the tyres before the season), is that pirelli could not react at all to what they learn about the cars/tyres during the year. We would have had cheesecake tyres in Barcelona, and maybe would have had extra soft tyres both here, in Canada and likely at the Hungaroring.

        What would we have been saying when they got up to 5 regular stops then?

    • Girts (@girts) said on 29th June 2013, 17:34

      I agree with you and I also think that some will inevitably see changing/adjusting tyre compounds in the middle of a season as manipulating the results, even if Pirelli have no intention of doing that.

      We must blame them and cause a fuss
      Before somebody thinks of blaming us!

      (from ‘Blame Canada’)

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 29th June 2013, 17:52

      Completely agree… otherwise it’ll never be totally transparent, as it’s like having a different set of rules week in week out.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 29th June 2013, 18:23

      Pirelli’s tyre choices should have been made for every race before the season got underway

      You can’t do that because there just isn’t enough knowledge about the tyre at the start of the season, let alone the cars that will be putting them through their paces. This is exactly what Pirelli want the FIA to change for 2014 (i.e. some more running with 2013 spec cars early in the season) – so you’re idea may work for then, but for 2013 it just isn’t realistic.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 29th June 2013, 18:25

        edit…”some more running with 2014 spec cars early in the season”. Sorry.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th June 2013, 18:30

        @john-h Aha, but I’ve thought of that: Pirelli has data from all circuits, so if they have an indication of how durable the tyres are in comparison to last year’s tyres (which shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, given the pre-season test data), they can allocate based on that.

        And if after three races it turns out the tyres are less/more durable than expected, they can propose an alternative allocation list for the rest of the season, which will be used as long as a majority of the teams give it the thumbs up. Not a problem at all, I’d say.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 29th June 2013, 19:24

          @andae23 Ha, you might just be onto something here. But what about 2014, the cars are going to be so different isn’t it a bit risky to front load everything? Surely the 2013 data won’t be enough. So in that case 2014, could be a special year… but then what would constitute a special year with lots of rule changes? 2015? You see where I’m going with this?

          I think the best idea I’ve heard yet is just to let each team decide which two compounds they want to bring to the race themselves. If Ferrari want to select softer tyres for the Hungaroring, then just let them do so. That way, the tyre selection is chosen to fit the car, not the car designed to fit the tyre.. which is more of a moving target (if you get what I mean).

          This would to some extent negate the problem with having a single tyre supplier (and hence acting a bit like a communist dictatorship, albeit probably unintentionally!).

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th June 2013, 19:42

            @john-h

            I think the best idea I’ve heard yet is just to let each team decide which two compounds they want to bring to the race themselves.

            Yes, please yes! That would be the ideal scenario, but if they for some reason don’t decide to do that (which is probably the case), the thing I’m proposing would be a good solution I think.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 29th June 2013, 20:50

          @andae23

          so if they have an indication of how durable the tyres are in comparison to last year’s tyres (which shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, given the pre-season test data), they can allocate based on that.

          To a certain extent yes, but I think it’s not that simple. I suspect that this whole mess with the tyres is evidence that it isn’t.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th June 2013, 21:01

            @Mike ok I agree, but then I refer to my next line paragraph: if for some reason they are completely off, it can’t be a big problem to change the tyre allocation. The problem with the current system is that the teams don’t have a say in Pirelli’s ‘change of philosophy’, but if the teams could actually agree with some sort of tyre allocation change (like in the system I’m proposing), claims like Alonso is making cannot be made anymore.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 29th June 2013, 21:33

            Wait, You want the teams to agree?

            That’s very unlikely. Given that for any change, one team must lose out.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 29th June 2013, 21:38

            @mike Uhmmmmmmmm…… yeah…. majority? :P

          • Mike (@mike) said on 30th June 2013, 4:08

            The problem is, you have Lotus and Ferrari on one side, and Red Bull and Mercedes on the other. Haha

            I think Pirelli is in a very tricky position!

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th June 2013, 23:49

      I’ve said it before a billion times, there is so little difference in the cars that they cant be optimised for 4 different tyre compounds, if the FIA wanted 1 or 2 pitstops with tyre choice and management affecting the results as they say then the hard/medium choice provides that scenario, and RBR, Mercedes, did a better job of designing a car, if the FIA wanted 3 and 4 stop races then Lotus and Ferrari did a better job. I think it would be really great if we had just 1 tyre with a broad operating range and minimum degradation so the design goalposts didn’t keep moving and the drivers could race each other instead of the tyres.

