The Pirelli debate
17th March 2013, 8:34 at 8:34 am #132853
I know that, on this and other blogs, one of hottest topics of debate has been DRS and what it has done / is doing to racing. Passing is artificial, made too easy, DRS taking away the fun of real battles. Well, I have a less negative (but not all positive) opinion on that.
What really bugged me today was how decisive tyres and tyre management has become in Formula 1. I believe it does much more damage than DRS. Here are some reasons why, from today’s race:
- We really don’t know the strenghts of cars, what we do know is which team and drivers have been able to deal better with the tyres. Ferrari seems to have done a pretty good job overall, and as indicated in Barcelona, Red Bull don’t really understand the tyres; neither do Mercedes.
- Hamilton tryed to defend his position, therefore missed a braking point, and a result lost the position and his strategy. Nowadays, it is easier to let someone pass than fight him
- Vettel was slower than Alonso most of the race, and Massa the first part of it; still, the Ferrari’s refrained from attacking, all because they were thinking of saving their tyres. Alonso even talked about traffic when referring to Sutil and Vettel in front of him (typical Alonso).
- Sutil was doing a fantastic job with the mediums, and with “normal” F1 tyres, he would have had a dozen of classification laps at the end, closing gaps to the front. Instead, the low temperature of the track made him lose positions instead of gaining time – just feels wrong!
- Rosberg said after the race that he was surprised Kimi started the race so strongly since the thought “everyone was supposed to look after their tyres” – is that racing?
- And Kimi himself did a fantastic job with he tyres, and that’s why he won. But is that going to be the criteria this year? The better you get the tyres, the more points and wins you score? Without a fight?
- Alonso tried to give him that fight, but he forced the tyres too much and had to stop chasing to not lose them towards the end. Just sad that a driver can’t push at least reasonably; courage is not rewarded in his system.
I get Schumacher’s complaints. He drove in an era where he was able o push at least a good part of the race, and where softer tyres would be faster right away. Strategy is really difficult this way, it becomes somewhat luck.
No demerit to Kimi, he did a fantastic job with those tyres and only stopping twice, being able to push whenever needed. But I do get bothered by the fact that this skill has completely overshadowed all the other skills in a F1 race, and I don’t like the direction this might take the sport to.17th March 2013, 8:42 at 8:42 am #228793
It was especially apparent, and shocking, on the Red Bulls. They had great pace for the first 4 laps, and then it just completely dropped off for a good 10 laps or so, and even then, they were still slower.17th March 2013, 9:04 at 9:04 am #228794
Well the tyres seemed to work pretty logically this time and everybody pretty much raced with the same compounds along the race so it was the same for everybody. Besides Sutil’s tyres lasted almost the whole race distance and he wasn’t that much slower than the rest of the guys (a second or two per lap at the most if I recall correctly). So maybe there would have been more room for better lap times, I still don’t how it matters though, the best driver-car combination won anyways.
Do you consider marathons artificial because the runners can’t run at their absolute maximum for the full length?17th March 2013, 9:16 at 9:16 am #228795
No I don’t. But F1 needs real attacking and real defending, so you need tyres that last longer than just a few laps. And no, Sutil was good with the tyres, most of them trying a 2-stop counting on lasting mediums had to do 3, and not even then were there able to push. And if they did push, they would pay the cost.17th March 2013, 9:34 at 9:34 am #228796
Well the tyres seemed to work pretty logically this time and everybody pretty much raced with the same compounds along the race so it was the same for everybody.
Stop taking Hamilton’s words for granted. As I said it before, the tyres might be the same for everybody but how is that relevant when they behave so differently for each team? When one team gets a 13-15 laps life out of the mediums and another one almost double that lifespan? When some teams can’t even work the super-softs for 2 laps? Are the tyres supposed to deliver better performance when new for some (Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton etc.) AND when old for others (Sutil, Raikkonen)?
Do you consider marathons artificial because the runners can’t run at their absolute maximum for the full length?
If you supply them with shoes that wear out in time and some of the runners end up barefoot after 5km while others do the same after 15-20km…then yes. It’s artificial therefore wrong.
And you’re missing out on one aspect. F1 is supposed to be sprint racing, not a marathon. You’re mistaking this competition for the WEC.
the best driver-car combination won anyways.
No it didn’t. It was the best driver-car-rubber management combination. And what I’m saying and what I think @magon4 is trying to say as well is that the latter shouldn’t weigh this much as a factor.17th March 2013, 9:36 at 9:36 am #228797
I’d be ok if it is a factor out of many, but not the factor overshadowing all others!17th March 2013, 9:43 at 9:43 am #228798
If F1 were sprint racing, then we’d have 40 minutes races. In the refuelling era drivers were accustomed to consider each lap as a qualifying lap, now and before the 90s it was a totally different business.
