Ferrari and Lotus “got lucky” with 2013 tyres – Newey

2013 F1 season

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcdisiL4XDs

Ferrari and Lotus were lucky the Pirelli tyres introduced during the winter helped them become competitive, according to Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

Speaking on the Sport und Talk programme on Red Bull’s television channel Servus TV yesterday, Newey disputed the claim the two teams had developed their cars to suit the original 2013 Pirelli tyres better.

“We had a big change over the winter, an unexpected change,” said Newey. “Pirelli introduced a new tyre which was much more sensitive, it was very easy to overload it and because our car, a lot of its lap time is under braking and in the high speed corners, where you’re putting a lot of load into the tyres, we couldn’t really exploit that without the tyres going off very quickly.”

Adrian Newey, Red Bull, 2013“So that tyre change hurt us and helped some other people, such as Lotus, Ferrari perhaps. For me that was purely luck.

“I think Lotus and Ferrari are making making big noises about how clever they were over the winter to read that far. But to be perfectly honest they were just plain lucky, we were a little bit unlucky, and of course the the politics take over. So it’s been a challenging year but a very rewarding one.”

Lotus and Ferrari won three of the first five races but haven’t taken any victories since. Pirelli revised its tyres following the British Grand Prix in which several drivers suffered high-speed tyre failures.

Red Bull felt “fragile” at mid-season

Newey said in addition to pressure from Ferrari, Red Bull were also worried about Mercedes’ form in the middle of the season.

“It’s been a difficult season at times for us,” he said. “We started off, strong result in Malaysia, one-two in the second race. And then kind of our competitiveness went up and down a little bit.”

“It was a very close fight, Ferrari were very strong early in the season, Mercedes came on strong sort of around Monaco time. So come that middle of the season point we were not… we were in the lead of the championship, but it felt fragile, it felt as if Mercedes particularly at that point were on a roll.”

Newey admitted their focus on developing a car for next year’s rules change may have been compromised by their focus on securing the 2013 titles:

“We kept pushing, we introduced quite a few changes to the car, updates some in Hungary just before the summer break, then more in Spa. And that seemed to give us momentum.

“I guess really we’ve kept pushing all the way to Singapore in terms of introducing new parts, even Japan, which you could look back on now and say perhaps we pushed harder than we needed to because in doing that of course it’s taken resource off next year’s car.

“It didn’t feel that way at the time, it felt as if we needed to keep pushing and it’s been tremendous to have this roll that we’ve had at the end of the season.”

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176 comments on Ferrari and Lotus “got lucky” with 2013 tyres – Newey

  1. LawFish (@lawfish) said on 6th November 2013, 0:02

    Seb looked like he was about to doze off in that video.

  2. Diego (@ironcito) said on 6th November 2013, 0:37

    He basically said that, already in 2012, Red Bull’s speciality was high speed in the corners, which is demanding on the tires. Other teams, like Ferrari and Lotus, relied on other things, like higher speed on the straights or whatever, which are not so demanding on the tires. When Pirelli introduced very sensitive tires for 2013, it naturally hurt Red Bull and helped those other teams. I don’t see that as a criticism of Ferrari or Lotus, it just happened that way.

  3. Kazihno (@kazinho) said on 6th November 2013, 0:48

    You forgot your “sarcasm font” Adrian.

  4. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 6th November 2013, 0:59

    Just lost what respect I had for Newey…

    • aka_robyn said on 6th November 2013, 1:04

      Wow — didn’t take much, did it?

      • Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 6th November 2013, 1:26

        Nope. Just a gratuitous comment that lacked class, IMHO. Whether right or wrong, it was simply unnecessary, and honestly gives you a pretty good look into how Newey views other competitors.

        • aka_robyn said on 6th November 2013, 1:34

          I really don’t think it’s the insult some people are making it out to be, but I equally don’t think there will be any convincing those people of that — so hate away!

  5. evered7 (@evered7) said on 6th November 2013, 1:46

    Finally the cat is out of the bag. Newey and RedBull go hand in hand.

    Arrogant words that I didn’t expect from a man whose has conducted himself with dignity till now.

  6. You don’t need to be Adrian Newey to understand that the other guys have no idea of what they are doing. The 2013 tyres handicapped the cars, they had a massive flaw, but fortunately the Ferrari was good on its tyres and the Lotus aswell. I would argue though that Allison may have had a hand on Lotus good tyre management, Lotus does run an intricate suspension system. In the end its a question of philosophy. Adrian designs his cars with all the fundamentals and then his team programs the simulation machines from the tests they do and only then the computer tell the math right, the other teams do the opposite they tell their computers to make the car and then start whining when things go wrong, it’s all about fundamentals, I would say Adrian has also learned that lesson a while back.

