A petulant Vettel criticises Pirelli whilst breaking the rules



Here we are again. Shades of Silverstone 2013 and the uproar over Pirelli tyres rages again. Folowing his penultimate lap tyre failure, Sebastian Vettel has implied that the F1 tyres are ‘unsafe’; ‘badly designed’ and Pirelli are supposedly incompetent.

Vettel’s frustration following the Belgium GP is understandable, though to some it appears he is developing a sense of entitlement due to his early successes in the sport. The once dominant German in his Newey designed cars is now driving a Ferrari, which is inferior by some measure to the Mercedes cars at the head of the field.

Sebastian qualified a lowly ninth for the race – yet due to a unique attempt at running the tyres longer than any other driver – combined with a one stop strategy, the quadruple F1 champion found himself in third position during the closing stages of the 2015 race in Spa.

With less than ten miles to go – Vettel’s right rear tyre gave up the ghost early in the 42nd lap which meant he would fail to score points, finishing outside the top ten.

Lee Mckenzie of the BBC asked Vettel whether Ferrari were being too greedy in trying to run the tyre as long as they did, but Sebastian was adamant this was not the case: “How many laps I was missing? Not many,” he reflected.

“Things like that are not allowed to happen, full stop. If it happens 200 metres earlier I’m not standing here now I’m doing 300 stuck in Eau Rouge.”

“I don’t know what else needs to happen,” Vettel added.

McKenzie pressed the matter suggesting Ferrari had run the tyre longer than anyone else, however Vettel interrupted her stating: “What’s upsetting is one thing the result: this is racing, for sure we deserved to finish on the podium. But the other thing as I said is if this happens earlier…. I don’t… I think it’s the sort of theme that keeps going around, nobody’s mentioning, but it’s unacceptable.”

Vettel and other drivers had raised concerns with Charlie Whiting over the tyres on Friday and McKenzie asked Vettel whether Whiting had taken their opinions seriously; he replied: “I think it was, but what’s the answer?

Same as every time – ‘there was a cut from debris, there may be something wrong with the bodywork, the driver went wide’ – bullshit.”

Sebastian added, “If Nico tells us that he didn’t go off the track, he didn’t go off the track. Why should he lie to us?”

“Same with me I didn’t go off the track it’s just out of the blue, the tyre explodes. And as I said, if this happens – I’m fucked”

However, Vettel’s assertion regarding track limits is disingenuous beyond belief and he should watch back the video of the race. Of the 43 laps, he ran illegally wide more than 50% of the time at Radillon, putting the tyres under pressure and at risk of debris damage – for which the rubber is not designed.

Interestingly, there was a sausage kerb installed at Radillon prior to the race weekend, but the drivers complained about this on Friday saying it could launch a car into the air – so it was subsequently removed. This led to track limits being breached time and again during the race by a significant number of the drivers. However, the race stewards appeared to have been otherwise engaged.

The failure to punish the track limit breaches was at complete odds with rulings made in Austria and Silverstone this year. The lackadaisical approach of race control was evident in that it was almost ten laps before the stewards realised Valtteri Bottas’ car had illegally been  fitted with a mixed compound of tyres at his first pit stop.

It is clearly time to appoint a body of professional F1 race stewards who deliver consistent judgements. The gin slinging grace and favour FIA delegates who support Jean Todt and are currently appointed to adjudicate in F1 events – must be consigned to history.

And for the record. The longest race stint this year on the medium tyre at circuits where the loading is high was done by a much slower Manor car at Silverstone – 212 km. Vettel was attempting 210 km.

Rosberg ran the longest in Barcelona on the medium compound but managed just 138 km and Massa delivered 172 km in Bahrain on the same tyre.

A loss of perspective is often the case in Formula 1 in the heat of the moment. Given the plethora of engine and chassis component failures each F1 race weekend when compared to the number of tyre failures –  Pirelli appear to be doing a stella job.

But shit happens.

Maybe the tyre was in fact faulty – so what?

