FIA wades into tyre row with safety ruling

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013In the round-up: The FIA declares Pirelli can only make alterations to its tyres for reasons of safety rather than performance.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

FIA: tyre tweaks can only be for safety (Autosport)

“In a blow to outfits like Red Bull hoping further tweaks would help them overcome tyre difficulties they have faced, the FIA has made it clear it will not tolerate further changes aimed at reducing the number of pit stops or decreasing degradation.”

Formula One’s $12bn IPO on track (The Guardian)

“I don’t know what they are doing [regarding the bribery trial]. At the moment I am a suspect with five other people. If they charge me presumably they will have to charge the other people. I hope they don’t but I think they will. Then we will see what happens. That doesn’t mean to say there will be a trial.”

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: “Who knows who will be in the car in 2015. I’ve been laughing with Jenson about it. But Jenson will drive here as long as he wants to.”

Claire Williams Q&A: I won?t give up until we?re back (F1)

“I think we definitely have a future world champion at hand [in Valtteri Bottas] – but of course we have to give him the car to allow him to prove his talent. He has done a good job so far. He has finished every race, made up positions with great overtaking manoeuvres, and is giving strong feedback to the engineers in order to improve the car.”

Time for Adrian Sutil?s luck to change (Force India)

Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley: “I felt really sorry for him, because he had the fourth quickest race pace. He would finished fourth or fifth.”

400 more horsepower for Vergne (Toro Rosso)

“While Jev?s regular transport puts out around 800 horsepower, the huge red truck pumps out an incredible 1200, although of course the weight difference ?ǣ 5,500 kilos for the truck as against a mere 650 for the race car ?ǣ means that the F1 car still has the edge when it comes to lap times.”

Alan Henry on the McLaren-Honda years (McLaren)

“By no means am I suggesting that I warrant attribution, or even credit, but the order stuck, and that?s how Honda Marlboro McLaren was born. From three scraps of paper.”

Comment of the day

Vjanik think it’s time for McLaren to ‘do a Brawn’:

They should stop pumping money into fixing this year?s car and start focusing on 2014 (like Brawn did in 2008). If they spend too much time playing catchup this year and trying to understand their dog of a car, then next year they will be one step behind again. I hope im wrong but it wont be until 2015 that McLaren start fighting for the championship again. Despite the denials, i think that Mercedes will not share everything with McLaren next year, knowing full well that Honda would benefit.

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On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher won the last world championship race in Austria at the A1-Ring ten years ago today, despite this fire during one of his pit stops:

Kimi Raikkonen finished second ahead of Rubens Barrichello.

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  • 94 comments on “FIA wades into tyre row with safety ruling”

    1. So it seems like the actual tyre “compounds” won’t change then? Just something to prevent delamination. Have to say that seems fair, and follows regs if that’s the case

      1. Pirelli changed the hard tyres already, so why can’t they change it a second time.

      2. I agree, the delamination problem needs to be fixed though, as it could prove very dangerous.

      3. Sadly, Ferrari don’t want the tyres to change so we’re stuck with these for the year.

        1. That’s simply not true. It’s against the regulations and it’s certainly extremely immoral to change the tires in the middle of the season.

    2. Zantkiller (@)
      18th May 2013, 0:56

      the FIA has made it clear it will not tolerate further changes aimed at reducing the number of pit stops or decreasing degradation

      Changing the regs mid-way through a season is just plain wrong. Ferrari and Lotus built a better car, deal with it.

      1. So us fans should be stuck with rubbish Non-Racing for the rest of the year just because Pirelli got it wrong?

        Look after the tires, hit this lap time, don’t race him, left front, left rear, let him past, stay on line, don’t defend, slow down.
        Thats all we hear at every race, there’s no racing now your just left with everyone doing there own thing, running to there own lap delta managing these stupid tires.

        Fair to some teams or not these tires need to be changed so that racing fans can actually see some racing again!

        1. Yes we should, because F1 is still called a sport not show. Its rare that sport side wins nowadays. They can change tyres to next year but not punish Ferrari and Lotus midseason because they have builded a better car.

        2. F1 is not about the fans, who narrow minded are you? is all about within and between teams.

          1. yes its about the fans. But above its a sport and a sport is only fair if the rules remain consistent through out the season.

            Its like a team with a small goal keeper asking if the goals can be made smaller? No get a better keeper.

