Pirelli proposal to add eight more tyre compounds

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TJ13 analysis following the Australian GP revealed that Pirelli were most likely to fail to hit their brief to deliver tyres that would see two to three pit stops on average per race. TJ13 contacted Pirelli and they claimed Australia was a ‘one off’ and that other circuits would be different. Now Pirelli admits the 2015 tyre compounds will fall short of the target number of pit stops.

Following the Australian GP, Christian Horner observed, “One-stop races aren’t good for Formula 1. You need to have two to three stops, and that’s important. Unfortunately, the tyres we have now are just a bit too conservative”.

Pirelli expected the teams to deliver greater advances in lap time this year, around 2 seconds but the actual increase based on the average increase in race fastest laps from 2014 is just over 0.5 seconds.

“The [tyre] changes over the winter, going into this year, means they’ve gone a bit more conservative again,” added Horner. “Whereas the tyres we had last year were about the right balance for strategy and degradation.”

Force India recently proposed that each F1 team be given the freedom to select the two dry tyre compounds they would run at each race weekend in advance. This would replace the current system where Pirelli select two compounds and all the teams can use just those two.

Pirelli are opposed to this idea, though the unanimous agreement at the strategy group on the Force India proposal means it is currently set to be enforced in 2016.

The Italian tyre manufacturer have responded with a new proposal of their own.

“If we were able to choose from a wider range [than the current four dry tyres] then we’d have more certainty to deliver the two-to-three-stop races,” says Paul Hembery

“As far as the public is concerned it would be [for example still] a hard and a medium tyre… at a certain type of race.

“But we would be able to choose from three versions of the hard and three versions of the medium”.

This would mean the range of dry tyres developed by Pirelli for each year would rise from 4 to 12. Three versions each of the super soft, soft, medium and hard tyres. However, the public would apparently be left in the dark as to which of the three sub-range of tyres was being used at each race.

“For the public, I don’t think we need to do anything different as it would just create confusion. It would be too complex”.

Of course this kind of secrecy would mean the TJ13 analysis performed following the Australian GP would be much more difficult and maybe impossible, because nobody would know which of the three soft or three medium tyres Pirelli had chosen.

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22 responses to “Pirelli proposal to add eight more tyre compounds

  1. Everyone in F1 really does have short memories don’t they! If I remember correctly, back at the race in Canada in 2012, didn’t Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez one stop their ways to a podium finish? Alonso and Vettel tried the same thing but failed. My point is that was a great race, full of excitement. There’s too many variables in F1 at the moment and the rules definitely need simplifying. There shouldn’t be this mass panic everytime a boring race happens.
    As a fan of football everyone knows you can get some dire games in a season but the clubs aren’t asking for the rulebook to be ripped up again every season. The knee jerking needs to calm down before people start injuring themselves. The reason is I think the show has become more important than the sport. Sort out the sporting side and the rest should follow surely.

    It also goes to show in F1, we don’t realise when things are good. Last season had some great races but everyone was too busy slagging everything off to realise!

    • Your analogy with football has one little problem namely there are a lot more football matches on any given Sunday than there are races, let alone F1 races. Football fans know that if this game is boring the next is likely to be better. If in F1 you have 8 boring races than that’s around 40% of the games are boring while in football 8 boring matches is only 2 percent of the total number of games. Off course there are some football who are only interested in their club’s games and then the numbers are comparable but having said that I haven’t met a football fan who isn’t at least interested in how the direct competitors to their club are doing just to see how it effect their club’s performance. So for an F1 fan a boring race has a far greater effect on how he/she perceives the action within in a season than a football fan.

      I agree that teams or fans should not be asking to rip up the rule book after a boring race or two but to use football as an analogy just to make it clear is not helpful because it’s comparing apples with oranges.

      • I agree, at the most basic level the analogy sticks, but in practice there is only a slim comparison.
        One thing football has got right is the teams not being involved in the decision making. You also don’t get the commercial rights holders meddling with how the sport’s run. The rule enforcers make the rules. The way it should be. How a sport has got itself into a position where the teams participating in that sport help to write the rules truly baffles me.

    • More variables means less control for the bigger teams. Especially when those variables lock the teas into different strategies before the race begins eg FI tyre suggestion.