Tens of thousands of F1 tyres are made each year by Pirelli; the odd faulty tyre is not an unreasonable expectation – but this tyre was being pushed beyond the known boundaries of its previous usage which tells a tale in itself. And when something is on the limit, unpredictable results often occur.

The fact that Paul Hembery had expressed an opinion that the medium tyre may be capable of 40 laps in Spa is irrelevant.

Shit happens.

An ICE is designed to last and should be capable of 5 races – but frequently isn’t.

This is not Indianapolis 2005. It is a Vettel crisis alone.

Had this tyre failure happened on a Manor car – it would be a by-line in the race report. But this tyre failure meant the great Sebastian Vettel lost third place – so it is a big issue – for some.

As was the case in 2013 when teams were running tyre pressures lower than recommended by Pirelli along with aggressive camber outside of the advised envelope, today the former world champion was guilty of using the tyres in a manner for which they were not designed. Lap after lap driving beyond the white line, is not part of the circuit – and for that, Pirelli can not be held culpable.

Pirelli have struggled with teams pushing the limits on tyre usage and blaming the Italian tyre manufacturer when failures occur, so Pirelli issued the following statement late on Sunday evening.

“In November 2013, Pirelli requested that there should be rules to govern the maximum number of laps that can be driven on the same set of tyres, among other parameters to do with correct tyre usage. This request was not accepted. The proposal put forward a maximum distance equivalent to 50% of the grand prix distance for the prime tyre and 30% for the option. These conditions, if applied today at Spa, would have limited the maximum number of laps on the medium compound to 22”.

If the teams want ‘guaranteed’ safety limits on tyre use – Pirelli will surely be delighted to advise them accordingly – and the limit will be conservative, just as it was above.

But pushing the boundaries is what F1 is all about.

In conclusion, one F1 site reported that this tyre issue is putting drivers lives on the line.

To coin a phrase – “Bullshit”.

The only death in F1 since Senna has been the result of incompetence by the FIA. And the reality is that next time up in Monza, Ferrari will think twice about running the medium tyre for over 200 km.

58 responses to “A petulant Vettel criticises Pirelli whilst breaking the rules

  1. Why then did Pirelli tell Ferrari and Force India, and other teams apparently, that the limit was 40 laps? Andy Green’s quote as captured by Hippo is worth reading again. And, yes, FIA stewards need to complete a checkup from the neck up – track limits were a joke today. Bottom line, if FIA is going to allow such nonsense . . . Additionally, if driving outside track limits was the risk to tires that you suggest, it would be interesting to know if Pirelli notified those concerns to the race director during the race.

      • Yes… we aren’t in 2013. And Hembery’s last excuse from yesterday was refuted today, why would we believe him his newest excuse now?

    • Track limits are always a joke. The need to start installing negative curbing to keep the cars between the lines. Drivers need to suffer for exceeding track limits.

      • I’d agree. But they had big curbing in place and it was later removed because drivers were concerned it might cause dangerous “flight”.

        Here’s a tip: stay inside the track limits, then there’s no danger.

        How come they never ask for the barriers to be moved back at Monaco in case they cause dangerous “crashing”…?

  2. Hear hear. You leave the track limits at raidillon repeatedly you can expect the car to fail. If it had been the suspension failure would Vettel have made such remarks about Ferrari?
    I find it rather ironic that the sausage kerb was removed for safety reasons and then every single driver went outside of the track limits. It was only going to be a matter of time before something happened.
    The culpability here lies with the stewards. Track limits should have been enforced. With the number of run offs in modern GP racing they should be enforced more rigidly consistently. If this happens (and we see the same issues with the tyres giving up) then perhaps we can point the finger elsewhere?

    • Track limits are an inconsistent joke. What is wrong with having kerbs – the best safety response to the drivers is – if you are worreid about the safety aspect of hitting a kerb, then stay off them and only use the tarmac part that is the race track”

  3. if so many cars were doing the same thing in radillon as suggested how is it that it was only vettel’s tyre which blew up? hembery has his back against the wall and is becoming desperate’ if as he says pirelli issued a warning in 2013 then why didn’t the FIA enforce it? why didn’t pirelli issue a disclaimer to all teams when their directions were not adhered to? most importantly, why did hembery state in public that the ‘wear life’ of the tyre was 40laps?

