Pirelli 2013 F1 tyre range

I think the Pirellis have had much more impact on the race for points positions than for the win. They have made the midfield battles much more than the processions we had seen on Birdgestone rubber so for me, Pirelli are still in credit but I am a bit worried ahead of this year.

I really liked the effect of degrading tyres in 2011. Last year it made less sense - sometimes the hard was quicker than the medium at times and the yellow soft was as pants as the same tyre had been in 2011 when it was the medium.

I have to say I am a bit worried about the issues in testing this year. Degradation I think is desirable because it poses strategy questions. Graining on the other hand, when it kicks in after just two or three laps, is not what I want to see.

What I am hoping for is a tyre that is fast out of the pits and for about ten laps and then slower the more laps that are put on it. It has to be linear degradation and not the hockey stick we saw for Alonso in Canada last year. We also had a number of bowl-like curves last year where the tyre was slow until it had a few laps on it and that just puts people off pitting.

This year with graining, we could be seeing immediate 0.5s / lap drop off from lap 1 and I don't think that will make for good racing. Even with that stabalising on longer runs, we were still looking at 4s / lap after ten to fifteen laps.

If there are issues in Australia this weekend we will know we are in trouble. There have been no problems there either in '11 or '12 and it also has a very long pitlane, costing 28s over staying out on track I think. This means any more than 2 stops is adding a lot of time to your race.

Also, we have the supersoft there for the first time. It was soft and medium in 2012 and soft and hard in 2011. Here are the posts about those Grand Prix

Toto Wolff doesn't fill me with confidence when he says things like: "For us, the option tyre at the beginning of the race came back and it looked like we could easily do a two-stop strategy." ... "But then we went on the prime tyre and exactly the opposite happened, which is quite interesting." and "It will not be about understanding everything but understanding it the most."

At least Toto is giving us the truth in that nobody really has any idea what to expect when it comes to managing the Pirelli's in the multitude of track surfaces and temperatures you're bound to encounter at a Grand Prix meeting.
There seems to be a growing consensus that Pirelli are going to be forced to revert to the 2012 tyres.

Will be interesting to see how it plays out but currently it would appear Red Bull are most unhappy.
Wouldn't it be nice if the teams who had the best ability to adapt to the situation handed to them would be rewarded, rather than the teams who bitch and whine for ages because they can't do something as well as other teams can?

The tyres are exactly the same for all of the teams, if Red Bull can't get them to work as well as Lotus and Ferrari can, then they should find themselves behind Lotus and Ferrari.
Brogan - I'd rather see racing than nursing, I'll grant you. I'm not sure, however, that there ever was a time where F1 has seen close and exciting racing without some component or other being marginal.

What I don't understand though is the 2013 tyres are apparently 25% harder across the range and have a wider operating window.
Yet the teams (or at least some of them) seem to be saying that they are worse than the 2012 tyres.

FWIW, last weekend's race had the most overtakes ever at Melbourne, by some margin - almost 50% more.
... whilst they are conducive to making one a sitting duck to be overtaken by the bloke on the fresh stuff. It begs the question "when is an overtake the result of on track skill or off track smart arsed strategy?"
Car configuration is locked in when wheels first touch tarmac in Q1. But the disinte-Pirellis' operating window is so narrow, weather changes between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon can (and often do) turn an ideal setup into complete rubbish, to no fault of the car, its driver or its designer.

Yes, tyres always have affected the quality of the racing, but never before since F1 began running bespoke racing tyres have they been so shite as to outright deny drivers the ability to exploit the full measure of either their chassis or their driving prowess. It's like staging a footrace among the world's fastest sprinters, then forcing them all to wear hobbles.

That a driver finds himself atop the podium today is precious little evidence it was his skill or the sheer pace of his car put him there. The expertise exercised from the pit wall is every bit as integral to a race result as the driver's (if not moreso, and decidedly moreso than in any other era in GP/F1 history) because it's the race engineer who monitors tyre temperatures from on-board IR sensor telemetry, correlates it to the weather and the dynamics of the race as a whole, then attempts to coach his driver to a pace that will keep him tiptoeing along the very precipice of the tyre cliff.

This isn't the Formula 1 racing we all grew to know and love, this is Pirelli Pachinko. That the FIA specced these tyres does not excuse Pirelli biting off more than they could chew agreeing to build them. They should have been less obliging and more responsible and warned the FIA off (in its heyday, Goodyear often did that very thing). That would have spared us a great deal of unpleasantness, not the least of which is Paul Hembery's droning on and on about how they're saving us from "boring" racing. At least in the era of the "boring" races, we could be sure that the driver's most important piece of kit WAS NOT the rabbit's foot in his pocket.

