Fewer ‘marbles’ with new tyres – Pirelli

2014 F1 season

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Bahrain, 2014Pirelli say their 2014 generation of Formula One tyres are producing fewer ‘marbles’ than last year’s compounds.

The softer tyres used by Pirelli in recent seasons has seen an increase in rubber deposits, known as ‘marbles’ on tracks during races. These can discourage drivers from moving off-line to make overtaking moves.

“Although the teams are still at a comparatively early point on the development curve with their new cars, testing data so far indicates that the 2014 tyres are more consistent and durable than their predecessors,” said motorsport director Paul Hembery.

“As a result, we are also seeing fewer ‘marbles’ on the circuit: one of our objectives at the start of this season.”

Hembery did not rule out making further changes to this year’s tyres before the season begins:

“We’ve collected plenty of useful data from this test, but of course we are still ready and able to change the specification of the tyres for the start of the season if this is shown to be necessary.”

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40 comments on Fewer ‘marbles’ with new tyres – Pirelli

  1. Fewer tyres is good I suppose. The fact they are proving to be more durable is what makes me happy.
    It was always a given, since the torque is massively increased this season. If the ’12 and ’13 tyres degraded quickly, they’d be absolutely demolished this season haha.

  2. obviously said on 22nd February 2014, 16:31

    We’ve collected plenty of useful data from this test, but of course we are still ready and able to change the specification of the tyres for the start of the season if this is shown to be necessary.

    Can’t they just make proper goddamn tires and stop fiddling with them once the season is underway?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd February 2014, 23:40

      As the quote you’ve taken shows he’s talking about changing them “for the start of the season”, not after it’s begun.

    • Well, considering they need testing in order to see how the wear levels are, it’s pretty amazing they get as stable a tyre as they do. They basically get given estimated torque, power, and aero numbers from dynos and computer simulations and then have to build the tyre to that possible spec, again using computer simulation to predict wear levels. But until they get on the track, they have no idea how they will actually wear.

  3. Pjams (@jack-burton) said on 22nd February 2014, 16:48

    The less we talk about tires is only a good thing.

  4. TMF (@tmf42) said on 22nd February 2014, 17:32

    That’s pretty good – I hope it’s enough that overtakes under breaking will increase.

  5. sumedh said on 22nd February 2014, 17:48

    Fast car, durable tyres. I am gonna go out on a limb and say Hamilton will win 2014 championship with 1 race to spare.

  6. pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 22nd February 2014, 18:17

    they actually had to build real tires this year in order to help keep F1 up to pace :) Love it. Saw it coming a long time ago though. Losing time on the brakes and out of the corners means more corner speed and better tires, imagine if the heavier cars were still on the circa 2013 tires (not the mid season replacements).

    I think allowing refueling would be a good way to get the times up even better, still it’s gonna be hard keeping up the pace during the race, with respect to their qualifying times. I am thinking 11-12 seconds slower or more at the beginning of the race vs qualifying time.

    • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 22nd February 2014, 18:22

      * on the average, at a track like Monaco it would be less and at a track like Catalunya, it would probably be as high as maybe 14 seconds off? Should be interesting to see how much more efficient these motors are, but I doubt they will be much more efficient unless they are running a special fuel, even if they are doing some interesting cycling of gasses in the motor.

    • Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 22nd February 2014, 18:55

      Refuelling is bad for racing – it makes the teams try to avoid each other out on the track.
      Anyway the fuel load is 33% less this year, and with heavier cars the fuel’s a lower percentage of the weight.

      About time Pirelli made some proper tyres. I’m sure they were just following FIA specifications, but we’ve had 2 or 3 years of racing spoiled by somebody’s bad decision.

    • 10+ seconds off? what are you smoking?

      2014 cars will weigh exactly the same as 2013 cars at the start of races (+50kg min weight -50kg fuel) and are producing more power (700bhp + 160bhp ers vs 750bhp). So they will have a superior power to weight ratio at the start of the race and be about equal at the end.

      Then today in testing we saw nico doing a full race sim and keeping all lap times between 1:38 and 1:42 (fastest race lap was 1:36.9 last year). So without next weeks aero upgrades and presumably pushing the engine to its full potential they’re already more or less on parity in terms of qualifying and race pace.

      • The addition of ers and using a turbo to make up the power deficit means the engines will be significantly more efficient, 50% more efficient? probably not, but i wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t far off.

    • Baron (@baron) said on 23rd February 2014, 14:48

      Refuelling? With the cars buzzing with static and electrical energy? Are you in the pyrotechnics industry by any chance?

  7. Very pleased about this news.
    Perhaps having races less dominated by tyre-saving is definately a good thing.
    Hopefully this will produce some surprising results and some great overtakes.

    • OOliver said on 22nd February 2014, 20:43

      “We’ve collected plenty of useful data from this test, but of course we are still ready and able to change the specification of the tyres for the start of the season if this is shown to be necessary.”

      • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 22nd February 2014, 21:01

        Oooh, I hope they don’t change them!
        Marbles are/were one of my very real hates of F1 racing over the past few years. After all, what’s the point of having a nice wide circuit to aid overtaking if most of it is strewn with slippery bits of discarded tyre?
        Please let’s enjoy this season of unknowns with conservative tyres that don’t come to pieces or have the durability of marshmallows so that we can at least evaluate the important bits of racing – the drivers and the cars.
        I’m sorry Pirelli, but the round black things at the corners of each car should not and never should have been the centre of focus for F1 racing or its fans.

        • before marbles it was a superfast racing line with a ton of rubber laid down and anything off line was less grippy.

      • I really hope that they don’t change the tyres again.

  8. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 22nd February 2014, 18:50

    There are less marbles because the Ferrari Vacuum Cleaner took care of them!

  9. andae23 (@andae23) said on 22nd February 2014, 21:28

    It’s wonderful that this is pretty much the first tyre article since testing began.

  10. Sven Örup said on 22nd February 2014, 21:38

    Would it not be an idea to have harder and less degrading tires producing less marbles. Then make them wider to have the same grip level.

  11. well I guess there are a lot of fans who are gonna miss picking up ‘marbles’ for F1 souvenirs

  12. HoHum (@hohum) said on 23rd February 2014, 4:01

    Well this is good news, glad to hear Pirelli have followed up on their decision to provide better tyres this year, not so keen on the possibility of changing spec before OZGP, unless it is to make the tyres even more durable (which would also be more fuel friendly).

  13. Chris (@ukphillie) said on 23rd February 2014, 13:36

    Good stuff. Now let that be the last time we hear the word ‘Pirelli’ till December.

  14. Mark in Florida said on 23rd February 2014, 18:28

    This will be a very entertaining season I think. There are a lot of unknowns, will the engines last,will they run out of fuel,can the tires last any reasonable length of time? The new engines and electrics produce a lot of torque how will this affect wet driving conditions with no traction control?So many questions and so few real answers. Mercedes appears to be the dominant team,but think back to the Brawn team they started strong and faded fast as Red Bull began to catch up later in the season. I personally think that at least three motors will fail at the first race.

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