    • Maybe it was a combination of excessive laps and running over the kerbs? I didn’t see anyone elses tyre give up after running over the track limits, which suggests that running the tyres for so long was a factor..

  4. The German ‘Auto, Motor und Sport’ ( http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/formel-1/stehende-wellen-in-eau-rouge-zweifel-an-pirellis-verschleiss-theorie-9910409.html ) has offered an interesting counterargument I wouldn’t discount out of hand yet.

    That Vettel drove his tyres to the edge of their life-cycle and beyond will be difficult to refute, since the facts are on his side. The lap before he was still competitive enough to keep Grosjean behind him at the end of the long straight and his times didn’t drop off too badly (less than a second, if I remember seeing that correctly).

    Vettel might have damaged his tyres through excessive use of off-track action, but I don’t think Hembrey’s argument, that the one-stop was ill-advised, can be believed. It’s just as difficult to believe his assertion, that Rosberg’s blowup in training was the result of a foreign object when there was no evidence to support or refute that.

      • It’s difficult for me to believe for one simple reason: although there was no evidence for or against it, Pirelli left no doubt about the cause. If you had seen Hembry in today’s post-race interview with Sky UK, you would’ve heard someone say with complete and sincere conviction, that Rosberg’s blowup was caused by a foreign object. Just a sentence or two ago, he said that Vettel’s tyres had reached the end of their life.

        I think Pirelli have been taking the easy way out. A bit of self doubt would’ve been warranted. Maybe they feel that way behind closed doors, but I can only comment what they say publicly.

        • Pirelli did not have the time to analyse the tyre properly – so Hembery’s post race comments were at best, a guess, to satisfy media demands. Maybe he should have made that clear.

  5. All four tyres off the track, especially at the exit of Eau Rouge was done consistently by ALL drivers. In fact it was looked into by the stewards and they ruled that no penalties would be given until a driver gained significantly from it. That’s why Kvyat was given a warning and everybody else didn’t. Saying that Vettel broke the rules is a bold-faced lie.

    • Maybe they can impose a five second penalty every time they leave the track boundaries? Put sensors on the cars and the track if the stewards are afraid to make the call.

    • It all depends on how one defines advantage (“gained significantly”), I think. Quite frankly, every time a driver chooses to short cut the corner it is an advantage, whether the driver is specifically passing or holding off another car. What the are doing is maintaining their momentum. If every driver knew that they would be held to absolute account there would be no need to short the corner. The only way to make them stop is to make them pay. Two motivating forces in life: the reward of joy and the fear of pain. The FIA needs to come down like a ton of bricks on this issue. The short cutting will not stop until they do. Until that time, Hippo is right.

    • Not being punished for breaking a rule doesn’t mean you didn’t break a rule in the first place, especially when dealing with a disciplinary body that’s as all over the place as it is in F1.

    • All drivers broke the rule, ergo Vettel broke the rule. And to compound breaking the rule Vettel and his crew decided to use the same tires for, hopefully 29 laps. Now, until proven otherwise, at the moment no one can refute the combination of the length of the stint combined with consistently exceeding rack limits as being the cause for the tire to shred.

      Those are the facts as we have them. The rest is, as Seb said, “Bullshit.”

      I’ll add this. too: I find it quite disingenuous for Vettel to believe Nico Rosberg, who, with his tire shredding 1) claimed he never left the track (technically, yes, but actually, not true and was not the reason Pirelli gave for his tire failure) and 2) Rosberg was the same driver who claimed his Monaco qualifying stunt wasn’t done purposely but when Ted Kravitz went to check with team members from other paddocks to ask their opinion (where there was a unanimous consensus throughout the paddock area that Rosberg cheated) of the stunt, the FIRST paddock he visited was that of —– Red Bull.