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 30th June 2013, 8:53

      The medium and hard compound is definetly the right choice for Silverstone, this ins’t an excuse for qualifying behind the two Lotus (while they have been saying for weeks they were trying to improve their qualification pace). The only circuit where Pirelli have done a bad choice for the tyres is the Hungaroring, IMO.

  2. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 29th June 2013, 17:01

    “Pirelli’s choosing medium and hard, continuously for every race, which we know that only help two teams, and we need to keep working.”

    The tyres allocated for the last four races.

    Barcelona – medium, hard
    Monaco – supersoft, soft
    Montreal – supersoft, medium
    Silverstone – medium, hard

    1) Pirelli are not “continuously choosing medium and hard for every race”.
    2) Alonso’s last race win came on the medium/hard tyre combination.
    3) Alonso did poorly at Monaco on the softest compounds, and was beaten by Vettel at Montreal on fairly soft tyres.

    As excuses go, this is very weak by Alonso.

  3. Traverse (@) said on 29th June 2013, 17:02

    It’s easy to complain and play the blame game when things don’t go your way, it’s more difficult to look in the mirror.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 29th June 2013, 17:14

      Problem is, it is not him who should look into the mirror, because he for one delivers. It is some of the guys in Maranello who rest on their laurels expecting Alonso to perform larger and larger miracles to keep the car in front.

      Honestly, the people at Ferrari are increasingly taking advantage of Alonso’s skills and attitude. They are one lazy bunch who could not deliver meaningful updates as quickly as some other teams – who actually has less resources.

      Alonso deserves Ferrari much much more than Ferrari deserves him.

      • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 2nd July 2013, 2:52

        I have a proposal for Ferrari. They should sack all engineers and with the saved money they should stock on a baked beans cans. I think Alonso has a couple of those before the race and blows some gases on the diffuser and that is why that car is so much faster than others in the straight line.
        Or they can keep the engineers that make a race wining capable car and get Alonso to improve his qualifying skills.

  4. Yet the quotes on bbc in this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/23112364 totally contradict this article .

  5. AlokIn (@alokin) said on 29th June 2013, 17:07

    It is better to introspect self before blaming Pirelli. Alonso and Ferrari both are going backwards in qualifying.

  6. anon said on 29th June 2013, 17:08

    Alonso has only ever qualified on pole twice in the dry in all his years at Ferrari and one of those time was at Monza which is probably the least technical circuit on the calendar.

    At some point you have to take responsibility for your lack of qualifying pace.

  7. David Tyrrell (@davidtyrrell) said on 29th June 2013, 17:10

    A bad workman blames his tools.

    • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 29th June 2013, 17:19

      Saying Alonso is “bad” is the same as saying a Ferrari costs a dollar. Totally ridiculous.

  8. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 29th June 2013, 17:14

    Oh yes, like all other teams are on other tyres. The reason we have control tyres is that everybody must be even

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 29th June 2013, 17:16

    Why does he blame the car now? when he produces a better performance “it’s because of him” when he lacks performance “it’s because of the car”
    and @jonsan well spotted about the tyre choice

  10. Tariq Patel (@mdtariqp) said on 29th June 2013, 17:24

    I think Pirelli is in a really unenviable situation. Whatever they do, there is always some team that is unhappy with them.

    Having said that, Ferrari really need to improve their qualifying performance.

    • Mr win or lose said on 29th June 2013, 23:13

      Very true. Maybe they should bring the supersoft and hard tyre to some Grand Prix in order not to favor any team (Mercedes/Red Bull or Ferrari/Lotus).

  11. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 29th June 2013, 17:34

    It happens every year from 2011 onwards: season starts with rapidly degrading tyres, some teams and drivers start to critisize the tyres continously, Pirelli then reacts and starts to bring conservative tyre choices from the middle of the season + teams start to understand how to preserve tyres better. Result: races from entertaining (which isn’t always very good for fans) starts to become really boring (which is worse then races with severe tyre degradation). Pirelli just strugle to find the ballance and react too sensitive. For example, last years Hungarian GP – tyre choice was spot on, but this year they decided to bring medium and hard tyres instead of medium and soft. It means, that races will become boring in the middle of the season, not at the end of it.

    • Tariq Patel (@mdtariqp) said on 29th June 2013, 19:33

      @osvaldas31: I agree with you except the example of Hungarian GP tyre choice. This year, the hard and medium are near to last year’s medium and soft.