      2. I agree. Changing the tyres to solve the delamination problem is fair play. Changing the compounds to increase the performance would create more of a farce then what we have now.

      3. Problem is that the FIA changed regs mid-2011 to stop RBR. It’s hard to find arguments to why this is different.

        1. That could be what the FIA are trying to avoid. They made that mistake once and look how that turned out. Perhaps they don’t want to repeat that mistake.

          It’s almost uncanny, the FIA have shown a lot of sense recently.
          I wish Keith still conducted that poll where we rated the FIA and the president. It would be interesting to see what everyone thinks.

          1. @julian – The problem in 2011 was not that the FIA changed the regulations in the middle of the season. The problem was the way the teams agreed to it, and then tried to worm their way out of it.

            The idea of banning off-throttle blown diffusers was fairly sound. It had no practical application, put considerable stress on the engines, was ultimately wasteful, nd teams were sinking millions and millions of dollars into it. It basically amounted to an unsustainable spending war, and something had to be done to stop it. The teams agreed, and signed up to a staggered ban that gradually phased OTBDs out of the sport. This gave them enough time to consult with their engineers and scour the rules, looking for any and every loophole that they could exploit to keep as much of the OTBD effect as they could and retain as mch of an advantage as possible whilst robbing everyone else of the same advantages. And by claiming that not running an OTBD would damage their engines, they basically bullied the FIA into giving them concessions.

            If the FIA had have said “no OTBDs, and that’s final”, then all would have been well in the world. But by listening to the teams and letting them exaggerate and embellish and ultimately giving into them, the whole thing descened into a farce.

            1. @prisoner-monkeys

              The idea of banning off-throttle blown diffusers was fairly sound. It had no practical application

              Yeah, as opposed to 2.4L V8’s that rev to 18,000rpm, produce circa 750hp and weigh less than 100kg. Or aerodynamics so ferocious they allow the cars to take corners at 150mph+ and would, theoretically, allow the car to drive upside down on the ceiling.

              All of which have infinite practical applications for the every day motorist!

            2. @nick101 – You don’t think that engines that weigh less than a hundred kilograms are of any value to the manufacturers or road cars? You don’t think energy recovery systems have any practical purpose?

              Off-throttle blown diffusers were excessive, wasteful, and created tunnel vision as teams relentlesly pursued them and ignored the things that might have a practical application.

        2. “It’s hard to find arguments to why this is different”

          New to F1 are you? It’s different because previously, it benefited Ferrari and this time, it doesn’t.

      4. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
        18th May 2013, 9:54

        the thing is, change in tyre construction that supposed to stop delaminations also gonna change performance, wear, etc.

        1. Good point, the two are not mutually exclusive. I expect this mess to rumble on throughout the season with whomever wins the title somewhat tainted (if it isn’t Alonso or Kimi). It’s a shame. Pirelli should have developed a proper hard tyre, whilst ‘experimenting’ with the 3 softer compounds at the start of the season. Instead, as even the hard tyre is degrading badly there is no where really to turn. Of course the de-laminations caused by the tyre construction are another issue altogether.

          I used to blame the FIA, but the more I think about it the more Pirelli are to blame for this 2013 situation. The tyre construction and compound change was justified because of the 1 stop races towards the end of 2012… but the hardest two compounds were selected “as to not affect the championship” for these races, so it’s strange for Hembery made this comparison as justification.

          All in all, I’m pleased for Ferrari and Lotus that the compounds aren’t changing, but please let’s go back to the 2012 tyre in 2014 Pirelli.

          1. so we can all see 1 stoppers again?

          2. (if it isn’t Alonso or Kimi)

            Why is that? Tell me who is leading the two championships at the moment? Why only one of the two winning is a fair thing?

      5. The Blade Runner (@)
        18th May 2013, 10:54

        Totally agree. It’s very easy to dislike RB but putting that to one side it’s perfectly obvious that every team has had the same opportunity to build a car that is appropriate for the 2013 season Pirellis. Ferrari and Lotus have just done a better job of it (and I say that as a McLaren fan).

        Preventing the delamination we have seen this season makes sense and the FIA stepping-in on this basis is an unexpected but positive result. A little part of me does suspect however that the FIA are just trying to be seen to do the right thing and that the changes to be made by Pirelli on the basis of “safety” will still play ultimately play into the hands of RB

        1. A little part of me does suspect however that the FIA are just trying to be seen to do the right thing and that the changes to be made by Pirelli on the basis of “safety” will still play ultimately play into the hands of RB.

