Pirelli’s specially made tyres for Ferrari

The woefully dull race in Monaco proves only to confirm that the F1 circus visits the principality only for paddock deals, glamour and gossip because actual on track action is close to zero without heavenly intervention commonly known as rain.

And one of the hottest rumours coming from Monaco (apart from those by conspiracy theorists who champion a slower than his teammate Finnish Ferrari driver) being that Ferrari are receiving special treatment with the Pirelli rubber. Indeed even that the tyre itself was designed specifically for the SF70H.

Sounds familiar?

Back in the Schumacher dominant days of the early 2000’s, it was well known that Ferrari’s Japanese tyre partner Bridgestone developed their tyres to work specifically with the Ferrari car resulting in a very one sided affair each weekend. The rule makers eventually hindered that partnership enough to break the Michael Schumacher show and allow the Michelin runners a chance to compete. The result being Fernando Alonso in a Renault two Championship wins.

So to this year, one thing is clear. The Ferrari is patently better on the Pirelli’s than the competition. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was quoted as saying that “Ferrari is doing better than us and can to get the rubber to work optimally. If they can, we must be able to do that. “.

But have the Pirelli tires been tailored to Ferrari this season?

Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera sternly dismissed the rumour, yesterday he stated on the Italian radio channel Rai GR Parlamento:

“It is very simple – the tyres are the same for all. Mercedes has celebrated great successes but at the moment they are feeling a bit of a headwind. I am convinced that they will be back soon. The reason for the good performance of Ferrari is simply that this team has built an excellent car.

Perhaps this progress surprised some people. We should recognise their achievement…”

The insinuation that Ferrari was preferred over the other teams does not stand up to an exact consideration when the Tifosi argue that the data for the 2017 spec tyre was open access to all. And that is indeed true, but what can not be dismissed is that Sebastian Vettel was the first to put up his hand when it came to volunteering for tyre tests when Pirelli were developing their compounds for the coming season.

Pirelli’s chief Marco Provera confirms the fact stating “Sebastian Vettel has worked incredibly well in the development of the 2017 tires, he has always made himself available, others were not available so often.”.

Former Ferrari driver Stefan Johansson had already hinted this stating that “I predicted it in the late summer of 2016 – I bet it will be an advantage, when Sebastian Vettel works with Pirelli for tests. He was the only top driver to have done this. I was convinced that this will pay off for Vettel and Ferrari, and that is exactly what it looks like. “

Johansson elaborates on his theory

“It is hard for me to understand why the other drivers missed this opportunity. If there is a simple shortcut for better lap times, then over the tires. The more understanding you gain in handling the Pirelli rubber, the better. It will be even more advantageous if you, like Vettel, even have an influence on the development. “

“I can not emphasise enough: That was one of the reasons for the dominance of Michael Schumacher with Ferrari. Michael worked day and night with the Bridgestone tires, and in the end came a Japanese product tailor-made for him. Many other pilots had their own trouble to make the rubber work, but they fitted perfectly to Schumi. “

“Clearly every tyre company has its own philosophy of building racing tyres. But if you can make an influence as a driver, it can create a huge difference. More experience with these tyres, which means that you are more confident in the corners, can drive a little bit harder than your rivals. The differences may be slight, but in modern Formula 1, nuances determine whether a team wins or loses. I think it’s all a good thing for Vettel and a shame for all the others, who were less willing to do it. “

Perhaps Vettel was right all along then. How are those balls dandling in the pool Lewis?

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24 responses to “Pirelli’s specially made tyres for Ferrari

  1. https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsThis is a poorly written article coming from a very sour person. A first dominant Ferrari 1-2 and Monaco has dug out of the hole conspiracy theorists of all kind. Let me ring your ears just for a second, prior to the hybrid era in which MB became as boringly dominant as you can point out to Monaco, RB was dominant for four years straight. In all years every media house was quiet and happy that Ferrari is losing and just one win all the chickens are out of the pen? shame on all of your professions.

    • If you actually get past the title, the article states Vettel and Ferrari have worked harder than anyone else to ensure their team performs best on the Pirelli

  2. Way to feed the hamfosi conspiratists! Now if it’s not his team screwing him its pirelli, and if vettel does win the WDC it’s just because he was cheating with having advantage from the tyres and the pirelli guys giving him more accurate data than Hamilton. This will be their excuse now if Vettel wins…..nice 🙂

  3. Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes all tested the new tyres. Plus Ferrari had a 2 day test on the wet tyres. They were all supposed to have unmarked test tyres so they didn’t know if the tyres they tested were the ones that would be used in 2017. But if one team did test the exact compounds and construction that was used in 2017 they would have an advantage as soon as they realised.
    Bottom line is we actually have a competition for WDC in 2017. So Ferrari may have a slight advantage but that will erode when other teams get their head round the tyres.
    To a degree, even if its true, isn’t it better to not have Merc disappear as soon as the lights go out?

    I don’t really like artificially helping a team but then again I don’t like knowing which team will win before Quali.

    It would be great if all teams had same budget but they dont so stopping 1 teams domination needs to happen to increase audience.