      Hopefully the fact that next year, there will be four 2 days in-season testing and also the possibility of pre-season testing taking place at warmer locations like Bahrain and Abu Dhabi would help to avoid these kind of scenarios

      • Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 30th June 2013, 9:43

        Yes, this year’s hard and medium are practically the same as last year’s medium and soft, but this year teams are more advanced in understanding the tyres and in tyre conservation.

  12. tmax (@tmax) said on 29th June 2013, 17:35

    At some point soon The BIG LUCA will get tired of this “Domenicalli-Alonso-Massa-Pat Fry” nonsonse and will say let me fire this whole group and buy the winning package for 2016 AKA ” Horner-Vettel-Newey ” …….

    I will not be surprised if there is a package move to Maranello from RBR. That was exactly what happened in 1996 when the whole Team was revamped with a winning combo of “Brawn-Michael-Rory Byrne”

    • anon said on 30th June 2013, 5:54

      But Newey was considered the best designer in 1996. All credit in 1994 and 1995 was to Schumacher not Ross Brawn or Rory Byrne. In neither 1994 or 95 did was the Benetton the best car on the grid. For all this talk about Schumacher’s “super team”, they only ever gave him the best machinery on the grid in 2001, 2002 and 2004. When he was finally given the best machinery, not only did he crush his opposition but smashed every record in the book.

  13. Umar Majid (@um1234) said on 29th June 2013, 17:45

    I hate to say it. But with Alonso and Raikkonen qualifying that low. Vettel will run away with this win aswel. Expecting a Red bull 1-2. Hamilton to finish 3rd. Vettel
    will probably have a 50+ points lead after tomorrows race.

  14. Asokan said on 29th June 2013, 18:03

    But when Vettel blamed Pirelli tyres on a previous occasion, Alonso was caustic and apt in his remarks saying “those who have won easily for some years are expected to say this when they don’t win.” So, this time Alonso is saying the same??? Come on champ, we expect more from you and you simply are the best!!! If Sutil and Di Resta can do it, don’t understand why can’t Ferrari and Alonso.

  15. maxmasder said on 29th June 2013, 18:14

    Alonso blames the car because the car has been a disaster in qualifying. Massa out of Q3 says everything. People keep saying that Alonso is the one to be blamed, that he should have qualified better…how do you know it? how do you know what he should have done with the car he has, with the “tools” he has? It’s beyond my knowledge why people say that Alonso is a poor qualifier, at this point, I have to ask: based on what? Do you have direct information from Ferrari? I cannot understand why some people compare his qualifying performance with the performance of those who are driving a different car. Am I the only one who has noticed it?

    I would like someone to show me facts about this matter, not just speculations.

    By the way, he blames the tyres in the same way RBR and Mercedes blamed the tyres after Barcelona, nothing more, nothing less.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 29th June 2013, 18:16

      By the way, he blames the tyres in the same way RBR and Mercedes blamed the tyres after Barcelona, nothing more, nothing less

      Totally agree, and all the Ferrari and Lotus fans were telling the Mercedes and Red Bull fans to pipe down!! It’s just swings and roundabouts. F1 never changes ;)

    • Jimmy Hearn (@alebelly74) said on 29th June 2013, 18:29

      To be fair RBR were complaining about the tyres before qualifying even started in Melbourne. But I said this multiple times, all those teams that thought they figured out the Pirelli tyre at the beginning of the season were in for a rude awaking. If the tyres and the car are working, you get a two to three race window, before it’s someone else’s turn. This has happened every year that Pirelli has been a supplier. There is absolutely no consistency in the tyres Pirelli are making, so when it’s your turn, best make the most of it.

    • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 29th June 2013, 19:24

      It’s beyond my knowledge why people say that Alonso is a poor qualifier, at this point, I have to ask: based on what?

      It’s based on his qualifying record across eleven-plus seasons in F1. You might as well ask why Vettel and Hamilton have the reputation of being good qualifiers. You get the reputation of being a race-wining driver by winning races. You get the reputation of being a crash-prone driver by crashing (Hello, Maldonado) You get the reputation of being extra-special in qualifying by winning a lot of pole positions, and you get the reputation of being not-so-hot in qualifying by qualifying frequently on the third-row or lower.

    • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 2nd July 2013, 3:06

      I agree with that logic too but I would like to know your opinion about Vettel. Everybody says it’s the car not his skill. How do they know that Vettel and Weber are not “driving the wheels” off of that Red Bull?

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