Pirelli hit back at Alonso over tyre complaints

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Korea International Circuit, 2013In the round-up: Sharp words between Fernando Alonso and Pirelli over the current tyres.

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Alonso criticises Pirelli tyres (BBC)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “I can only suggest [Alonso] goes to ask the soon-to-be four-times champion how to get the best from the same tyres.”

Sauber rule out Barrichello for race seat (Reuters)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “I am ruling out that he would drive for us. Maybe it is better if one is that clear about it.”

Whitmarsh: No Hulkenberg talks (Sky)

“I expect things to work out with Sergio [Perez]. We’re not talking to Nico. He’s doing a good job and certainly deserves a competitive seat next year, but we’re not talking to Nico at the moment.”

Raikkonen says tyre change hurt form (Autosport)

“For me, it was definitely better qualifying on the other tyres, they were a bit more sharp on the front end.”

In Formula One, a Grip Not Easily Loosened (The New York Times)

“While crediting Ecclestone for using his ‘dictatorial style’ to globalise the sport and swell its wealth, Whitmarsh said that the fear that one-man rule has generated has inhibited discussion of the sport?s future. ‘Nobody wants to talk about it openly, because it’s disrespectful of Bernie and because we learned years ago that speaking disrespectfully of Bernie is not good for business,’ he said.”

Korea International Circuit, 2013Korean GP future up in air: promoter (The Japan Times)

“Acting promoter Park Won-hwa said it will be difficult for the event to continue unless F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone makes major concessions on the hosting fee and other terms.”

Fighting to survive: Could this be the last Korean GP?

“An official sign on entry to the Korean International Circuit reads ‘Thank you Mr Ecclestone for the 2013 Korean Grand Prix,’ but cynics think something this toadying is unlikely to facilitate is the cut in fees that the financially imperilled circuit owners are seeking.”

F1 generates excitement in Korea (The Korea Times)

“Under its contract with F1, Yeongam hosts three more GPs after this one until 2016. It remains to be seen whether there will be an F1 event in Korea after that as the GP has been a crippling money loser for the small South Jeolla Province town.”

Ferrari F138 – aero updates (F1)

“In Korea, Ferrari have introduced these small, C-shaped turning vanes at the lower leading edge of the F138’s sidepods.”

Sir Jackie Stewart pays tribute to old mate Francois Cevert (Daily Star)

Tweets

Comment of the day

Marks will be disappointed by Whitmarsh’s comments on Nico Hulkenberg:

I?m actually quite upset by Hulkenberg not having already been signed. I like Hulkenberg because of his pole in Brazil 2010, that drive in Brazil 2012 and his qualifying and drive recently at Monza. I jumped off my couch in 2010 I was so excited.

Esteban Gutierrez is improving but he?s not got a pole or even close. Hulk did get soundly beaten by Rubens in 2010 yet got that pole. It?s that something extra that Ricciardo, Vergne, Grosjean, Massa, Di Resta, Sutil, Gutierrez and Bottas don?t have (or haven?t demonstrated up to this point). Even Perez showed something last year, which deservedly got him a better ride.

Is it possible that the big teams are afraid of Hulkenberg? That he?s got the potential to out qualify the big four? in any case, I honestly believe Hulkenberg in the same machine (Lotus) could put the car ahead of Webber and achieve third without the help of a Webber grid penalty.
Marks

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Francois Cevert lost his life 40 years ago today when he crashed during practice for the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

Cevert was poised to take over from Jackie Stewart as team leader at Tyrrell. Stewart was due to retire following what would have been his 100th start, but withdrew following Cevert’s death.

Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Korean GP/Sutton

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72 comments on Pirelli hit back at Alonso over tyre complaints

  1. Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 0:09

    Incredibly unprofessional response from Hembery. It seems F1 is filled by big children instead of the most professional personal of each discipline in the world.