  6. I would like to add to this…yes the tyres have been pushed to their limit but we don’t expect a sudden disintegration of the whole unit when it reaches the end of its life,that in any language is just plain dangerous. Pirelli have been given a brief to design a compound that lasts a given distance and they have done this but if the construction of the carcass is weak then the drivers are in trouble. When racing you have four contact patches on the track that have a footprint of less than a a4 piece of paper and its a miracle that its performs like it does,we can have all the horsepower in the world and the highest downforce available but it’s nothing if the rubber can’t handle it. Drivers need to trust that these tyres won’t fail and that is going to be a problem after this weekend. There was a photo in autosport of the tyres flexing and rippling during the high speed corners at Spa and I believe that this has a bearing..I will be watching to see if anything is mentioned over the possible damage from Sebs track excursions

  7. So,

    Pirelli advised of a 40lap window of tire deg for medium tires to ferrari. Confirmed by Hembery. Tire blew at around 28 laps (3 within vsc), 12 laps less than the advised tire duration. 12!

    No significant loss of performance from vettel’s car to asume the tire was significantly worn past its performance window as per shown in vettel’s lap charts.

    Confirmation from A. Permane of Lotus f1 that a one stop, even though not first choice in lotus, was considered and based on info from pirelli also completely feasable.

    By Andy Green’s statement we could say that vettel still had more that 30% his tread life in the tires as Mr. Green says less than that and lap times would increase by 2-3secs.

    Strategy planning by ferrari making a 1 stop plan A along with the assigned pirelli engineer at ferrari not advising against it, and by allowing it confirming the 40 lap window.

    And taking all the previous items into account we’re going to point the finger to ferrari because of a “risky” strategy, vettel cutting some corners just like the rest of the drivers and a suggestion by pirelli fron 2013 that was never put to place and that contradicts the more recent advisement of 40 laps by suggesting a prime tire use of no more than 50% of the whole race (if it was of such importance why wasnt it applied under safety reasons?)??

    • I concur. The argument that hitting the kerbs did it means everyone on the grid is in danger of this happening. I find it incredibly tough to believe that only Vettel was.running wide (we know others did). The tyre life argument is BS given what happened with Nico on the same corner of the car and where his issue first appears.

      Pirelli simply need to make safer tyres. Ones which don’t explode so damn easily. Bridgestone and Michelin can both do it. Why can’t Pirelli?

      Anyone who’s seen the video on YT of a radical going off at eau rouge due to a blowout will see exactly why Vettel was pretty damn annoyed. The very fact Mercedes said they considered a third stop to be on the safe side suggests that contrary to the bullshit from Lauda and Wolff they were both concerned with this issue, but they see a chance to stick the boot into Ferrari. Maybe if it happens to Lewis at Monza they’ll be a little more mature about safety.

  8. I’m inclined to agree with the points expressed in this piece. I’ve nothing meaningful to add technically, and I’m out of jokes.

    The only thing I might say is that Paul Hembrey made a strategic PR error by responding immediately to Vettel without thought as to the implications of what he says.

    In the immediate aftermath, I’d have said, “Well, we all laud and love the emotion Ferrari being to our sport. They’re the backbone of F1 and 900 races is impressive. However, sometimes that emotion is misplaced and expressed without the facts fully understood. In this case, we haven’t had any time to analyse all parameters; like Vettel’s off track driving, or the tyre itself… One thing we do know is that Vettel drove an awfully long stint, but we’ll see if that was a factor, or not. We will release a statement immediately after that analysis is completed and we hope to work closely with Ferrari”.

    What that says to Ferrari is, “Ferrari, we’ll burn you if you don’t STFU, wait and be reasonable. Work with us, or we punch back too.”

    Also it says to the media / fans, “Hey, we’ve nothing to defend. You know how Ferrari is. We’ll control the narrative thank you. Ferrari couldn’t possibly know what the fuck is going on.”

    Just my opinion.

    Never profer a defence in haste.