          That’s what worries me too. I really, really, hope we won’t see any change that erodes Ferrari’s and Lotus’ advantage.

        2. I don’t really think there was much of this “opportunity” you are referring to: if the teams all understood the tyres and had enough data, they wouldn’t be having these problems in the first place (unless they were truly massive idiots, which they aren’t assuredly). I really think in particular this season and last it has been luck of the draw who has built a car that suits these tyres.

          1. The Blade Runner (@)
            18th May 2013, 17:36

            Even if you’re right, by your own logic changing the tires now will just penalise the teams that have had the “luck” so far and potentially hand it to others. Oh, and with the majority of the season left for the new lucky team(s) to do more than just catch-up.

            You’re absolutely right in saying that these guys (and girls) aren’t idiots. What appears clear though is that with the emphasis now on simulators rather than on-track testing, the vagaries of the Pirelli tires seems to result in significant differences between anticipated performance and actual.

            1. @thebladerunner it’s too late now for it, but what I think Pirelli should do for next season is have all the compounds essentially finalised by September of this year, hence allowing teams the time to use them in free practice (if they so choose) to gather data on their own cars, which is a known quantity obviously. Therefore if they then feel changes need to be made they have the time to do so for Novemeber, where they can test them again and get finalised data. That eliminates the variables and then the teams can only have themselves to blame, so we won’t have such a big farce as we do now.

          2. luck? luck? 2013 tyre specs in brazil, and all of winter testing, and your telling me Newey the “genious” has failed to deliver a car that is good and also good on the tyres? im just going to lol @ u for that.

            Ferrari didn’t cry when in 2011 they had a car that was waaaay to soft on the tyres, they were quiet hard on them in 2012, but no one cried “Pirelli” as your RB team.

            Luck doesn’t apply here, good use of judgement with the given available data is what made Ferr and Lotus play out good with the tyres.

            1. 2011 it was strongly rumoured the tyres were changed before the first race. I remember Jarno saying so.

              Ferrari were quick in pre season then no where in melbourne.

            2. The attitude of the RB fans here perfectly mirrors that of the team itself…

            3. @r3mxd this is a highly unusual situation where the teams with superior downforce levels (Mercedes and Red Bull) are paying for it as it hurts these frail tyres. That to the best of my knowledge hasn’t happened before, so in essence the tortoise is beating the hare. That has got to change I think.

            4. @wsrgo I don’t think that’s entirely accurate: I’d rather the rules permitted more engine development over aerodynamics, which I’m sure Red Bull disagree with.

              I for one haven’t changed my perspective: I even said last season that I felt one or two stops was ideal and after the Bahrain GP I said (not with as much forcefulness to reflect the fact the situation wasn’t as bad) that I think the tyres should be changed to reduce their influence. That was still okay though: 2 to 3 isn’t awful but 4 is too much, especially since now drivers are unable to push on the tyres (which is what sets this apart from 2011).

              It just so happens RBR know what is good for the racing!

    3. Regarding the COTD, in both 2009 and 2011 Ferrari gave up on developing their car to focus on the next season, and both times the car was at best underwhelming and in 2012 was a complete dog until mid-season. Mercedes have done it a few times as well, I think. Brawn in 2009 benefited from Honda pouring a huge amount of money and resources into the car’s development (if I remember right they had 3 different wind tunnels being used), which is unlikely to be repeated in this era of resource restriction. Cutting and running with development isn’t a guarantee for success the next season.

      IMO McLaren should continue to try and improve the current car, maybe even get a few wins in late in the season a la 2009, as long as they’re not pulling resources away from next year. Ferrari, Merc and Red Bull all have teams working on next year’s car while developing this year’s, so why should a team like McLaren with similar resources not do the same?

      1. In addition to this point, they’ve already stated that they need to understand their aero correlation issues to make sure they don’t have the same problems next year too

      2. Ferraris problem was due to stable regs, correlation mishaps and RB. They were building cars that they though would be good enough the following year because the though they understood the limits of the regulations, but starting from scratch under stable regulations sets you back as other teams with a better base car have a head start and out-develop you (case in point McLaren this year), RB just moved the goal posts by coming out with better and better ideas to exploit the regulation. Than they had wind tunnel problems – on McLarens part that is a must fix. This year Ferrari are closer because (all teams understand the regs better and) RB are closer to the limit of what they can do with the car due to the reg changes that were made to reign them in.
        However next year is a clean slate completely where this years performance means nothing so the more time, money and man-hour you spend on it the better chance you have of finding something others didn’t and have a run-away season like Brawn did in 2009.

