Schumacher criticises Pirelli tyres



I was frustrated this morning to wake up and see that the main BBC F1 story was 7 time world champion criticising the Pirelli tyres. I do not agree or disagree with the comments Schumacher made, but with the fact that he made them. F1 needs to be very cautious if it wishes to keep the "new F1" which has created such great racing these last 2 years. The high deg tyres have provided more publicity for Pirelli than any of the previous tyre companies and as they say, "no publicity is bad publicity", but I don't think that is true when people who are faces for the sport openly criticise them. It would only take 2 or 3 big names to criticise Pirelli and it could force Pirelli to change the tyres for the whole sport.

I do agree with Schumacher on some points though. I do think it is a shame that tyre management has become one of the most important skills, if not the most important, to have in F1. But, I do not feel this started with Pirelli. The long stints we were seeing with Bridgestone often equally needed good tyre management, with some teams doing 99% of the race on one tyre, before pitting for a mandatory change. I personally think if we are to ask for better tyres then we'd have to bring back refueling. The DRS would still provide overtaking opportunities better than pre-2010 and we would see a return of some other skills, which I myself value far higher. Seeing a driver getting every second out of their tyres every lap, before refuelling, is breath-taking at times. It is generically how motor sport is most often run, and the pinnacle of motor sport should reflect other motor sports in format. But, as we stand at the moment, could F1 go back to the old format? Although it is for artificial reasons, F1 has never been so dramatic on the face of it. Do viewers really care what the underlying cause is?
So this would be the same Michael Schumacher who used to spend hours and hours pounding round the Ferrari test track as the prefered Bridgestone team, tailoring their construction and design to the exact set up of his car and the way he wanted to drive?

Which meant all the other Bridgestone teams were then expected to make do and mend even if the design and construction of the tyre didn't suit their car or drivers style. And he is now complaining at about the design of tyres?
I agree with Sportsman and Michael Schumacher - I must just be being agreeable today.

I do think that the tyres this season are playing too big a part, I know it's a fine line, but the tracks look like a bombs gone off after a few laps with all the tyre debris, and some lumps are massive which means there's one safe line.

The top drivers tended to have these magic mid sections just pounding in an incredible run of quick laps - that's no longer relevant as the tyres can only do so much and it seems the luck of the draw how they're going to match the chassis from race to race.

Personally I think the teammates from most teams are too close, grids, on the whole are getting predictable, not for what the team orders are, but you will be next to your teammate.

This is definitely an exciting season, but are the drivers and cars making it like that, or are we just watching tyre bingo?
Did they though? And if a 4 stopper had been faster why didn't someone try it?

The main reason would no doubt have been the 20 seconds lost making a stop (that's the net cost, not the raw pitlane time). tooncheese and I are testing some strategy / pitstop analysis to go with the tyre deg work and it looks like 2 stops was somewhere between 5 and 10 secs slower than three stops. Four stops would have been maybe 10 to 15 secs slower than three stops.

There are a few things they could do to keep the advatanges of tyre deg and minimise the effect on qualifying - the first would be to give more sets of tyres so that drivers like Schumacher didn't feel the need to take the risk. Another might be to speed up the pitlane so that it costs less to make a stop. This speed limit could be tweaked race by race where necessary (and where safety allows).

Bahrain was, as KekeTheKing points out an extreme deg circuit - quite like Malaysia and Barcelona 2011.
I agree with Schumacher, I've been saying what he said since last season

I think Pete Gill from PlanetF1 one has got it spot on here:

And Less Is More With The Pirellis
Leading on from Schumacher's misgivings about the criticalness of the Pirellis is the impression that for Paul di Resta and Kimi Raikkonen, two of the leading stars of Sunday's race, less on Friday and Saturday meant much for them on Sunday. For Raikkonen, the advantage to be had from missing out on Q3 meant was an extra set of brand-new tyres with which to scythe through the field, while Di Resta fell into a long-running strategy for the race having been denied practice on Friday afternoon.

Schumacher's point about drivers driving to delta times might be out of time, but it's this less-is-more protection of tyres that must be a core cause for concern. No matter what era it is in, F1 always ought to be about pace, not preservation.
It is certainly true that the new tyres allowed di Resta to do a two stop. Without new tyres, the same strategy was 20 seconds slower. For Kimi, the difference was 27 seconds (doing the same strategy with used tyres rather than new).

Without this advantage, neither of these guys would have figured in the race. Instead, Vettel would have won by half a minute maybe but that would have been B O R I N G :sleeping:, just like many of Schumacher's victories.

I don't want to go back to the situation where we have the cars all lined up with the fastest at the front and the slowest at the back with everyone bombing around waiting for the pitstops to try and get past someone. You just need to look at the new overtaking database to see how important the tyre age is.
I don't know about anyone else, but I thought the one-dimensional refuelling era was the exception in F1 history, rather than the rule. Drivers of the 1980s and earlier weren't conserving tyres, admittedly, but they were having to conserve virtually everything else, and usually tried to moderate their pace even if they had a performance advantage for reliability reasons. I'd like to hear what Michael's predecessor world champions make of his comments here.
I 100% agree with schumi the tyres have far too much influence on the outcome of the race I want to see racing not tyre management skills.

It's false, tedious and not what F1 is about...

Actually it isn't even tyre management skill we are seeing all it is is whether or not a team gets lucky on set up and track temperature with these tyres..
I made my comments on another thread but I'll make them again in more detail. Pole position is now 11th place. If you can come 11th fastest in Q2 and you have a decent car for the race then you have a net pole. That is a sensationalist version of my understanding of things as they are in F1 at the moment.
I was angered by this when Alguersuari got this advantage last year getting him several points compared to his team-mate who was faster on one lap got penalised just for being faster in qualifying.

Happened at Renault aswell a few times.

If there was Pirelli tyres in 2010, Liuzzi would still probably have that race seat in the Force India.
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