  9. That’s not true judge.An ICE is designed to last and should be capable of 5 races – but frequently isn’t. But no one ever says their ice is going to last 5 races. Because they know it might fail. Yet Pirelli says their tire can last 40 laps. If I buy something and the manufacturer says this is going to last 5 years and it breaks in the second year I’m going to be upset. Just as you would be, or anyone else for that matter.

      • You guys are acting like there are razor blades surrounding the track. Everybody did it yet only Vettels tire exploded. And in a way that didn’t look like an external factor, like Rosberg on Friday. Don’t get me wrong I was yelling from the beginning of the race that they should punish everyone for track limits. And I still stand by that point ( perez would have been P1 in les combes if it wasn’t for Lewis way of cutting raidillon )

        • “Everybody did it yet only Vettels tire exploded.”

          Well yeah but only Vettel was doing it for 28 laps.

        • Maybe there should be razor blades surrounding the track!
          Only Vettel pushed the tyre with a combination of total laps and off-road excursions. I think he’s spitting the dummy as he is prone to doing when things don’t go his way, yet it’s always Alonson that is acused of such childish behaviour. I also think his chosen lines when limping back to the pit were dangerous, most drivers show a bit more consideration when faced with such a situation.

          I watched the race on BBC and I noticed Massa was taking a proper line and avoiding all four wheels crossing the white lines at Radillon. I’m sure there were others too but the frontrunners were definately cutting the corner every time. Its a shame as they’re capable of winning without cheating.

          • Gilles villeneuve drove as if his tire that had gone of was still there. Maybe it’s the way ferrari boys do it 😉

          • @Elijay…

            Then you would’ve heard the conversation in the cool down room after the race?

            Even the Mercedes engineer was surprised that Ferrari would’ve attempted a one stop.

      • I’m assuming the 40 laps is under ideal conditions with consistent loads, and not constant excursions over kerbs. Perhaps they were not clear enough to the teams about it. There just isn’t enough of a punishment in exceeding the track limits as there used to be i.e. go off the track and more than likely end up bogged down in gravel or striking a barrier breaking the car, end of quali or race. I’m not blaming Vettel at all, he and other drivers have to trust the teams and tyre suppliers that the instructions they are given are safe to follow and the confidence that the tyres will not blow up.
        Pirelli are in a tight spot, not enough testing is allowed so they can’t develop the tyres properly in terms of performance and safety. So it’s only a matter of time before a tyre fails or blows in the wrong spot causing a big accident, which is not something I want to see happen.
        The logical solution is to allow more testing in F1, perhaps teams could build locked specification cars following that seasons technical rules and let young drivers test tyres and let fans attend some tests ($$$). But the FIA and logic seem to be bitter enemies. Even if they go with a different tyre supplier, I suspect similar issues will crop up.

      • Surely there was some time after they removed the sausage kerb and the drivers started to go off the circuit, and before the race on Sunday afternoon to reconsider the 40 laps recommendation for the tyres… Or did Pirelli not consider this as something that may change the tyres performance or behaviour?

        • It could be they assumed no-one would run that strategy as it wouldn’t be considered optimal? The fact only one driver chose to suggests that 95% of the drivers involved didn’t agree with it being the fastest strategy and I’d imagine Pirelli was thinking along those lines too so felt no need to mention it?

          • Yet they showed, apart from the blow out, that it was a pretty good strategy. 9th to 3rd. And a quicker lotus that can’t pass…

  10. The tyres were subject to consistent abuse. That alone should account for the limited life of the tyre. I am not saying the tyres were not defective, but to expect the same consistency from a degradable body when subjected to very inconsistent loads is ludicrous. The mere fact the FIA had by removing those “sausages”, changed the consistency of the track, meant that any earlier advice given was no longer valid.

  11. The situation, as is usual in F1, is messy and inconsistent…
    I think I’m right in saying that the teams themselves previously rejected the idea of Pirelli being able to impose limits on the number of laps run on a set of tyres ?
    The policing of track boundaries is as arbitrary as the judge suggests – which is particularly unsatisfactory in high speed corners on a track like Spa which imposes high loadings on the tyres.
    I’m pretty sure Pirelli could design tyres as bulletproof as the Michelins of yore, but doing so for a tyre which is also required to degrade over a relatively small number of laps is not simple, and particularly not so when testing is limited.