The rules of the game are clear, everyone knew that tyre management would have been crucial this year (as in the previous 2 seasons), so if you’re not able to set up a car that is capable of taking care of tyres, then you deserve to be below in the standings.
We can then discuss if tyre management is WAY TOO important…17th March 2013, 9:46 at 9:46 am #228799
I said since 2007 the tires are the same for everyone…they were the same in 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012 and are the same in 2013. We will see if we will have two tyre manufacturer since 2014 or not…since FIA has not decide if will be pirelli or another one or more then one.17th March 2013, 9:47 at 9:47 am #228800
The rules of the game are clear, everyone knew that tyre management would have been crucial this year
I know the rules of the game and I’m sure the teams know the rules of the game and the ones who made the rules know the rules of the game. What I’m saying is that the rules are maybe not the best for what the game should be.
We can then discuss if tyre management is WAY TOO important…
That’s the point, yeah.17th March 2013, 10:45 at 10:45 am #228801
Stop taking Hamilton’s words for granted. As I said it before, the tyres might be the same for everybody – -
I have no idea what Hamilton said, my opinion as nothing to do with it. I’m just observing how it is (and basing my opinion on that basis): Pirelli provides same combounds for everybody and because everybody has to use those same compounds it’s kind of clear that it’s the same for everybody.
- – but how is that relevant when they behave so differently for each team? When one team gets a 13-15 laps life out of the mediums and another one almost double that lifespan? When some teams can’t even work the super-softs for 2 laps? Are the tyres supposed to deliver better performance when new for some (Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton etc.) AND when old for others (Sutil, Raikkonen)?
It’s relevant because that means teams have to make the best use out of what has been provided for them. Because teams make different kind of cars and have different kinds of drivers, the tyre management varies from team to team. Do you want them all to have the same car? Maybe one driver drives the same car 20×58 laps around Albert Park on behalf of every driver and the fastest set of 58 laps wins and gets the points, is that what you’d want?
No it didn’t. It was the best driver-car-rubber management combination. And what I’m saying and what I think [username removed for unnecessary email notification] is trying to say as well is that the latter shouldn’t weigh this much as a factor.
Yes it did. Tyre management is part of car performance just as well. Has always been.17th March 2013, 14:37 at 2:37 pm #228802
So now you guys are complaining about the Pirellis…. hmmmm seems funny how I´ve been saying it all along that it isn´t good for racing having the tyres be the protagonist in races… tyres should just be that… they shouldn´t be the main focus on strategy in order to win…17th March 2013, 15:31 at 3:31 pm #228803
I don’t see what the big problem is. A race is obviously not qualifying, and therefore just because someone can drive a lap quicker than someone else, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that person should finish in front. The race has always been about strategy, be it re-fueling, or tyre management.
As has been said above, each team knows about these tyres, and if they have created a car which is hard on the tyres, then they should suffer the consequences. Did I hear anyone moaning in the bridgestone days about how unfair it was that some teams couldn’t get the tyres up to temperature, or things like that? Of course not.
Yes, the super softs didn’t last very long today, but in my opinion, that just created a new element to how each team and driver goes about the race. Raikkonen and Lotus did the best job of that today, and deservedly won because of it. Sutil had the opportunity at a higher place, but foolishly tried the super softs too early, and paid the price.
It won’t be like this every race, but I don’t see why lots of people criticize the tyres. It creates far greater scope for strategy and different driving styles than simply reverting back to the bridgestone era.17th March 2013, 15:38 at 3:38 pm #228804
David not CoulthardParticipant
Yes, the super softs didn’t last very long today
I’d actually like to see the FIA drop the “USE BOTH COUMPOUNDS, OR ELSE….” rule. What’s wrong with a driver using only 1 coumpound trying to not dive into the pits until the flag waves (unless the flagman is as clueless about him as the one at Monaco 1970 was about Rindt taking the lead).17th March 2013, 17:07 at 5:07 pm #228805
I was tinking on the same lines as OP but then I realised that we may get a more competitive year than last year because of it. If this was any other year Vettel would have surely won it but Lotus had the best strategy so…
It may be good for F1.17th March 2013, 17:36 at 5:36 pm #228806
I found this race almost impossible to follow as I didn’t know who was really leading. It’s almost as if NBC and the race need to focus more on the tyres – perhaps, instead of the cars themselves we can see a giant tyre with a number marking the number of pit stops the driver has made and the suspected tyre degradation.
At the end we can applaud the winning tyre. I think Kimi did a stellar job but obviously the Lotus won the race on the medium tyre and driving was the 3rd variable.
I think this is the 1st time a tyre manufacturer has won a race on merit all by itself…
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