    4. That’s a bit of a warning sign if ever I saw one to Pastor Maldonado from Clare Williams.

      1. I think you’re reading too much into her comments

      2. Haha. Crashdor brings in about double the money of all the other pay drivers put together. He might as well own Williams.

        They wouldnt dare ‘warn’ Crashdor. Caterham, Sauber, Marussia and even Force India would love his money.

        Pastor Maldonado will be in F1 for a long time. Get used to it.

        1. Maldonado won’t be bringing in money for long methinks, as that was almost certainly a presidential order, and there is no guarantee that will be renewed.

      3. Indeed. Isn’t this the first Williams designed with Maldonado as the senior driver? They’re apparently not very impressed

    5. So if the compounds ain’t changing I guess that means were stuck with all this stupid tire management, Lap Delta Non-Racing seen so far this year :(

      I don’t see how what we have seen so far could even be called racing, Its just a series of uninteresting position changes based on a stupid flappy wing & ridiculous bubblegum tires, No racing or overtaking to be seen.

      I’ve been a fan of F1 since the 70s & I’ve stuck with it through driver aids, refueling & the DRS/Pirelli-era upto now. However im done & shall not watch another F1 race until DRS is gone & Pirelli bring raceable tires!

      I shall also never buy Pirelli tires for my road car ever again.

    6. The main problem when you give up completely the development of the car is that you will loose positions (and therefore money) in the constructor’s championship, Mclaren depends a lot in prize money and sponsors more than selling cars unlike Honda.
      From a business perspective it makes more sense to keep developing this car at the same time as next year’s because that way they’re not throwing any season away, will they win either of those however? that’s another matter.

      1. I agree with this. Sponsors aren’t going to be too happy if they ‘give up’ on 2013 this early in the season.

        It’s also easy to cite the 2009 Brawn story because of its success, but BMW’s disaster of the same year (after abandoning their 2008 title bid) should also not be forgotten.

    7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      18th May 2013, 1:54

      Even when this decision to avoid the “tweak” is fair (…), that means the damage to the show is done. Ferrari has to win this championship, ok. But it would have been much better to see Ferrari and Lotus going for the battle at 100% of their car capacity, not to see them cruising at 80% of revs, while the others can’t catch them because they are just going at 60% of revs.
      When I read the cars were going in Barcelona slower than a GP2, that shows the problem is not “just a lot of moaning”
      (source about laptimes: Button)

      1. @omarr-pepper I’m not sure how accurate Jenson was, but I don’t have access to GP2 laptimes, so I can’t say anything. But a GP2 feature race is of 40 laps, a sprint race around 28 laps, whereas an F1 race is around 66 laps. Obviously, an F1 car lugs more fuel and so laptimes are comparable in the first stint.

        And those who say GP2 races are flat-out(like Dizzy below has said), what races were you watching? Coletti tried to be flat-out in the Sprint race. Another lap and he would have been passed for the lead by Frijns. Nasr did a good job keeping the tyres alive early in his second stint, so that he was able to blast away and pass several cars at the end. The only driver who was able to push from start to finish, pretty much, was Dillmann, but he went hards to hards, and kept his mediums options for the Sprint, a risky choice(ultimately discounted due to his full-stall).
        I sometimes wish people paid more attention to races before opening their mouths.