    FWIW, I can’t really blame either Ferrari or Pirelli for the latest incident, ‘unacceptable’ though it may be.

    One other minor point, Vettel’s driving immediately after his puncture was not exactly a model of safety. A touch of the red mist, I think.

    • Vettel was offline whole lap and have picked up marbles (all drivers do that on in lap after race)
      In Spa there is no classic in-lap, after finish line cars are sent to pit i contra direction and because of that their tires look “normal”

    • Vettel collected plenty of marbles going off line as he returned while Hamilton went straigh to the pit and parked his car. There are many instances photographic evidence helps, but not this time.

    • Looks more like picked up rubber to me. He was driving off line in the marbles for a lot of the lap.

  12. People are suggesting that running wide at Radillion after Eau Rouge and at T6 at the end of the Kemmel straight caused the failure, but in both instances, it would have been the left hand tyres that suffered the biggest issues there. The left hand tyres would have picked up the most debris at Radillion and at T6 when Vettel was running wide over the gravel, it was the left hand tyres there that would have suffered the most as the right hand side of the car was still on the track there.

    Therefore logic states that the left hand rear tyre should have blown first, having dealt with the most debris and loads through those two corners. Not the right hand rear.

    28 laps should not have seen the tyre go bang, if anything it should have “eroded” down to the carcas first and then gone bang. This was sudden and unpredictable. It is a clockwise circuit, so it is the left hand tyres that see most of the load and deteriorate more.

    Running wide has nothing to do with it as logic determines it would have been the left side that let go first if anything. It didn’t, so therefore the cause has to be something else. I can’t also imagine the stint length had anything to do with it either, as even then, once again, the left hand side would have gone first any way.. No?

    • I agree. I just think it should be noted that even though Spa runs clockwise there are left handed corners which put the tyres under considerable stress and/or where Vettel might have abused the exit kerbs as well. Raidillon itself, turn 11-the left handed downhill corner after Rivage (where everyone goes way wide on the kerb at the exit), Pouhon and Blanchimont.

      The fact that Spa is a track which so easily welcomes kerb and track limits abuse at very high speeds/loads (the stewards have a have in this, we must note) is one of the reasons I’d rather not blame it all on Pirelli until more facts are known.

    • There maybe more static load on the left but the inside rear is surely more subject to spin, which combined with excursions over the kerbs might cause a spike in dynamic load.

    • This is true, the left picks up debris, but actually, given the whole car goes over, the effect is that the right side, particularly the rear, ends up rubbing the back edge of the kerbs on the side wall. So far over are the cars, that it is the right that gets kerb abuse from the back of the kerb… watch it on BBCiplayer.. it is ridiculous! I’m not saying that this caused it, but that the ‘left side is the one over’ isn;t nessecarily that straight forward or logical position, as the back of the kerbs, even shallow ones, can damage tyres.

      The only cars watching a replay that seem to respect the Eau Rouge/Radillion complex are both the Williams, both of which seem to stay on track most of the time.

  13. In terms of tyre wear/abuse, aside from his freestyle approach to Radillon, he repeatedly went completely off track at Stavelot (I think – not great with corner names) and into the gravel. It was even mentioned in qualifying he’d done it a lot as the camera kept cutting to shots of him dragging a load of gravel and dust back onto the circuit. I imagine that in that 40 lap estimation by Pirelli they weren’t factoring in a spot of rallycross mid-lap.

  14. This whole article reads like just one man’s opinion. Lots of drivers did drive on the kerb, even the immortal Hamilton. I think had it been Lewis’ tyre that exploded in the same circumstances as Seb’s this article wouldn’t even be written. To coin a phrase indeed!

    • Or it had happend to Rosberg during the race, the article would be about Lewis’ luck instead of tyres, kerbs or driving styles.

