More ‘no tyre warmer’ tests for Pirelli

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Pirelli hard tyre, Silverstone, 2013In the round-up: Pirelli are still working on tyres which will function without warmers ahead of their planned introduction in 2015.

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Pirelli: tyre tests massive step forward (Autosport)

“We are learning for next year and had one small look at running again with no [tyre warmer] blankets and we have to write a technical report for the FIA on that.”

Raikkonen not daunted by slow start (ESPN)

“Sometimes it’s hard to see from the outside but we know ourselves. I was pretty happy with the car in Bahrain and in China we had some issues early on and couldn’t run, which didn’t help.”

Bernie’s tax issue (Motorsport)

“Had the HMRC laid claim to that £1.2 billion, it would have been spent on national health, schools, roads, defence – all the usual things. Given that a big chunk of the money originates from morally dubious government regimes, do we think that Bernie’s aim all along has just been to redistribute the wealth away from evil and towards good?”

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Comment of the day

Melker Thomson’s recollections of watching the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix:

The worst thing with this weekend to me was the Eurosport commentators. They pretended it was business as usual even when cars were flying around all over the place.

Even when there were TV pictures of Watkins giving CPR to Ratzenberger they pretended they didn’t understand how serious it was.

And then just before the start they were completely tasteless. They interviewed Gerhard Berger and wondered if he wasn’t excited about the race. He reminded them that his countryman lost his life the day before and they just walked away from him then.

Then comes the big blow and everything stops when it is learned that Senna is dead after a big shunt too. Then suddenly they seemed to remember Ratzenberger too.

Ratzenberger up until that point was treated as “collateral damage”. Nobody cared. Now suddenly it was two dead. It was among the most disgusting scenes I have seen in any sport with a total lack of moral standards in the way they handed especially the first tragedy. He didn’t count until Senna also suffered.

Otherwise Watkins said that the track he hated most was Monza because there anything could happen. It could be very brutal. I certainly got the same apocalyptic feeling as with September 10, 1978 on that horrible day 1994.
Melker Thomson (@Melthom)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ccolanto, Mike Weilding, Oliver and Jake Kilshaw!

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

Twenty yeasrs ago today Roland Ratzenberger lost his life when he crashed during qualifying for the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. It was the first fatal accident at an F1 race weekend in 12 years.

Image © Pirelli/LAT

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41 comments on More ‘no tyre warmer’ tests for Pirelli

  1. Strontium (@strontium) said on 30th April 2014, 0:12

    If we see tyres exploding in the race next year, I shall be blaming the FIA this time.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 30th April 2014, 0:22

      Even if the tyre is punctured by debris?

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 30th April 2014, 8:06

      @Strontium why would tires explode next year because tire warmers are no more? Also tires exploded due to a bad canvas that Pirelli fixed and more so because team improperly used them to gain an advantage at the risk of destroying their entire race due to delamination/explosion. Hence the rules this year of tires having to be placed on the car as specified by manufacture and in certain psi ranges, not the dramatic ranges teams felt they needed to win.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 30th April 2014, 12:46

        For starters there is more opportunity to test now for Pirelli, so nothing should catch them out, although it sounds like they still may lack wet weather testing.

        Also, they’ve already backed off on such unreasonable tires as last year that had the teams desperate to try anything to be less limited by them, and I highly doubt they can dor will go back to those kinds of aggressive tires. They certainly have way more torque to deal with.

        I like the idea of no tire warmers. It represents simplifying to me, and I just hope the end result will be to close up the field. It certainly should start a whole new learning curve in terms of chassis and setup to both run as best as possible when they are cold and be the fastest at getting their temps up.