  4. We should all be glad this years chamionships seems to be tied between Merc and Ferrari, I can’t write Merc or Hamilton off. This is in contrast to the last 3 years of Mercedes running off into the distance and the 4 years if Red Bull dominance when they did the same so let’s a be glad F1 is exciting again, apart from the Monaco procession, bring on Canada and let’s see if Ferrari can be faster there too! I see Hamilton bouncing back!

  5. “The rule makers eventually hindered that partnership enough to break the Michael Schumacher show and allow the Michelin runners a chance to compete. The result being Fernando Alonso in a Renault two Championship wins.”

    Michelin re-entered F1 in 2001. Williams, McLaren and Renault all won races on them before Alonso won his first F1 title for Renault on Michelin’s in 2005.

    It took Michelin 5 seasons to win both the drivers and constructors titles. All of which were done in the days of essentially unlimited testing. Bridgestone simply did a better job than Michelin. There wasn’t any conspiracy

    And didn’t M-B run a secret test for Pirelli just before Monaco in 2013???

  6. Seb is certainly a smart bastard. Dusting off my crystal ball, I reckon he has a long-term plan of winning WDC’s with three or four different teams. He’ll be off to the silver mob after he’s taken the choccies two or three times driving for Ferrari. If the yellow and / or orange people become competitive enough over the next few years, Seb will have a dip at the best prospect there, too, I reckon.

    I don’t see a Senna or WDC-count obsession in Seb – he’s a smart bastard with bigger fish on his radar. Eclipsing both Senna and Schumacher will be footnotes on his way to that larger goal.

    • If Ferrari start to dominate the Mercs then he’d have no reason too, he could just keep adding WDC until he equals Schumacher. I don’t see the orange guys being gold enough for a WDC in vettel’s career span, maybe for Max

    • Why?
      Then we’d be back to having the richest teams having tyres tailored to their needs and everyone else sucking hind tit.

      Tyre manufacturers don’t want it and teams can’t afford it.

  7. Nobody expected Ferrari to be competitive in 2017 with an all Italian designer group. Vettel was smart and did their homework with the sacrifice that testing requires. In F1 wins the team with money and is willing to do the extra mile. That is why we have cycles of Winners Ferrari, Renault, RBR, MB and now back to Ferrari. Teams become complaisant and engineers leave their winning teams for more money and a chance to shine.

  8. An article that begins with the idea “Pirelli specially made tyres for Ferrari” ends with a cheapshot at Hamilton and a link to a previous article from the same site.

    Jesus, I know you guys mostly write crap, but this seems like a new low.

    • Reporting on rumour discussed within the paddock at Monaco, quoting the pirelli CEOs own words in response to the suggestion is ‘writing crap’ ?

      Fact is that Pirelli took into account driver feedback and a former Ferrari driver confirms that this is a possible reason for the way the 2017 Pirelli favours the Ferrari in the hands of Vettel.

      Also, it’s not a cheap shot at Hamilton, he himself confesses that he dislikes testing.

      Balls in the water is the cheap shot on vettel. Read the other article, him and Hamilton are like petulant children and we’ll no doubt hear more crap from them as the season progresses.

      Ps. Thanks for making the effort to comment on my crap writing

    • TJ never writes an article without trying to put in a dig on HAM or the ‘hamfosi’. Can’t figure out why except personal bias.


  9. https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsHow come there were no similar issues when RB & Merc were winning in all those years? In any case, can you really say Ferrari has an advantage when it has the same number of wins as Merc? Tyres are only one part that must combine with other aspects to give a team an advantage. By Toto’s own admission, the Merc is Diva as it is temperamental.

  10. I don’t think that by listening to a particular pilot more than any other Pirelli can produce bespoke tyres for that lucky guy. Technical data during testing is gathered through instruments and recorded for later analyses. E.g., considering how long a given tyre peforms well cannot be the opinion of a single pilot. It is quite disturbing to think that because Merc is not winning all races like in past 3 years something fishy is going on.

    • Everyone has it backwards. Vettel did not influence Pirelli but rather Vettel’s feedback influenced the Ferrari design. When Vettel figured out that warming the tires was going to be critical on the stiffer and harder rubber this year, Ferrari developed a car that can take maximum advantage of working the tire. How are they doing this? That is the question…

      • If it were as simple as that, why did Pirelli not listen to Alonso in his Ferrari years to make winners out of them? It is raw data, tons of it, that is taken into consideration when developing the tyre, not pilot input. But before that there were precise orders from FOM, like those details designed to spice up the show. I.e., artificially.

        • Did Alonso do the same testing as Vettel with the Pirelli rubber of that day? I honestly don’t know. I agree with you that the designers have access to a lot of data, but also very little true testing. I’m wondering if maybe Ferrari took a gamble on how much camber recovery to build into their suspension geometry and it paid off with this new batch of tires?

  11. If switching the tyres on were an exact science there would be no efficiency differences between different cars. Adrian Newey said some time ago that if the tyres work well on your car, it did not happen by design.

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