  15. Not surprisingly, TJ13’s Pirelli defense comes quickly after a racing weekend. Again.

    Indeed, shit happens and this could have just been it. Vettel is a notorious track abuser, so to speak, but so are others. It’s amazing how every now and then shit will happen with Pirelli right in the center of things.

    The 40 lap estimate, was it just a guess? How much faith do Pirelli have in their own product? What role did the Pirelli representative have in the meeting Ferrari decided for the 1 stop strategy? Vettel had no notorious drop off, so how could the exagerated wear have otherwise been noticed? Is their mention of a recomendation made during a meeting 18 months ago supposed to be some of trump card? It seems as an odd admission to me, one which translates to “people have known our product is fragile and has low tolerance for abuse, so it’s their fault”. Well, durh, is it not possible to make a safer product while still complying to certain degradation parametres?

    Anyhow, I don’t categorically blame Pirelli this time. But there are plenty of unanswered questions which once more undermine both their products and the wisdom of agreeing to manufacturer tyres designed to incur in such degradation.

    I think it’d be best if Pirelli just made the best tyres possible for them and told people to get their shit and aerodynamics together and take responsability for the racing provided.

    • I think Pirelli have to get out of F1 as soon as possible. Every success is ignored. Every problem is immeadiately thrown in their faces. F1 now with it’s chocolate tyres is just poison to a single tyre provider.

      • … either that or the ring master who is calling the shots as to how the ‘F1 show’ should be run – stands up and behaves with integrity and defends the impossible task he is ordering from his tyre supplier.

    • “Not surprisingly, TJ13’s Pirelli defense comes quickly after a racing weekend. Again.”

      Clearly you are but an occasional reader of the site. TJ13 has consistently criticised Pirelli this season for failing to deliver the brief of 2-3 stop races. 1 day after the Australian GP, we gave analysis of how unique the 2015 Melbourne event was – being a one stopper. This was based on properly considered previous year’s data.

      Readers of this site should remember your name and judge your future ill considered comments, shallow observations and analysis together with unfounded criticism of the TJ13 writers. accordingly.

      • I expressed myself poorly. Seing how the TJ13 frequently advocates less durable tyres and more pit stops, I knew there would be some sort of defense for an incident blamed in excessive wear and tyre abuse. And it came quickly enough to not surprise me.

        As for shallow and ill considered, that’s only your opinion. And it’s carries the same weight as using ‘shit happens’ as an excuse for the instant catastrophic failure of a strictly controled spec supplied part which is imune to the pressure of competitive development and had neither approached the advised limit of its competitive use nor demonstrated any clear symptom of severe wear and degradation.

        Oh, so maybe Vettel’s unique driving style caused greater unforseen wear. Sure. But how many more years and miles are necessary so they can become completely familiarized with driving styles, track layouts, kerb dimensions and chracteristics, influence external factors on race day…

        Or maybe it was an odd faulty tyre. That happens. But just be honest and own up to it instead of deflecting responsability by mentioning meetings which occured 18 months ago, or claiming their own suggested guidelines could be innacurate up to nearly 100 kilometres depending on race conditions and many variables.

        I don’t blame Pirelli or eliminate any significant possibility. Not enough facts have been divulged. But their reactions are clumsy and do not inspire much confidence, much like tyres which attempt to manufacture excitement instead of excellence (and their advocates).

        PU failures and tyres failures are as comparable as apples and oranges.

  16. Apologies if my comment was rude, and thanks to the Judge for letting it stand. What I meant to say was that it’s good for any team to adopt a different strategy, to spice things up. We all would have expect Seb’s time to drop off and for Grosjean to cruise past him, but shit happens. I just don’t want to see a silly accident because of this for any driver on the track, that’s all.

  17. Why do teams not protest (constant) track limit violations?

    I’m sure they’d protest if a competitor constantly raced underweight ‘by mistake’ while the stewards did nothing. Same thing for any many possible violations. So why do track limits get a free pass?

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