Massa keen to see less conservative tyres

2014 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Williams, Monte-Carlo, 2014Felipe Massa says he would prefer a slightly less conservative selection of tyres for forthcoming races.

F1’s official tyre supplier Pirelli faced criticism at last year’s British Grand Prix following a series of high-speed failures. They produced more conservative tyres for the second half of the season and have done so again for this year due to the change in engine regulations.

However Massa feels the current tyres are “some times a little bit conservative”.

“I think in the last few races was fine,” he said. “Always one stops are a little bit boring, I prefer maybe two or three stops, two is fine. I think using the very hard tyres is not really great so I prefer to be a little bit better than how it is.”

However Lewis Hamilton, who at one point last year said he had “nothing positive” to say about Pirelli’s tyres, praised the job they had done in their fourth season as F1’s sole tyre manufacturer.

“I think Pirelli have done quite a good job really this year,” he said. “We haven’t had any tyre blow-outs which is a real positive for us, that’s what we wanted and you can’t always get it perfect.”

“Whether or not they’ve gone a little bit too far in that direction we can decide perhaps at the end of the year. I’m sure they’ll alter it again for next year.

“Of course we always want more grip so any time they get softer is a good thing for us.”

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15 comments on Massa keen to see less conservative tyres

  1. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 3rd July 2014, 16:16

    You can’t have it both ways. Either it’s “tyres that fall apart too easilly” or it “tyres that are too conservative”.

    Short of creating specific tyres for each track, temperature and conditions, there will always be races where the tyres aren’t quite right.

    Following what happened last year, they were always going to be more cautious and it shows. The problem is that if they take a risk with the tyres, there is a chance that it’ll go wrong and if it does, Pirelli will be held accountable for it.

    Either they take risks and everything that goes with that or that are cautious. You can’t have both.

    • DASMAN (@dasman) said on 3rd July 2014, 22:35

      Actually you can, its what we used to have. You can make tyres that are durable(ie. don’t fall apart) and safe, and also perform well on the track. The problem with the current Pirellis is that the hard compounds which they are favouring have a very narrow operating window. In essence they are not suited for the tracks they are being chosen for. They need compounds which operate in a wider temperature window and don’t fall apart. Bridgestone and Michelin did it for years.

      • Mr win or lose said on 4th July 2014, 15:24

        In terms of performance, Bridgestone and Michelin were awesome. In terms of enjoying the spectators, they weren’t so good. However, I think Bridgestone could have done an even better job than Pirelli from 2010 onwards. I think Bridgestone were fully capable of producing several tyre compounds with very good grip and moderate degradation. Although I understand why they didn’t want to supply less durable tyres, I feel it was a missed opportunity.

  2. Breno (@austus) said on 3rd July 2014, 16:22

    Is the Williams easy on the tyres?

  3. PeterG said on 3rd July 2014, 17:21

    I don’t get the complaints about tyres been too conservative this year as I think they have been pretty much perfect so far.

    They have been more like what Pirelli did in 2011, They have played a role in the race strategy but not been the dominant factor & have not been the main talking point every weekend as they usually were through 2012/2013.

    Pirelli should leave the tyres as they are & continue down this route over the next few years, I don’t ever want to go back to what we had in 2012/2013 where tyres dominated everything & were the main talking point every race be it due to extreme degredation or tiny operating windows.

    I also still don’t get why people see 1 stop races as boring? We used to have no-stop races & nobody complained back then. I personally would prefer a 1-stop race with good on-track racing than a 2-3 stop race where the on-track racing was poor & all the interest & passing was done in the pits.
    Maybe its just that everyone got so used to 2-3 stops each race under the dreadful refueling-era that anything else is seen as been bad.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 3rd July 2014, 20:57

      I agree completely – good job Pirelli!

    • Mr win or lose said on 4th July 2014, 12:42

      More tyre degradation leads to more on-track action. However, the tyre-wear levels in 2011-2013 were too extreme, and combined with DRS, the races have become more artificial, not necessarily better. From the F1 fan’s point of view solid tyres and no two-compound rule are the way to go, although then the races may become a procession (in the eighties the races were much less predictable). That’s why I think strategy has to play a role, either by moderately degrading tyres (I think the Goodyear tyres in the nineties had the “right” level of degradation), or by the “dreadful” refueling.

      • DASMAN (@dasman) said on 4th July 2014, 15:46

        More tyre degradation leads to more on-track action

        This effect is what has led to the current mess F1 is in. The issue now is that with aero dominating over mechanical grip, by making the tyres less durable, you make them the differential in performance at points in the race. You could achieve the same effect by reducing the aero and increasing mechanical grip to a level where the abundance of grip would become the differential. Its all about the relationship between aero and mechanical grip. The reduced aero would also promote closer racing.

        Instead we have the ludicrous situation where the tyres are designed to be low performance parts on a high performance machine. Madness!

        • PeterG said on 4th July 2014, 17:11

          I think the only problem with the Less Aero/More mechanical grip argument is that the cars woudl inevitably become slower.

          Considering how much people complain now about the speed of F1 cars in comparison to other categories would fans really be happy if F1 became even slower?

        • Mr win or lose said on 4th July 2014, 20:52

          Instead we have the ludicrous situation where the tyres are designed to be low performance parts on a high performance machine. Madness!

          Very well said. However, tyre strategies allow drivers to be quick at different points in the race, which may lead to various passes and re-passes. Simply reducing the aero won’t lead to the same result. However, less aero dependency will enable cars to follow more closely, which is definitely a good thing. The main problem is that measures aimed at reducing the efficiency of aerodynamic parts may eventually even do harm, as practice has shown. Downforce was usually recovered in a less efficient way, which in fact made the cars even more aero dependent. So it is very hard to get rid of downforce.

  4. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 3rd July 2014, 18:26

    “I think Pirelli have done quite a good job really this year,” he said. “We haven’t had any tyre blow-outs which is a real positive for us, that’s what we wanted and you can’t always get it perfect.”

    If all drivers want from a tyre manufacturer is having tyres that do not blow up, Pirelli did a great job this year indeed.

  5. Bryan said on 3rd July 2014, 20:32

    I want the tire wars back! I would love to see how good the tires could be with multiple companies supplying them.

  6. hobo (@hobo) said on 3rd July 2014, 20:54

    “…with one stop used by the winner of in Safety Car-affected races in Monaco and Canada.”

    RIC stopped twice in Montreal.

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 4th July 2014, 0:21

    Personally I find all pit stops boring, they break up the rhythm of the race, discourage on track passing and over emphasise tyre management and strategy over driving skill, and high speed tyre changing is a side-show, nothing to do with building or driving a fast car.

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