    I understand they’re frustraded by the way everybody has complained about their tyres, and how this season has made them the laughing stock of motorsport, but he should

    1) take it with the true culprits, Ecclestone and the FIA
    2) handle the comments with A LOT more tact

    Also interesting to hear Alonso complaining about the tyres degrading too much, wasn’t Ferrari one of the teams who opposed to switching to less-degrading tyres? Interesting how the complaints change sides.

    Anyways, whe shouldn’t have this situation. Hope Ecclestone gets over his foolish ideal of turning F1 into the WWE and let Pirelli make decent tyres, so we can, at least, have driving pushing to the max, which is what most of us like the most.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 6th October 2013, 0:14

      @silence what surprises me more is why didn’t Hembery asnwer to critics the same way when Ferrari and Lotus were getting what they wanted in the first part of the season and the others didn’t.

      I didn’t hear him saying to Vettel: “go ask current WDC leader how to get the best from the same tyres”

      It really was a totally unprofessional answer. It’s hard to overlook that Lotus and Ferrari were obviously the losers since the change, and they will be critical about it, but there are plenty of ways to respond to criticism…

      • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 0:47

        @fer-no65

        what surprises me more is why didn’t Hembery asnwer to critics the same way when Ferrari and Lotus were getting what they wanted in the first part of the season and the others didn’t.

        Not really surprising, he’s probably much more frustrated now than what he was earlier in the season.

      • I didn’t hear him saying to Vettel: “go ask current WDC leader how to get the best from the same tyres”

        That would have sounded pretty odd, as Vettel was the then current WDC leader.

        I do recall Hembery saying “Of course we could fix the tyres but then Red Bull would win and we don’t want that”, which was a lot more unprofessional of him than telling Alonso to buck up.

        • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 6th October 2013, 6:31

          Not quite. He said that Pirelli had to be careful about making changes that might be seen to benefit certain teams. That obviously meant Red Bull, because they were Chief Whiners at the time.

          Of course, Pirelli then went on to make changes to the tyres to benefit Red Bull, and the rest is history … or would be, if anyone could look back on it without falling asleep.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th October 2013, 6:46

            @red-andy They didn’t make the (post-Silverstone) changes “to benefit Red Bull”, they made them because people thought tyres exploding and pieces of metal flying at drivers’ head was not a good thing. And I think that’s far enough.

          • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 6th October 2013, 6:56

            @keithcollantine Sorry, I don’t agree. Some post-Silverstone changes were obviously necessary, but could have been less drastic (eg banning tyre-swapping and under pressurising without changing the construction) if Pirelli were concerned with preserving sporting integrity. But they took the opportunity to appease the whiners and their efficient PR campaign against the tyres. If Silverstone had not happened, it would have been necessary to invent it.

          • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 8:10

            @red-andy Both material science and tyre design are extremely complex topics. I’m quite curious about what puts you in a position to disagree with Pirelli’s decision (decision that was backed by every team, btw).

            It’s easy to jump to conclusions, especially if we feel our prefered driver/team has been wronged, but it’s good to remember every now and then how little we know about certain things.

            I’m also quite curious about what makes you think Pirelli would make themselves the laughing stock of motorsport in order to please Red Bull, of all teams, especiall considerying Pirelli has huge deals outside F1 with McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes, so I’m kinda curious what could Pirelli win from all this.

          • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 6th October 2013, 10:36

            @silence Your argument from authority is weak. I disagree with Pirelli’s decision, as I stated, because it lacks sporting integrity. It was unfair on the teams who had done a good job and rewarded the teams who had not.

            As for how Pirelli benefited from the change, clearly an aggressive PR campaign waged against them was always going to be damaging to their reputation outside the sport (which is important for far more than deals with a couple of road car manufacturers). They took an opportunity to stop the whining as well as making changes on the grounds of safety.

          • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 14:58

            @silence

            Your argument from authority is weak.

            Maybe, but it way stronger than suggesting that less drasti changes would have been enough without having any remote idea of all the science involved.