    • Akshay (@hamilfan) said on 6th November 2013, 6:39

      @peartree

      Adrian designs his cars with all the fundamentals and then his team programs the simulation machines from the tests they do and only then the computer tell the math right, the other teams do the opposite they tell their computers to make the car and then start whining when things go wrong, it’s all about fundamentals, I would say Adrian has also learned that lesson a while back.

      Now , you seriously think Ferrari don’t use fundamentals and just plug things into the computer do you ?
      Tyres are a part of the equation , If Newey did not pay heed to that , then you can’t just say there is no equation , can you ? Maybe luck is involved a lot but to say that “Ferrari got lucky” undermines their work a lot and is too childish a remark for his stature. why can’t you just use less insulting words . I believe all this is PR . RBR have got poor PR actually . That is the one thing they desperately need now .

      • @hamilfan RBR PR tend to look bad to me. When I said that other teams forgot the fundamentals and went instead for the cpu route, it was just an hyperbola.
        For instances with the F12, Ferrari tried to gain a large chunk of time with the re-arrangement of the front suspension, revolution to instead of evolution. Why? because the computer told them that it would benefit the car aero wise.
        In the end things weren’t so clear, in parallel McLaren have done the same thing, McLaren has recently admitted that their version of the front pull-rod has had an effect on the rear aero compromising it. Both McLaren and Ferrari have blamed their simulation tools and air tunnels which are the same for their respective failures, reality is that they are desperately trying to find a way to surpass RBR, the only thing they are doing is to look stupid but brave. Adrian remarks are ballsy yet true. Tyre are a very important part of the equation but that doesn’t mean Ferraris car in particular hasn’t got aero problems, or does it?

  7. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 6th November 2013, 5:57

    Sorry Adrian, they just did a better job than you, the same way that since Silverstone you have done a better job than everyone else. To say anything else is to be disingenuous. I find this sort of comment to be totally out of character for one of the sports true gentlemen.

  8. Akshay (@hamilfan) said on 6th November 2013, 6:32

    Well Well Well ……. I am surprised that he said that ( I must admit that the first thing I thought after I looked at the headline is typical media spin but I was wrong . He used the exact words ! ) . Isn’t there even a faint possibility that Ferrari and Lotus could have actually done some homework . That is too arrogant for my liking .
    For people who want me to take what ever he says as the gospel truth because he is the greatest ( A view which I condemn . you can be the greatest and be an annoying dash at the same time ), Where was he during the Schumacher dominance ?
    There will be a time Adrian……. and I will be waiting for it .
    Such a shame after watching that beautiful interview of his son and him in Indian GP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyZ0_oaChn0) and now ,
    to be treated with these remarks . I actually liked his demeanor a lot . :-(

    • Juzh (@juzh) said on 6th November 2013, 9:18

      Homework based on what exactly?? 100 km of free-practice running with 2013 spec tires on 2012 spec cars? hahahaha. They lucked into it, end of story.
      Based on your criteria to dislike someone you probably don’t like anyone at all. Did you take di montezemolo as arrogant when he said for the press that ferrari will not be beaten “by some drinks” company. How about hamilton when he admitted he ignored team order to let alonso trough in hungary 08?

      • Akshay (@hamilfan) said on 6th November 2013, 14:29

        @juzh

        Homework based on what exactly?? 100 km of free-practice running with 2013 spec tires on 2012 spec cars? hahahaha. They lucked into it, end of story.

        What do you expect 90s type free testing in maranello ? If it is insignificant then why run FP3 in Brazil with new tyres at all .

        Based on your criteria to dislike someone you probably don’t like anyone at all.

        Maybe I lucked into liking people who don’t think that way.Then judging by similar comments here on F1F , I am not so lonely after all .

        Did you take di montezemolo as arrogant when he said for the press that ferrari will not be beaten “by some drinks” company.

        Yes I did . LDM is arrogant .

        How about hamilton when he admitted he ignored team order to let alonso trough in hungary 08?

        I did not follow f1 very closely in 2008 , but I believe Alonso and Hamilton were teammates then and you are referring to 2007 .
        Yes Hamilton was a bit arrogant when he was younger in Mclaren maybe . But he has come a long way since 2011 . Even now I hate it once in a while when he talks about vettel out of desperation of not being able to challenge him.
        I am not saying Newey is wrong . He may be right for all it’s worth . But there is a way of saying things and this is not the way.