      • The trouble with too many variables is the cars are micro managed by the team to the nth degree in many areas.
        They should really be focusing on the racing the cars at their maximum, rather than having to turn everything down in certain parts of the race just to get to the finish.

    • Then why are they all complaining about Chelsea. It’s anti football. Defense is boring. They are not a worthy champion. Yet they delivered…

      • You’ll find that’s mostly Arsenal fans who enjoy nothing better than a good moan on social media!

  2. Why?

    Why 8 more compounds. It seems the most used tyre over a season is the Medium. Why not just bring softer compounds to tracks this season? They only specify in 3 or 4 track blocks so at least half the season is still to be decided.

    Teams will complain but just tell them where to go. They all have the same tyres so deal with it. If they want more stops the answer seems strangely simple, maybe they think it’s to simple and so need to come up with something overly complicated.

  3. Except for the not telling the public which Hard, Medium, Soft or Super-Soft they are using I like Pirelli’s idea a lot more than the teams (Force India’s) proposal. I would understand if Pirelli would only announce which tire they brought at the start of an event, or after an event, but not telling at all would be stupid because there exist a large chunk of the F1 fan base that is very interested in this information. The main benefit from the Pirelli idea is that teams have to spend Free Practice session learning the tires and that involves running as much as possible. So this would also mean that it is likely that there are more cars on track during the FP sessions.

  4. Ugh! 8 more tires to the collection now? That just adds more confusion and complexity to a sport that’s already drenched in minutiae and strategy. I know Pirelli is only following the FIA’s directive. Can’t the sport simplify one thing? 4 types of tires: feather soft, concrete hard, rain and intermediate.

  5. This is bullshit.

    F1 will be stuck in a loop of underperforming-tyre-saving-mediocrity for as long as Pirelli feels and/or is entitled to providing excitement, as instead of acting as a sole supplier bent on achieving parity and excellence while using F1 as a platform to market its technical expertise.

    The more Pirelli tries to steal the show, the worse it is, case in point, 2013.

    Sometimes I wonder they couldn’t actually build a proper F1 tyre to compete against Bridgestone or Michelin if they actually had to. Count me out if there becomes a sudden return of 3 and 4 stop races.

    • Pirelli were specifically asked to do this on behalf of the sport (by teams, FOM et al), they are not trying to steal the show, they were asked to help create it.

      Whether that was the right thing to do, of course, is another question.

  6. I can only imagine that as they are proposing 3 versions of the same tyre, that they basically want to match each tyre to 3 temperature windows (hot, warm, cold)? Every so often you hear of 2 tyre compounds suiting hotter temperatures or colder temperatures.

    Going back to 1997, I remember a free choice of 4 tyre compounds (as shown in F1 97). Removing this would really open up strategies – Perez could do a 1 stop while Alonso did a 3 stop etc. Maybe Villeneuve used the ‘Super Soft’ to get his 1.7 second pole at Melbourne?

    • That would make sense as they could choose which iteration just prior to shipping or could bring two choices if the weather look changeable.

  7. “Following the Australian GP, Christian Horner observed, “One-stop races aren’t good for Formula 1. You need to have two to three stops, and that’s important. Unfortunately, the tyres we have now are just a bit too conservative”.”

    So now that RB languishes firmly in the midfield Spice Idiot Horner is now whining that tires should be more aggressive “for the good of the sport”. Couple years back, when RB was wiping the floor with the opposition, aggressive tires were the bane of the sport according to the Spice Whiners, and that tires should be more conservative “for the good of the sport”.

    There is just no pleasing the Styrian Spice Boys, is it?

  8. Who was it who moaned about the tyres degrading too much and stuck the knife into Pirelli creating the current situation?

    Christian somebody?

  9. Exploding tires are not safe. It should be expected that teams will do everything they can do make their cars fast, including running more-than-recommended neg. camber and pressures and laps. Blaming the teams for the tires exploding is ridiculous.

    And EIGHT compounds? WTF mate? Are we going to watch the rainbow parade each weekend? Are they going to color the rubber too so we have pink/blue/yellow tires and smoke?

  10. If they aim for a three pitstop race, why don’t they make the pitstops mandatory. Who cares about which tyers they choose from. All this talk about degrading would be history and they can build tyers that last a race and still have pitstops.

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