            With limited testing, not even the teams or Pirelli would know if less drastic changes would have sufficed. So don’t attempt to make claims you’re clearly in no position to make.

            It was unfair on the teams who had done a good job and rewarded the teams who had not.

            It sure was. But such is life. It was either that or drivers threatening not to drive due to safety concerns.

            Just putting an “I disagree” will not make your argument any less weak.

            As for how Pirelli benefited from the change, clearly an aggressive PR campaign waged against them was always going to be damaging to their reputation outside the sport (which is important for far more than deals with a couple of road car manufacturers). They took an opportunity to stop the whining as well as making changes on the grounds of safety.

            And the changes didn’t happen until tyres exploded. That’s not “appeasing the whiners”, it is doing the only rational thing possible.

        • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 15:02

          Above post meant to @red-andy

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 6th October 2013, 0:18

      Agreed. Pirelli are part of how the sport is run. Of course drivers are going to complain and be critical of the tyres. Hembery needs to get some thicker skin or learn how to rise above the criticism, a witty reply doesn’t sound as smart as he thinks it does.

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 6th October 2013, 4:29

        Whoever thought of degrading tyres as a means of improving excitement must be damn crazy . Me, I’, glad that there will be lesser tyre gimmicks come 2014 or at least I assume .

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th October 2013, 0:46

      This whole tyre gimmick has been a disaster right from the beginning, although quite a lot of less experienced fans initially were enthusiastic, mostly because the temperature lottery made mid-pack teams accidental winners. RBR do seem to have found the right balance between speed and degradation but even so tyre management is going to ruin this race.

      • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 0:53

        @hohum Indeed. While some Ferrari fans have complained the tyre change hurt Ferrari a lot since they were competitive with them, the fact of the matter is, those tyres should never have been used in the first place. It was a massive mistake by both the FIA and Ecclestone, and has done little more than bring ridicule to everybody involved.

    • Allow people to speak their minds. Too much of political correctness is translating to bland sports personalities. Those Rush days seemed so much more exciting – Lauda, Hunt et. al

      • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 6:05

        We need to go beyond the notion that manners, sportmanship and political correctness is boring. All the childish insults and passive agressiveness is a poor distraction and has nothing to do with actual sport.

    • Jake (@jakehardyf1) said on 6th October 2013, 5:49

      Ecclestone doesnt like the level of degredation. Its basically JUST the FIA

  2. Hamish said on 6th October 2013, 0:09

    No things have being said this week about my employment application to work at McLaren. The truth is: ” if there is an opportunity, I ‘m in,”

    We’d all love something we can’t have Rubens.

  3. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 6th October 2013, 0:12

    Is there any driver that has not complained about the tyres in the last three years?

    • Hamish said on 6th October 2013, 0:35

      Blame yourself, blame the team, or blame the external party everyone else is blaming?

      I’d employ the same tactic.

  4. Hairs (@hairs) said on 6th October 2013, 0:16

    Employing random Internet posters sight unseen as technical staff is something which wouldn’t surprise me about the McLaren of today. Sadly.

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 6th October 2013, 0:20

      Although it would certainly generate headlines. I can’t think who else McLaren could get in to the team who would generate headlines. The consensus is that the two big brains of the paddock are Newey and brawn, one has everything he wants, the other only wants to be team principal…
      Gordon Murray and John Barnard to return? Who knows, McLaren might do anything at this stage.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 6th October 2013, 6:06

        Indeed, the only real headline grabbing one would be if they poached Newey. But we all know that is a lot more unlikely to happen even than Alonso really signing with the team for next year @hairs

        Maybe they lured Allison over anyhow, or who knows, James Key? Gascoyne (is he a top one? It would probably bring headlines because of him being pretty involved with Caterhams business)

        • Hairs (@hairs) said on 6th October 2013, 9:00

          @bascb Gascoyne didn’t make a success of Renault or Toyota or force India. He lasted what, one and a half seasons at Caterham in his bid to “prove the critics wrong” before being moved off to the car division? Definitely something up there.

