Pirelli 2013 F1 tyre range

If switching tyres is the big problem (although I have no idea!), surely a simple solution could be that Pirelli print massive lettering (RR = Right Rear, FL = Front Left, etc) on the side walls to monitor the teams so that they don't partake in this activity
They do. The issue is that the rules do not prohibit this practice. Pirelli have asked for the recommendations that they provide be enforcable, but I am not sure that will happen.
Thanks for that clarification The Pits :) Like you say, running the wrong tyres on the wrong part of the car should be prohibited but I can't really see all the teams agreeing. Although with the concerns over safety I'd imagine there may be a slightly different attitude now
Boyle I am not sure they will agree either, and I also believe that they would run the set up they needed, regardless of the safety aspect, after all, there is a precedent in Red Bull at Spa.
Germany will be the final Round in which the tires are asymmetrical. So the tire swapping "trick" will become pointless at Hungary when they revert back to the symmetrical construction of 2012.

It was said that some fairly major setup changes were necessary to properly run the "swapped" tires, so it will be very interesting to see what happens at the Nurburgring. If the practice is indeed "forbidden" by Pirelli now.
Who's silly idea was it to make the tyres non- interchangeable. That must really limit the life and usefulness of the tyre.

Can you imagine what it would be like on a road car?
Titch Asymmetric tyres on road cars is a common practice these days, though more on sports/GT cars. It allows the manufacturer to tune the tyre for more grip and water displacement due to knowing what side of the car the tyre is going to be mounted on.

In theory, what Pirelli has done by making the tyres asymms makes sense. It allows them to produce more grip (and possible durability) from a tyre with the same dimensions. Unfortunately what they didn't take into account was that the teams would potentially try the tyres on the wrong sides just to find out if there was any performance improvement out of them.
Aren't F1 teams supposed to have the best engineers in the world? Surely, they would have understood the dangers involved?

**** seems quite easy in comparison! Or at least it was in the 60s - oops, wrong thread.:)
Aren't F1 teams supposed to have the best engineers in the world?

Some of them did realize almost immediately that the 2013 rear tires would be best suited to run on the opposite side that Pirelli had planned. At least that's how the story goes when they got to trial them in Brazil last year.

They would probably be fine if they ran the correct air pressures anyway.

And Jen, you would know that engineers/designers have pushed the boundaries of motor racing, often disregarding safety entirely, for nearly a century now.
If you produce a 'fragile' commodity with strict instructions on how to use it - which is what we are lead to believe Pirelli did - then only a fool would contravene those instructions.

Engineers and designers are there to produce a winning formula whilst taking note of the components they have no control over.
Trying out different "tricks" with the tires has been part and parcel to F1 whenever the opportunity presents itself. In the 80's you almost never knew what they were doing with the tires. You could have cars running a "C" compound on the right rear, with a "B" compound on the left, with "D's" at the front, or any combination in between. Maybe this played a part in Mansell's Adelaide blowout. Who knows?

And I guess Adrian Newey is a fool. The FASTEST fool that is, because he and Red Bull ushered in the "extreme camber" trend which came to a head at Spa, where they pleaded, under safety grounds of course, that they should be allowed to change tires Pre-Race.

Point being, the best and the fastest will push the limits even if it means they are not 100% sure of the safety ramifications. This rings especially true with personages from your era.
Thanks for the reminder KekeTheKing!

That was then this is now, tyres were just tyres way back. Now they are very specific and arsey little critters than can cause endless gip if not handled correctly.

As safety is such a huge pre-requisite these days, one has to wonder why teams are incapable of accepting they got it wrong to 'push the limits', even when there had already been indications that they were dealing with potential disaster.
It's really quite simple. Some teams felt they were gaining an advantage by running their tires in this manner and they were not willing to chance the possibility that this advantage would be eroded. If something is not strictly forbidden, you can bet your ass someone is going to do it, come what may. And just like in the schoolyard, if someone is doing something fun (fast in racing terms), even if its borderline dangerous, others will undoubtedly join in.

This all comes back to the question. Why did Pirelli switch from symmetrical Kevlar belted tires, to asymmetrical Steel belted tires? I'm not sure there is a satisfactory answer to this question, and there was a rather disturbing reason proffered on Sky Post Race, pure economics, Steel is obviously cheaper.

As with most things in life, there are many more questions than answers here though.
Indeed, which is why it seems that Pirelli aren't the only 'culprits'.

I'm not techie enough to understand the change from kevlar to steel, nor do I understand the importance, but I dare bet you Pirelli didn't do it off their own bat. So, I don't blame Pirelli, the teams, the engineers, Bernie or the FIA - I 'blame' them all - each has had a part to play and each are just as culpable as the other.

Almost back to the 'old days' when driver death was part of the spectacle and attraction; maybe, it should just be racked up as a step too far with a hope that normal service is resumed asap.
Whilst the side-swapping is a bit nuts I'm not at all sure the camber angles were extreme last weekend. Custom and practice in F1 has for decades been to run angles of up to 5 degrees on the front and to some 2 to 3 deg's on the rears at most. Touring cars often run with cambers up to 5 deg's front and rear. It is relatively easy to see 3 degree angles and above with the naked eye.

So, I have been studying dozens of photo's and a stack of footage of the Brit' GP and the camber angles look quite normal for F1. It's only a guess but I'd say Mercedes and Red Bull were running with similar camber set ups of about 5 degrees on the front and 1 or 2 degrees (at most) at the rear. Those are hardly extreme angles. Even the Ferrari's looked to be in that sort of range but I can't be sure as the images I found weren't very useful. Likewise, I couldn't find a decent shot of the Torro Rosso (other than TV footage which was a pain to analyse with my aging VCR) so can't comment on theirs.

Of Pirelli's list of causes i would suggest that at least two of them are actually known factors that their tyres should have been designed to accommodate because they are established custom and practice, not only in F1 but in motor sport in general: crossing kerbs and running with camber angles often up to 5 degrees.

Interestingly, Pirelli haven't said anything (at least publicly) with regard to toe-in or toe-out and I have no idea what the implications of going to an extreme on those settings might be. However, with asymmetric tyres fitted the wrong way round, with reversed directionality, maybe there is an issue there.

Anyway, ignoring my knit-picking above, the bottom line is that the teams, Pirelli and the FIA are all culpable in this and I think in fairness they have all in one way or another accepted joint responsibility. As I said in a post right at the start the blame game gets us nowhere and everyone working together to resolve the tyre issues is the priority. with all that has been said they do seem to be coming together to do that so let's just wish them luck and let them get on with it.
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