      2. Ferrari has to win this championship, ok. But it would have been much better to see Ferrari and Lotus going for the battle at 100% of their car capacity

        I don’t know how do you knew about Ferrari & Lotus potential to pretend that they were not going 100% of their car capacity, but anyway you have to remember that F1 is all about cars not Airplanes or Helicopters ,When Ferrari & Lotus have built their cars they have focused on how to get a compromise between aerodynamic grip and mechanical grip and they succeeded whereas Red Bull has as always concentrated their efforts 100% on aerodynamic (their domain of expertise) , the tyres where tested last year and even for us the fans we knew that the 2013 tyres will be aggressive, so if Red Bull get it wrong they have to blame their selves for not been able to built a proper F1 car by this i don’t mean that their car is crap or it is not fast but i mean that they maybe forgot for once that the are producing cars & not Airplanes
        And for those who complains about racing these days : the only way to have proper battles on the track is to remove all the benefit of the aerodynamic devices (wings ,exhausts), give more freedom to engine development , chassis ,suspension… all the element that ensure mechanical grip … and bring back the 1970’s large rear tyres , just look at the Ferrari of Niki Lauda , the March of Ronnie Peterson & Mclaren of James Hunt and you will understand why at that time there have been real battles on the track

        1. @tifoso1989 but F1 cars are “aeroplanes” these days, hence why championship wins have been dominated by aerodynamic innovation since perhaps even the 70’s. The fact it isn’t now is purely a result of the fact these tyres can’t cope with aerodynamic load: a highly unusual situation as usually aerodynamic grip helps tyre presvertaion as it prevents sliding!

    8. Something to think about for those who don’t feel the Pirelli tyres or level of tyre management is any worse this year than the past, Look at GP2.

      In the past both GP2 races each weekend were pretty much flat out from start to finish & both were usually exciting with the Sunday morning sprint race tending to be more action packed.

      However in 2013, Drivers are now having to watch the tyres a lot more & your now getting big portions through the Middle of the Saturday feature race where not much happens as everyone is trying to manage there tyres. Then you get the final 5 or so laps at the end where everyone starts pushing again & things heat up.
      The Sunday sprint race is even worse, 90% of the race is pure tyre management with nobody wanting to risk pushing that hard for fear of destroying there tyres & again its only the final 5 or so laps that are worth watching now.

      Remember that fabulous race at Istanbul in 2006 with Hamilton driving flat out on the limit for the sprint race after an early spin, Fighting his way back upto 2nd. With the tyres as they are now I can’t see a drive like that happening because after a few laps of pushing hard the tyres would be destroyed.

      A parallel to F1, Vettel at Abu-Dhabi last season. He was pushing fairly hard to come through the field & the tyres held up & allowed him to drive hard. Try the same thing in 2013 right now & the tyres would fall apart after a few laps.

      David Coulthard in a post Spain article – “I couldn’t go any faster. Not because I was having to manage the tyres, but because I physically could not go any faster within the grip the tyres generated.”
      Hamilton during Spanish Gp – “I can’t drive any slower.”

      The 2013 tyres are too extreme & should be changed in both F1 & GP2 so we don’t see anymore of this extreme levels of tyre management!

      1. Ok, but not during 2013.

        I think FIA stepping in is good.

      2. “I can’t go any slower”… that’s bad to hear.

        1. it’s also patently not true

          1. I’m not sure you’re meant to take it literally.

    9. Maybe a stupid question here but why did the change the tire compound in the first place if the 2012 tires worked the way they wanted them to work? Maybe it’s just an American way of thinking but our racing series here use the same tire compounds/construction for years with them really only being changed when needed via a repaved (or worn out) track.

      1. @fisha695
        Check out this article.
        It has a great explanation on what the differences are between 2012 and 2013 tires and what it is that they tried to achieve and how those changes playing out.

        1. An easy to understand analysis that I urge you all to read, thanks for posting @fisha605.

          The work the teams are doing to increase consistency of airflow on the rear defuser will not necessarily be wasted if the wall stiffness is increased, which is essentially the safety aspect of the change. However whilst the compound cannot be altered, does this mean that teams will now suffer getting temperature into the tyres quickly and cool when following another car in dirty air as per 2012?

          1. Come again? The problem was the fronts were overheating in following a driver last year.

      2. I ask myself the same question over and over again….

      3. F1 cars are continually evolving , tyres need to change with them
        they will have to be different again next year

        1. @lebesset they have to change next year as the cars will be drastically different: they didn’t have to this year for that very same reasoning.

          1. unfortunately that isn’t true …by the end of last season the tyres were adjudged to be too conservative [ remember all the criticism ?] and needed changing ; what seems to have happened is that pirelli didn’t know how much extra downforce the teams would be able to generate at the rear with 2013 cars ,the word is that the best [ RBR ] are back to double diffuser levels

    10. Say whaaaa? The FIA steps in to make a sensible ruling that enforces consistency rather than unnecessary randomness? Hmmm, must have woken up in opposite world, best go back to bed.