        • Lord Stig (@lord-stig) said on 30th April 2014, 21:23

          I don’t think it will do anything to close the gap between the back and front of the field. Why would it? Also I doubt there will be almost no optimization for cold tires in terms of setup. Why would they? The warmup phase is a lap or two, you are going to optimize for normal operating temperatures.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 1st May 2014, 13:20

            @lord-stig I don’t know that you can say that with such certainty. Why would it close up the field? I don’t know the answer, but you haven’t said anything to support why it wouldn’t, and I would like to think that is the direction F1 is trying to go, and that the very change will change things up for several aspects of the races and quali. How do you know the warmup phase will be a lap or two? What if that is not how they design the tires? What if they want the warmup phase to be longer than that so that it is akin to them driving in the wet for 5 or 6 laps at the start of each stint? I personally would be surprised if they had their warmers taken away today they would still just proceed with the same setups and strategies as yesterday. And we don’t know, nor do the teams yet, what the new tires will be like, especially depending on what F1′s mandate to Pirelli will be in terms of how much they will be asked to affect the racing.

            Maybe it will somehow foolishly be the opposite of what I hope for, and instead the cold tires will force a doubling down of the efforts to claw back more downforce, and the combination of less mechanical grip and more downforce dependency will make the dirty air effect even greater, thus spreading the field further apart and making passing other than by DRS more difficult. Nobody knows how this is going to affect different teams differently.

  2. DaveD (@daved) said on 30th April 2014, 0:30

    It’s always interesting to see what the FIA picks as an area to ‘save money’. I have a hard time believing that with the Billion+ dollars the teams spend every year, that the tyre warmers are high on the scale of costs.

    • Brian (@bforth) said on 30th April 2014, 1:55

      @daved This would be my pick for COTD. I had to scoff at this year’s cost saving attempt – the limited gear ratios. On the heels of dramatically changing the aero formula and knowingly introducing the most expensive engine formula yet, that came off as an arrogant slap in the face.

      • coefficient said on 30th April 2014, 9:01

        A set of f1 gear ratios costs about £15000 and each team has a set for every session just in case. Add to that the infinite number of ratio permutations possible and you have the teams trotting round the globe with millions of £s worth if gear sets. Pointless.

        The engine change was necessary too, expensive but necessary. Now we have Honda and probably BMW joining which will mean cheaper if not free engines for some teams.

    • frankus28 (@frankus28) said on 30th April 2014, 3:50

      @daved I think that cold tyres could mean a longer period of vulnerability for a driver defending position straight after a pitstop and we’ll see them show their talents in outwitting the attacking driver whilst trying their utmost to not grain their new icy boots.

      I was watching the wet/dry Indycar race held at Barber Motorsport Park and it was fascinating to see the drivers using their entire skillset to stay on the black stuff whilst fighting for position during the crossover from wet to dry on stone cold slicks straight out of the pits.

      • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 30th April 2014, 8:33

        I enjoyed that in the Barber race too – but I can’t help thinking the current Pirellis are already way too sensitive to graining or degradation, and wondering how the F1 engineers will manage all the fun out of it…

      • DaveD (@daved) said on 30th April 2014, 14:48

        @frankus28 Yes, I was thinking about that too. It’s why I don’t dismiss it out of hand. But I heard the commentators on NBCSports here in the US saying that it was a cost cutting measure…perhaps they were just speculating??? I was trying to see if Sky had any comment about it, but I didn’t hear them speculate in any of the broadcasts I pirated :) I do love the extended coverage you guys get! We can’t get that kind of air time here in the States.
        Anyway, your comment as to making the drivers show there skills is true and I did enjoy that at Barber as well. But as Max, @vettel1 , points out, it could also be a safety issue. And it could also cause the tires/tyres to degrade faster when drivers are pushing them as they come out cold. Hey, what’s a 5 stop race among friends!

        • frankus28 (@frankus28) said on 30th April 2014, 16:01

          @daved @bullfrog I think Pirelli are sufficiently stung by the fiasco of early 2013 to take a more conservative approach towards tyre deg.

          I’m in Australia and our broadcaster has the rights to SkyF1′s coverage and hosted by a local pundit & 1980 champ Alan Jones. It’s pretty good except for the ads and they often show it in Standard Def (boo…). I can’t complain too much, it’s free.

