F1 making the same mistakes again this weekend – For those of you relatively new to TJ13, I’m in actuality re-writing a gripe that recurs repeatedly and has been ruining entire F1 weekends for some years now.
For the the record, blame Spice Boy Horner and his co-pilot mad genius inventor, Adrian Newey (I’ll explain later).
Pirelli have brought their hardest set of tyre compounds for this weekend’s Portuguese GP, the C1, C2, C3 (for those who care). These are a set harder than the compounds used during the first two rounds of 2021 in Bahrain and Italy.
I hear those of you defending the Italian rubber giants cry, ‘the C1-C3 are the same compounds Pirelli brought to the 2020 race in the Algarve’. The problem is,
1) The 2021 compounds are about half a step harder.
2) The 2020 race was hugely affected by rain and an excessive DRS that saw the one race only ‘Trebant’ team pass Romain Grosjean’s Haas on the straight. (Seriously, that was just a Gunther Stenier
wet bad dream).
So, given Pirelli had no data on the Portimao circuit that F1 refused to design as a regular circuit on the F1 calendar, last year’s tyre selection of C1-C3 was a bit of a finger in the air kind of punt.
Further, given the temperatures in ‘the Med’ can reach 40 plus degrees Celsius, ‘better safe than sorry, eh, Pirelli’?
The other reason nobody gave a monkeys what tyre Pirelli tool to Portugal last season was because at the end of the race, all aficionado’s and true fans of the sport were so misty-eyed in emotion having seen the greatest ever sight in F1’s 70 years history.
Sir Lu’s win, saw him clock up more than the great Michael Schumacher, to become the most decorated F1 driver of the past 1000 years.
Yet there were clues these hard tyres, lacking in grip, were not the best choice ever for use in the Algarve.
Lap 1 of the race saw a vanity of the bonfires as egos were broken due to a lack of grip from the cold hard rubber.
Clue 1 was Carlos Sainz Jnr – behaving like a brat who does not respect his elders and betters – had the audacity to fire up the soft tyres on his British Ferrari (McLaren) and the third Lord of Stevenage…. God of F1.
Clue 2 was the fact only 5 cars stopped to change tyres more than once during the ‘race’.
There was once a time in F1, where Pirelli designed the tyres to fail if used for too long, and targeted their tyre selections for weekends to try and ensure the team’s ideal quickest race strategy was to stop twice to change tyres.
Then in 2013, worried about their dominance being broken, Spice boy Horner and mad scientist Newey started to run their Red Bull Racing machines on lower and lower tyre pressures, to gain a grip advantage basically.
The inevitable happened. Boom. Tyres began exploding everywhere, and ‘who makes these failing rubbers?’, everyone asked?
PIRELLI!!!! Was the cry from the Red Bull whingers.
In a desperate bid to defend the unfair prejudice against their successful global brand, Pirelli changed the tyre compounds mid-season (not usually allowed) and ever since then, the F1 tyre supplier has become more and more conservative over the tyre construction and choice.
Anyway, here we are again. Hardest compounds Pirelli have. A chilly Algarve spring weekend, and F1 tyres that will last forever.
Yet Pirelli’s biggest sin is not born out of historical humiliation; It is their current failure to catch the prevailing wind of F1 governance and how to manipulate the race weekends as best as possible.
The FIA is clearly trying to knobble Mercedes (says Toto Wolff) and stop them from global dominance forever and a day (Mmm, seems to be a German thing). How is Jean and our glorious motor racing officials trying to achieve this? By making the style of car Mercedes F1 build less effective in 2021.
Given Mercedes cars do not generally like soft tyres and hotter weather, FFS Pirelli!!! What have you failed to understand about ‘the plan’?
Had the Italian rubber Co. brought a softer selection of tyres, it could mean Mercedes F1 were less competitive and then make Sir Lulu so unhappy he’d refuse to play out all weekend; instead, he may merely strum his priceless David Bowie guitars to those who care – like someone called Roscoe – Lewis’ No.1 furry fan, who is devoted as long he has had a shit first.