    11. Who knows who will be in the car in 2015. I’ve been laughing with Jenson about it. But Jenson will drive here as long as he wants to.”

      Sergio Perez must be feeling very confident and reassured after reading this. And Jenson can underperform for as much as he likes because merely his will to stay with McLaren will suffice in order to get a new contract. McLaren are doomed with this management.

      1. He qualifies badly through no fault of his own and then gets from 14th to 8th on a 3 stopper with THAT car and you call that under performing.

        1. @sars I’m pretty sure that was through fault of his own…

          1. as far as I am aware drivers, in this scenario, don’t set and check tyre pressures……

            1. @sars was that the excuse?

        2. I’m not talking about last race or any particular one. I’m talking about his performances in general: poor qualifier compared to his team-mate Hamilton and competitive in only a very narrow operating window. I believe the Woking boys are in the woods right now with the car development as their leading driver is the same guy who used to cry about ‘problems with car balance/no grip/oversteer/understeer’ while his team-mate was cruising to victory. What irony would be if McLaren actually come up with a winning car and Button would label it as undriveable.

      2. @klaas What makes you think this is the official position of McLaren? It’s just PR banter. I wouldn’t believe half the crap they mention in the news. If a football club mentions in the press they fully trust their manager, you know what time is it.

        1. It’s not like McLaren are saying that they fully trust Jenson to turn the teams performances around this season just like Ferrari were saying for the last 3 seasons about Massa’s driving. It’s more like ‘Jenson can take his seat for granted while there are things to consider for the other guy’.

          1. @klaas Believe me, if Ferrari felt they could get someone who was better than Massa in that seat they would’ve (like how they tried to get Webber, who ultimately decided to sign with Red Bull again). The problem with the Massa situation was that while he was underperforming, there wasn’t anyone else good enough available at the time to take the seat. You shouldn’t believe everything a team tells the press. Jenson knows he can’t take the seat for granted, Pere knows that and McLaren knows that. But you just don’t tell that to the press. To the press you’ll tell everything is great and wonderful.

            Another example, if Red Bull releases a statement saying that Webber and Vettel are getting along just great, would you believe that as readily as this?

    12. Really happy by the FIA’s decision. I think Pirelli are really being given a lot of stick when they have done an excellent job over the last couple of years. I remember that last year as well they had a race with 4 pit stops and while it is too much, most other races have generally hovered around 3 stops. In any case you have to think whether they would appreciate being in a position where 4 stops is only 1 more than normal and 2 more than ideal. The day people start seeing 1 stop races is the day Pirelli will start receiving flak for making non-degradable tires. They are not exactly in a Win-Win situation here and teams being both for and against them is not helping either.

      At the end of the day no team would want to feel that the tires let it down in a race. However, the situation is the same as engines. I will always believe that like the Engines, the brake temperatures, the tires are also the prerogative of the TEAM and DRIVER to manage. Can’t call yourself a complete driver if you can do only 2 out of 3.

      And as far as the question of having pushed the tires too far. I don’t think that is the situation. In any case it is too early to decide and pass judgement over them. All that is happening now is that Lotus and Ferrari are able to manage them better than Red Bull. We are not witnessing a lottery like last year and getting Pirelli to change them would not do anything except make all of this worse and even more unpredictable. If I was Pirelli, I would be close to the point of leaving the sport right now.

    13. I suppose it’s fair that the tyre compounds are not changed mid-season, although selfishly I am disappointed as I was hoping for a tyre change to improves Mercedes’s fortunes.

      What irks me a little bit is that the FIA comes up with a ruling, and that’s that. The rules in the rule book after often subject to interpretation, and only the FIA’s interpretation is valid. It reminds me of the exhaust-blown diffuser mess in the middle of 2011, when the FIA (under pressure from HRT, hilariously) suddenly decided that something which was legal before, was no longer legal.

      Anyway, the situation with the tyres is different now, even though it is unclear what a “change to the tyres” constitutes. And it’s not like tyres have never been changed mid-season before. The tyres were already changed for Bahrain this year (and not for safety reasons), and also in 2011 the hard compound was hardened for the Spanish Grand Prix.

      The problem with this ruling is that Pirelli cannot test their product before releasing it. If the tyres turn out to be unsatisfactory, which was their conclusion after Spain, then we all have to put up with it for a whole season, and hope next year’s products will be better.