In the broader sense, I care who wins less than I care how he wins. What the disinte-Pirellis bring to the sport is anathema to the spirit of competition in general and the character of F1 in particular. The sooner F1 is shut of Pirelli (and Hembery) and the sooner Bridgestone (...and Michelin) (...and Goodyear) (...and all three) comes back to F1, the better.
Yes, yes, bring back competition on the tyre supply front. I meant to mention that in my own rant on the subject but got sidetracked and forgot! A tyre "war" would at least put the unpredictability back into the context of the package that the teams ultimately bring to the track. It seems somewhat bizarre that Pirelli are called upon to provide tyres that induce some unpredicatbility and vague durability when variety would be more interesting if provided by several suppliers rather than a monopoly.
Fenderman I remember that Bridgestone worked so closely with Ferrari during the last tyre war, that they more or less didn't pay attention to the other teams they supplied. I don't think a tyre way is such an excellent thing...
Fair point. Perhaps I should clarify my position. I'm not in favour of the tyre war between just two suppliers. I'd like to see open house with as many suppliers as want to get aboard. There have been some great marques in the past, Good Year, Avon, Dunlop, Continental, Bridgestone, etc. Many have gone but there are a lot of companies out there. Perhaps none of them are particularly interested in such a limited market - but that could be made more attractive by specifying wheel and tyre sizes the same as another series like Le Mans.
A tyre war would either be utter dominance by one tyre manufacture, or a lottery like we have now with Pirelli.

Then there's the 'works' teams, like we saw with Bridgestone and Ferrari, also Michelin and Renault, while the others are just picking up scraps.

Although a multi-tyre war would be intriguing as old man Fenders suggest, as I have never witnessed it in my era.
I have said it before but I will say it again.

Don't blame Pirelli for supplying exactly what they have been asked to.
That's not quite how it happened. And even if it were, it doesn't excuse Pirelli failing to do their due diligence.

The FIA asked Pirelli to produce shorter-lived tyres to introduce more pit stops, not to build tyres with an unpredictable and exceedingly narrow performance window. Or that shed clag by the tonne. Pirelli threw in the latter three gratis, apparently the result of inadequate and/or inept development and testing.

Leo Mehl set the gold standard for race support in his 33 years at the helm of Goodyear's racing division, during an era in which Goodyear was the dominant supplier to practically every racing venue on earth. Back then, he was regarded as the most powerful man in the world of motor racing because no venue that ran Goodyears (which was virtually all of them) could change anything that would alter how the car (or motorcycle) interfaced with the tarmac, regardless how infinitesimally small, unless Goodyear [Leo] agreed they could support it.

"Support" is the operative word. The venue (Indycar, NHRA, WRC, WKA, etc) would approach Leo with the proposed change, then Leo would consult his tyre engineers. Only if the tyre boffins could confirm they had the technology and the available resources to build a product to comply with the requested changes without materially altering the quality of the racing would they deem the change "supportable."

Considering narrowing the track? Ask Leo first. Want to change fuel suppliers? Ask Leo first. Thinking about increasing engine displacement? Ask Leo first.

And one thing about Leo. He had no compunction about saying, "No."

That was the responsible and professional way for a race tyre supplier to operate. This is the foreseeable consequence of someone who should have known better disregarding Goodyear's time-honored example, and woe be unto them for it. The FIA are not tyre engineers and they should have been able to count on the professionals to save them from their own naïveté.

Pirelli now are trying to put off their failure to the lack of a suitable testing chassis. Which begs the question, what were they thinking agreeing to this change when they did not have the proper testing equipment, nor were they certain they could acquire it? Maybe they were counting on a special delivery from Father Christmas?

Failing to plan is planning to fail.
I don't think the answer is to restart the tyre war. Tyre techonology is now so advanced that it renders the tyre war pointless. In the 80's it was possible for one maker to be awesome in qually and nowhere in the race or vice versa, and for these things to change from race to race. You would often see a suprise result (Think Leyton House in France) just because everything worked on the day.

This is something that Pirelli managed to bring back into the sport last year. Teams managed to get it right on some days but not on others.

By introducing a competitor and starting the whole tyre war again, the first thing any team is going to ask for is a consistent tyre that will last the distance without dropping in performance. It will be back to rock hard Bridgestones of 10 years ago.

Having said that, I do feel that Pirelli have been asked to go a step too far this year and we shouldn't be seeing races where teams are talking about making 4 stops. When tyre changes first became popular in F1 as a tactic in the early 80s it was usualy a one stopper. If I was going to make any changes at all, I would drop the two compound rule now that the tyre performance is a lot more variable and let teams select two compounds from the 4 available and use them however they wish over the race weekend.
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