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 30th April 2014, 16:19

            The only reason I can get ahold of the broadcast is because I run operations for an international holding company and we have locations every where. So I get a server setup in each geo and then pipe things I want to see through our internal network. So I’ve always got a “local IP” to use when I need access. I really don’t pirate it because I buy a local subscription where I can…it’s just frustrating when they won’t let me buy it from here in the States because NBC has exclusive rights here. Hell, I support NBC and watch the race on their local broadcast, but they only do 30 minutes pre and post race so the analysis is so lacking compared to Sky. NBC won’t even spend the money to send more than one guy to the races. I enjoy Will Buxton, but he’s one guy and they only give him about ten or fifteen minutes of air time in a race. Not his fault or the rest of the NBC crew….but with the limited time the network allocates for total coverage, they can only do so much.

    • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 30th April 2014, 5:23

      It isn’t a cost saving measure, its another attempt to “improve the show”…

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 30th April 2014, 8:26

      I don’t know if the tyre warmer removal is more for cost saving or more to improve the racing, perhaps they think it will do both. But in terms of cost saving it does make some sense to pick off the low-hanging-fruit, the things that are easy to implement, while they continue to work out the larger issues.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 30th April 2014, 9:59

      I’m skeptical that it will actually save costs. Tyre blankets are what, £15000 each maybe? Considering you don’t have to keep reinvesting in them – they are one of the more durable components – the main costs are with transportation and electricity. And that’s probably fairly negligible considering they have DHL freighting and the circuit I imagine will cover the energy costs.

      Then you have to factor in that drivers will now probably have to do an out lap, then a proper warm-up lap. F1 cars are expensive to run, and I imagine that will negate the cost of tyre blankets in itself. Then you have the increased safety risk of cold tyres (which is potentially a factor in what killed Senna) and I really begin to doubt that this is a cost saving measure.

      It looks much more swayed towards an entertainment election. And I shan’t complain over that (after all, it is a far more “natural” means of improving the spectacle than the degradable tyres themselves or DRS) as long as we don’t see drivers having heavy accidents unnecessarily due to cold tyres.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 30th April 2014, 13:17

        I would like to think that tires designed to not be warmed ahead of time will be designed to be reasonable to drive on while heat is being built up in them. And wasn’t the issue with Senna’s tires more to do with them being cold and therefore lower in pressure which lowered the car too close to the track? As long as today’s cars aren’t bottoming out from cold tires there shouldn’t be that same concern. As to heavy accidents…it is up to the drivers to drive accordingly, proportional to the amount of grip they have available.

        I like the idea because to me it represents simplification even if initially the learning curve is steep. If I have a concern at all I think it would be that I’m all about a higher ratio of mechanical grip vs. aero grip, so I hope these tires provide a good amount of that once warmed. Since they have just managed to reduce aero somewhat with the narrower front wing, the removal of the rear beam wing, and the removal of exhaust gases/diffuser trickery, I hope not to see them forcing the teams back to more aero dependency on top of what they will already be trying to claw back.

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 30th April 2014, 14:50

      Really good discussion, reading through the comments. Can anyone find a definitive pointer to why the FIA says they’re doing it: Cost vs improving the show?

  3. Joaquin (@fat-tyre) said on 30th April 2014, 0:53

    Does anyone know what is the tyre pressure they use in F1 (in psi)?

    • 29 psi I believe, less than a standard road car, it has been so for a while as suspension geometry hasn’t changed much.

    • Brian (@bforth) said on 30th April 2014, 2:22

      @fat-tyre I believe 16 psi minimum for the front and rears for starting pressure (when they’ve not been running), and I believe 19 psi minimum for running.
      I haven’t heard of any maximum pressures. But, given that the teams want to optimise the contact surface of the tyres, they will keep the pressures as close the minimums as possible.

  4. trotter said on 30th April 2014, 3:59

    One only has to wonder, why in the world would Bernie pay both Gribkowsky and HMRC, if he had nothing to hide? He says they would be snooping around. Well, what’s the problem if they have nothing to hide and are just doing their regular job. It’s not like it’s out of the ordinary to examine the papers when such a big sums are in question.