      For this reason, this might not be the victory Ferrari now think they have won. For next year, Pirelli will have to err on the side of caution (especially given that the new regulations will call for tougher rear tyres), so the 2014 compounds may be much harder than Ferrari like, given that they have gone better on the soft compounds since Pirelli’s entry into the sport in 2011.

      1. this might not be the victory Ferrari now think they have won

        Ferrari couldn’t have won anything since they didn’t do any fighting. It’s more like Ferrari haven’t lost anything since RedBull/Merc couldn’t get the tire compounds changed. And I think in this tyre war the team who had more to lose was Lotus since they work the best with these tires. Ferrari are somehow intermediate between tire-savers and tire-eaters.

    14. Changes they make for safety reasons could still change the tyres performance and durability.

    15. I think the FIA is wrong in this case for 2 reasons. They had no problem changing the rules mid-2011 in an attempt to stop RBR. And second Pirelli is not given any testing time with actual cars and they perform a guessing game just as much as the teams do. They delivered a pre-liminary version in Brazil 2012 and ran the final compounds in Jerez and Barcelona at temperatures they themselves admitted were useless to get any good data from it. Now you see a tire that’s failing with delamination and degradation that doesn’t meet Pirelli’s own target of 2-3 pit stops.
      So why not let them fix it – ah yeah, the situation is different because this time it would actually disadvantage RBR again.

      1. Well next time they vote, maybe Red Bull shouldn’t oppose in-season testing so much. It’s obviously much needed.

        They had a week or two ago, because Pirelli is begging them to introduce some testing since new powertrains will be completely different, and Red Bull still voted NO.

        It’s just stupid. Instead of keep talking about results not matching and correlations, they should do some in-season testing, since this is completely stupid. How can you not have a singe test during a seasons? (not counting a single young drivers test, since they can’t help much in development)

      2. They changed the rules in 2011 only for one race, and that was wrong! After that race they got back to the original rules with which the season started. Now, if you are against changing rules in mid season, I think you should applaud the decision.
        As for the testing, well, as @obviously said, the teams should agree for mid season tests, or they need to find another way to better test the tires for the coming season.

    16. I hope Sutil’s luck changes.

      I am one of the few Di Resta fans out there, mainly to see another Brit do well, but I agree that Sutil has been effective on par with or better than Di Resta at most races, albeit from further down the grid due to one unfortunate situation or another.

      The one time Di Resta has pulled it together over Sutil, though, is in qualifying, which maybe would help Sutil stray away from the danger zone a bit more.

    17. First time in my life my ears enjoy the music played by FIA ;-)

    18. The British commentary during Michael’s pit stop was priceless. Rubens had made his pit stop a couple of laps before and the fuel rig had failed. Michael makes his pitstop, the fuel rig works initially and James Allen and Ted Kravitz were saying how he gets all the luck and everything goes his way… then the fuel rig sets on fire.

      Great drives from both Schumacher and Raikkonen in that race. Raikkonen held on to 2nd place despite a crippled engine.

    19. Improving the tyres for safety will also improve their performance.
      I don’t see how the two are mutually exclusive.

    20. ‘”Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.”‘

      Exactly what my point, and the point that many other sensible people made in the other topic, was.
      Thanks goodness there is still some credibility left in this sport.

      1. Its a bit of a surprise, and I am curious to learn about all the politics going on in the background of it, but it certainly seems very sensible!

    21. This does look like a bit of a slap-down, doesn’t it?
      “Almost everyone likes the tyres” Pirelli.
      “Okay, so maybe 82 pit stops is just few too many” Pirelli.
      “So we’ll change them for Canada” Pirelli.
      “No. You won’t” FIA.

    22. On the one hand, it is fair that the tyres are not changed – everybody had the same opportunity to get their cars working with the material at hand.

      On the other hand, I feel that the tyres are really detrimental to the racing. Four stops with the two hardest compounds available and still tyre wear was important enough so that most drivers refrained from defending (admittedly on the circuit that is probably the hardest on tyres).

      Whilst the Spanish Grand Prix was the most boring race caused by the tyres, the real eye-opener was in China. In the last laps, Vettel shows how much pace there really is in the cars, and it is just sad that drivers are not able to come even close to using the cars at their full potential.