  5. John H (@john-h) said on 6th October 2013, 0:19

    How old is Paul Hembery, 7 years old?

  6. Broom (@brum55) said on 6th October 2013, 0:26

    Maybe Alonso has already asked the soon to be four time world champion how to cope with the Pirelli tyres, and said soon to be four time world champion recommended making as many public complaints as possible as the spineless Pirelli will eventually change their tyre specification and meekly surrender and go back to the old specs.

    Of course it also largely depends on Pirelli being competent enough to produce a tyre that can survive grand prix, which they failed to do this year.

    And just when you think they couldn’t embarrass themselves further.

  7. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 6th October 2013, 0:46

    Paul Hembery has done an admirable job in a difficult situation this season. Sad to see him now reduced to a – Liar liar pants on fire! - type response. Sometimes it is better to drive your tires onto the higher road.

  8. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 6th October 2013, 0:54

    I’m just wondering why Paul Hembery didn’t have the same bravery to answer critics especially when his company was tortured by the Red Bull PR machine, i’m not searching excuses to Fernando but Vettel himself was complaining about the tyre at the beginning of the year when other drivers like Fernando & Kimi were doing a better job in managing their tyres, we all know the pressure made by Dietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone on Pirelli to bring last year’s tyres but i don’t know anything about an agreement that force Pirelli to defend Red Bull and attack the others

    • Kazihno (@kazinho) said on 6th October 2013, 0:58

      Same here.

      I’m wondering why Alonso hasn’t told Hembrey to go ask Michelin how to make tyres last longer than a single lap.

      • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 1:06

        @kazinho Pirelli is more than capable of making durable tyres. Just that Ecclestone told them not to.

        And, when they were ready to make them more durable, Ferrari opposed it.

        While I think that Hembrey’s comments are childish and stupid, a Ferrari driver is in no position to complain about the degration of the tyres.

    • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 1:03

      @tifoso1989

      we all know the pressure made by Dietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone on Pirelli

      “We all know” should be used to only post things that are actually true. If was Ecclestone himself who comm anded Pirelli to make high-degrading tyres, in order to bring more “spectacle” to F1. Which for a while they did.

      “I asked Pirelli to make tyres that would not complete 50 per cent of a race – and that’s what they did.”

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/107564

      Please make sure to check your facts before making allegations like that, it’s not the first time you’ve posted big falsehoods as truths.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th October 2013, 2:23

      I think Hembrey is just frustrated. Pirelli took a lot of criticism for their tyres, but only made changes when there were issues with their construction. Now someone is criticising them again, even though Pirelli have only ever done what was asked if them. I think he’s just sick and tired of teams and drivers trying to put pressure on Pirelli to make tyres that suit them more than anyone else.

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 6th October 2013, 3:15

      I’m just wondering why Paul Hembery didn’t have the same bravery to answer critics especially when his company was tortured by the Red Bull PR machine, i’m not searching excuses to Fernando but Vettel himself was complaining about the tyre at the beginning of the year when other drivers like Fernando & Kimi were doing a better job in managing their tyres, we all know the pressure made by Dietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone on Pirelli to bring last year’s tyres but i don’t know anything about an agreement that force Pirelli to defend Red Bull and attack the others

      Because Pirelli are Red Bull’s puppets.

      • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 4:21

        @kingshark Do you honestly believe that, or are you being sarcastic/making excuses for Red Bull’s succes?

        Because I can’t fanthom any rational indication or reason for Pirelli to make what Red Bull, of all teams, want.

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 6th October 2013, 4:55

          I’m not making excuses for Red Bull’s success. They have been the best team for the past 4 years. That doesn’t change the fact that Pirelli were total cowards when confronted by Red Bull, yet have no problem attacking Alonso/Ferrari.

          That does make Pirelli Red Bull’s puppets.

          • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 5:01

            @kingshark That’s not even remotely close to how the expression “puppets” is supposed to be used.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th October 2013, 5:54

            @kingshark

            Pirelli were total cowards when confronted by Red Bull

            I think that’s complete rubbish and totally unfair. Pirelli said many times they didn’t want to make changes because they could be seen as favouring Red Bull and pointed out to Red Bull that other people were happy with the tyres. The changes that were eventually made were on safety grounds.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 6th October 2013, 6:58

            @keithcollantine

            I think that’s complete rubbish and totally unfair. Pirelli said many times they didn’t want to make changes because they could be seen as favouring Red Bull and pointed out to Red Bull that other people were happy with the tyres. The changes that were eventually made were on safety grounds.

            Those are examples of Pirelli trying to defend their tyres, not attacking another driver. There’s a big difference between the two.

            I don’t remember Pirelli making smug/rude comments to Red Bull like they did to Alonso today, despite the fact that Red Bull criticized Pirelli far more often, and often far more harshly than Alonso did.

          • @keithcollantine

            The changes that were eventually made were on safety grounds.

            How can you keep rotating this as a fact? The changes that were eventually made were excused by safety gounds while Pirelli and Hembery repeatedly stated that there was no safety issue because it was only tread delaminations we saw!

            Are the tyres much safer now by the way?

          • Albert (@) said on 6th October 2013, 15:02

            @keithcollantine

            The changes that were eventually made were excused by safety gounds

            It’s not an excuse that tyres exploded in Silverstone. It’s not an excuse the drivers threatened to withdraw from the German GP if changes weren’t made. It’s not an excuse that all teams agreed a change was needed.

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 6th October 2013, 1:01

    I can only suggest [Alonso] goes to ask the soon-to-be four-times champion how to get the best from the same tyres.”

    Ouch, that really burns!!!

  10. Breno (@austus) said on 6th October 2013, 1:18

    If only Hembrey had some ground to stand on… But no, he and Pirelli have been a major focus of attention this year for the wrong reasons. He should stay quiet and guarantee this wont happen again in 2014.

  11. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 6th October 2013, 1:25

    Alonso to McLaren, Hulkenberg and Kimi to Ferrari, Sutil to Lotus, D’ambrosio to Force India?

  12. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 6th October 2013, 1:30

    Ooooohh Alonso, apply cold water to the area of burn.

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th October 2013, 1:37

    Korea is already getting financial concessions for their race. I can’t imagine that Bernie would grant more, not unless he *really* wants the race to go ahead.

    I think the Korean Grand Prix will go down in history as a comedy of errors. It started out as a good idea, and I really think Hyundai could have started up an engine programme. But then the recession hit and Hyundai lost a lot of money. They’ve made up the ground they lost, but tthey’re entering the WRC instead. From there, thing just went downhill: the circuit was built out in the middle of nowhere, the circuit got a late revision that added painfully pointless hairpin-chicanes, and the promoters completely failed to promote the race.

    It’s a shame, because there is actually a good circuit in Korea – the top half, from Turn 3 to Turn 12. Just remove the hairpin-chicanes and you’ve got a short, fast and flowing circuit that could easily become an instant classic (but it’s too short).

  14. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th October 2013, 1:46

    I’m curious as to who McLaren have signed for their technical team. Mercedes have the royal flush of technical directors from other teams, while Ferrari have recruited James Allison and recalled Rory Byrne, and Red Bull won’t let go of Adrian Newey (who has made it clear he doesn’t want to leave, anyway). So I think McLaren has gone after the likes of Sauber’s Matt Morris (who they already have) – designers who are starting to make a name for themselves, but haven’t reached the same echelons as Newey and Byrne. I’m guessing they might have gone after Williams’ Jason Sommerfield, who worked alongside Mike Coughlan to solve a lot of the FW33’s problems last year.

  15. Punchy (@punchy) said on 6th October 2013, 2:02

    Perhaps Mr Hembery should ask team Red Bull why they are winning races and why every driver would like to drive for them, then ask all the drivers why most of them don’t like Pirelli tyres ?

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