    I can only feel that little goblin has in fact much more illegalities to hide than just his tax machinations.

  5. manu said on 30th April 2014, 7:43

    I think Pirelli are going to make tyres that are just as strong as this years but initially warm up faster than todays tyres. I don’t think they want bad PR again. As for the teams they will probably try something where they transfer a lot of heat from their brakes to the tyres, so possibly generating as much heat as possible in the brakes before a stop so that when they do stop for tyres the heat is transfered to the tyres to help warm it up. Given that Merc was overheating its tyres last year and had to put measures to stop braking temps from further overheating the tyres it wouldnt be a surprise to see teams using brake temps to heat up the tyres. The question then is, will it be safe for the people changing the tyres?

    • Daffron said on 30th April 2014, 8:49

      No tyre warmers just means less variation in strategy doesn’t it? For example if it’s currently touch and go between a 2 and 3 stop, the extra time lost while warming tyres means everyone is forced onto a 2 stopper?

      Forgive me for being cynical of rules designed to ‘spice things up’.

      • SJC (@sjc327) said on 30th April 2014, 9:04

        But using the same argument of fewer stops becoming favourable, a race that is currently well suited to 3 stops could become touch and go between 2 and 3, and a race where 2 stops is the current optimum may become touch and go between 1 and 2.

        • Daffron said on 30th April 2014, 9:22

          So fewer stops = longer stints = more tyre saving. Hopefully the compounds will make up for it somehow.

      • This is why they should just make the tyres more durable. Not so durable that there is zero drop-off, but we don’t need super degradable tyres. Australia was quite good in that regard, as was Bahrain.

  6. Hans Herrmann (@twentyseven) said on 30th April 2014, 8:53

    Haha! I had to laugh at that the photo, I wonder what’s on his checklist?

    Wheel Checklist:
    Round: Tick
    Black: Tick
    Rubber: Tick
    Time for lunch yet?: Tick

  7. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 30th April 2014, 9:54

    COTD:

    I’d never really noticed the lack of sympathy/understanding from Europsport, at least from the footage i’ve seen.

    One thing that did strike me is how ironic it was that they were talking to an F1 staff member (sorry I can’t be more specific..) about just how great these modern monocoques are, and how safe they are. Literally as they were discussing that, Ratzenberger went off.

    I just got the impression they didn’t quite understand the severity of the crash. But yeh, come to think of it, it was a little blasé.

    • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 30th April 2014, 10:08

      I get the CotD’s point and extend it to the BBC. When I tuned in on race day, I was shocked when the opening piece with Murray Walker and Jonathan Palmer was so blasé about Ratzenberger’s death. They kept speaking about how safe the modern cars were that had made this fatality such a rare and isolated incident (despite Barrichello’s crash). I wondered what would shake F1 into looking at improving safety if this didn’t; sadly I got my answer a few hours later.

    • I find that highly ironic also. To me, that was highly indicative of the complacency which had managed to grow within the sport – due to the lack of fatal accidents in recent years.

      Though retrospectively I am still quite shocked that was the case, considering how many severe accidents occurred in the intermittent period. Of course never fatal, but an accident like Martin Donnelly’s – which was so very close to adding yet another black mark to F1′s record – should have inspired a greater response than it did.

      At least Senna’s death lead to truly significant changes, and a resurgent crusade to improve safety standards like that of the 70′s. And thankfully this crusade does not appear to have ceased: continual improvements are still being made, and further solutions under evaluation.

      • OOliver said on 30th April 2014, 12:09

        But Sauber and Mercedes were the ones who voluntarily sacrificed performance to give us the cockpit head protection padding, which later became standard, after Wedlinger’s 1994 Monaco crash the next race after the tragic one at Imola.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 30th April 2014, 14:35

        @vettel1 I think there is complacency again now, but luckily the FIA doesn’t seem to suffer from it. When you consider the reaction of many drivers when HANS was made compulsory a few years ago and the negative reaction to cars going just 1 or 2 seconds per lap slower this year it’s clear that safety is still seldom at the top of the agenda.

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