    23. So the “on this day” shows an era when fuel management was the dominant factor in F1 and teams which managed their fuel strategies better did well and those that didn’t failed.

      Hmmm… tyres, fuel, gearboxes, turbo boost… everything goes in cycles and there is always someone whining about being disadvantaged.

    24. Finally some common sense from the FIA.

    25. Common sense prevails!

      Who would have thought that it would come from the FIA?

    26. If we think F1 qualifying is crazy, just imagine what would happen if they all did 32 km/h going round Monza? This links to today’s WTCC Salzburgring qualifying session

    27. I had to wade in, as I am sick of all of these allegorical comparisons with football, where people are saying you can’t change the goal size, or the size of the pitch, etc. but find them all to be terribly thought out, and lacking any relevance.

      I’m going to give my own football comparison in a moment, but first I’d just like to mention in the hope that readers on this site watch other motorsports, please remember that the current WEC prototype classes are all saying they can pretty much race flat out for a full race. Given that their stints are longer, their cars heavier, and their budgets (except perhaps for Audi) smaller, I find anything less (than flat out racing) very annoying. In fact, given that one race (Le Mans) covers more miles than the entire Formula One season, the ‘management’ of vehicle parts in F1 really cheeses me off.

      Anyway, I promised a football comparison, and here it goes: Imagine that in the premiership, each game is played out in roughly the same manner, with manager’s putting together the best team they can afford, the best team overall usually wins, but the game has developed into a purely long ball game, and the teams with big strikers and great long ball delivery men are winning all of the time and everyone (fans) is missing the tackling. The Premiership introduce a new rule which means a certain boot must be worn that bursts if it kicks a ball too hard which means initially that people keep the ball closer and there is much less long ball deliveries, and much more dribbling and close 1-2’s. The following year they introduce an even softer boot, which they find goes soft just after a few 1-2’s and then can no longer be used to pass effectively at all, so people just change the ball feet to feet, and keep swapping their boots…

      In this scenario, the team with the players who are skillful at dribbling and not damaging their boots will win (statistically), but it means that every team, even the teams that win are constrained in the way they can play football by an artificial constraint, and the game itself is being altered without purpose outside of the original scope of the change. In our example, not only is the long ball game removed, but skillful 1-2s, free kicks, corners, etc. all change as a side effect of our new boot law.

      Now in such a scenario only the teams affected would be complaining, and I am sure the teams doing well would not want to change, but would it be football and if it isn’t, should it be corrected? Likewise, in F1, it isn’t about the teams who are complaining. It’s about whether what we have now is the premier Formula, and if it isn’t, then should it be corrected. I would argue that the WEC prototype class is, in many ways the current crop of the FIA regulated formulae for actual motor racing (as a combination of machine and driver), and on that basis F1 should be corrected.

      I understand that that will almost certainly help some teams and hinder others, but let’s not forget that of all the sports in the world, the FIA change the rules, or ‘clarify’ them mid-season almost once per year, especially when one or more teams is seen to have an advantage. How can the organisation allow that, and then ban tyre changes? It is beyond me…

      1. I Man U starts dominating, the Football Association to find a way to change the rules to sabotage them. Thereby introducing entertainment and unpredictability?….

      2. @damleda +1. My particular footballing analogy involved the ball, specially the Jabulani (a very troublesome beast which few players could get to grips with) but they both do the same job (I’d probably have a hybrid of the two actually: a ball that explodes when a certain force is applied though it and the players responsible then being forced to serve time in the sin bin).

        I don’t really understand why the reaction this year is so much more vocal than last or the year before: it is nothing new Pirelli ammeding the compounds to benefit “the show”, so why has everyone suddenly mustered a protest is bemusing to me. Perhaps it is the fact that Red Bull is now involved.

        1. Anele (@anele-mbethe)
          20th May 2013, 7:25

          That right there is the only reason people are complaining. The rate the race comments were filled with complaints now suddenly nobody wants changes. It’s a constant F1fanatic theme. If any team was going to benefit the most it would have been Mercedes not redbull who’s two wins demonstrate that their problems where mostly track related

          1. @anele-mbethe exactly: people should at least stick to their guns and not just simply follow the tide!

    28. “[Valtteri Bottas] is giving strong feedback to the engineers in order to improve the car.”

      Did anyone else have a mental picture of Bottas shouting “MAKE IT FASTER!” ;-)

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