      • You Sir, are not helping your own image by mockery of factual statements.

        As Boullier said:
        “Last year, when we were designing our 2013 car, each team received information from Pirelli and everyone did the best job they could to develop a chassis which would make best use of the tyre characteristics.”

        “We even ran with some experimental 2013 tyres at the end of last season, to assist us in confirming our development paths.”
        Full artcile: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/107453

        Kimi was just four points behind Seb at the time and how did that turn out? To basically state that everybody else are clueless about what they are doing just because the single skill of designing high cornering speed is no longer highest priority is beyond arrogant. Especially when in the meantime you have lobbied your way into changing that priority back!

        Regardless of safety argument, with which I totally disagree, it would suit the 2013 winners with A LOT of humbleness considering how that victory was obtained. Please imagine the opposite scenario for a second: RB is dominant for the first half of the season but Lotus and Ferrari have accidents because they can’t heat up the tires. They are complaining about safety and FIA forces Pirelli to change the compounds mid season. Lotus wins the rest of the races and takes the title. How do you think Newey and Horner would feel about that?

        This is seriously ugly!

  9. LoudHoward said on 6th November 2013, 7:45

    This is naturally going to cause a bit of a stir, coming from someone from “the hated team” at the moment. He might be right, he might be wrong, it would be dependent on how much information the teams receive about the next seasons tyres, and whether that information is sufficient to design a car that hits such a tiny sweet spot so well.

    I’m inclined to fall in with Newey’s line of thought, I don’t think anyone knows these tyres well enough in advance to rely on anything more than luck for the early success they had. We’ve seen it each year with Pirelli, it takes the majority of teams many months AFTER having tested and raced on them to get them under control. Yet we expect some teams were on top of them when they finalised their designs in December the previous year? Hrmph.

    Maldonado’s win in Spain last year sums it up well enough for me, there’s a window of performance with the Pirelli’s that you can just stumble into and look like a genius for short periods of time, and I know they work hard, but there has to be some luck involved if you just plop straight into that window from the get go. I think that is all Adrian is saying.

    IF Newey is right, then Lotus/Ferrari’s claims of having been smarter than the rest are just as bad as Newey asserting that it’s luck if he’s wrong. RBR don’t have the fanbase and are winning everything, so they’re always going to cop a lot of crap in these kind of situations, so I don’t expect a lot of people to think like that.

  10. FernanDino said on 6th November 2013, 7:52

    I don’t think Adrian is arrogant. He doesn’t talk Dr. Marko or Mateschitz style. He is saying that because of the “unexpected” tyre change shortly before the start of this season Ferrari and Lotus could not have developed a car to suit the “unexpected” change in specs. I would say it’s a coincidence, not luck. And I fully agree.
    If Ferrari and Lotus (and some others too) knew exactly how to switch on the tyres they would just do it. History shows that it’s not as simple as that! I am still surprised that nobody had something to say about the fact that it was Ecclestone who influenced tyre tweaks. It is like Sky TV changing the size of the goal posts in football to spruce up the show!

  11. palmerstoneroad (@palmerstoneroad) said on 6th November 2013, 11:24

    So Ferrari and Lotus were “lucky” and the way RB responded to that has been to go “politics”
    On a general note I think RB is replicating what Benetton has been doing during the 90s. Extremely maximizing their presence in F1 in terms of wins and records in order to promote the Red Bull brand globally and disappear in a few year.

    So RB fans: enjoy the stay and be prepared to change your supporting team in a while (as Benetton ones did before you)

  12. coefficient (@coefficient) said on 6th November 2013, 12:19

    Disappointing to see Newey being so arrogant. I personally think that Red Bull were even luckier to have the FIA give them their preferred tyre construction back when it appeared the season wasn’t going to be a complete walkover for them.

  13. David not Coulthard (@) said on 6th November 2013, 15:00

    I don’t think the comments really deserve so much hate. All Adrian was trying to say was that the pre-season was a bit of a lottery. Sure, he should’ve use more words like “slightly” or “a bit”, but he made an otherwise valid point.

  14. RC (@rcrc) said on 7th November 2013, 1:46

    @keithcollantine any chance you could upload the whole interview? I realize it was a 90min show, but english parts of AN/CH would be nice?
    http://www.servustv.com/cs/Satellite/Article/Sport-und-Talk-aus-dem-Hangar-7-011259535896105

  15. Paul2013 said on 9th November 2013, 10:42

    I didn’t know he was such a bad winner.

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