The driver stood up in the Grand Prix Drivers Association meeting and asked (and I'm paraphrasing because obviously I wasn't there and have been told the tale by someone who was):"So how did we allow this to happen? When did we become circus performers just putting on a show rather than F1 drivers racing flat-out?"
[Edit: May 12 2013] I've had enough. What a joke to call this "pinnacle of motorsport".
[Edit: April 21 2013] Bahrain proves us right. Harder compounds = better racing.
[Edit: Mars 17 2013] Formula1™ officially becomes Tyremanagement1™, and I have lost interest in something that now feels slow, fake and artificial. ☑ Make overtakes non-exciting ☑ Apply delta-cruising 6 seconds off pace ☑ Drive in a queue like cyclists without overtaking, just conserving tyres ☑ Take away passion of actual racing. Congratulations, you have succeeded! Now, can we please have more pay-drivers and turn F1 it into reality show so that people who pay good money can get famous? Because it's all about marketing and brands, right? Racing, emotions, passion, human skill and engineering - what is that? And remember, be safe and watch out for those very dangerous wet puddles too, might get some water splash on the visor - can't drive in that.
[Edit: Jan 15 2013] I hope Pirelli removes the silly "cliff" from the 2013 tyres. The cliff is anti-racing, punishing those who try to race others. A gradual degradation will give us much more exciting racing, and more pushing.
[Edit: Nov 8 2012] Austin, tyres holding up, people racing. This is what it should be like.
[Edit: Sep 1 2012] "Pirelli says Spa tyre selection should allow drivers to push" http://www.autosport....php/id/102010/ - Looks like they may be listening a bit.
[Oct 9 2011]
I'd like to hear a bit what people think about the new tyres and DRS. Here are some of my thoughts.
I personally feel that some excitement is gone this year compared to others, and the racing doesn't feel as "real" and on the limit as before. The drivers can no longer drive on the limit due to the tyres, and instead we have a boring grind where the drivers aren't going as fast as possible, but just nursing the tyres around the track. They can't really ever push it to the limit because then the tyres will be destroyed, go over "the cliff", and won't come back as they did before.
It feels for me like the driver can no longer make a difference by being a fast driver, but they can make a huge difference nursing tyres. Is that what we want racing to be all about, nursing tyres? Or, do we want drivers pushing cars to the limits, showing their talent for raw speed around a track, making a huge difference that way? How about a better balance between them two, as we had before? Bring back tyres similar to last year, but force 2 mandatory pit stops - or something similar.
This thing just kills it for me, overtaking is no longer something exciting - it's a click of a button, and an unfair advantage which the other part doesn't have. Just take a look at Turkey as an example. The drivers are usually not even trying to defend, because most times it's impossible. Increase the KERS power if anything, and let both drivers have it, so they can force the other guy to use it early etc. Rebuild the cars so they can race close to each other without problems, if needed. DRS needs to go, and the art of defending and racing needs to come back.
I've been following F1 for about 10 years, and I've loved every race. But 2011 has been something else, I can't say I enjoy F1 the way I did before with these 2 key things I miss refueling too, for the excitement during pit stops and the great tactical options it came with, but can live without it. The long-term solution isn't in making weak tyres or adding DRS. There was no need for either of them. It's been said many times before, but is worth saying again: We need more mechanical grip, less aero/wings for the cars. Drivers should be able to slipstream more. That is the real solution.
Bottomline is that we never see cars or drivers anywhere near the limit anymore, which is what F1 should be about. Or, as Lewis puts it: "It's not racing, it's just driving around".
- Does not allow driving on the limit
- Are destroyed when racing too close behind another car. A driver can not pressure another driver into doing a mistake without ruining his own tyres.
- Holds back both car and driver to show what they really can do
- Does not allow racing through the field from the back without being destroyed
- When tyres goes off, the difference is usually too big between the one infront and behind. It results in no close racing, just a single pass.
- Makes F1 too slow
- Fewer human errors because driving slower means less risks taken
- Makes engineering aspects not related to tyre management not so important anymore
- Too much unpredictability/lottery in certain races
- (tinfoil) Allows the tyre manufacturer to manipulate race results by supplying a tiny bit better/worse tyres to certain drivers, since tyres make such big impact.
- Removes the art of defending
- Removes long fights back and forth between drivers(racing!). It's 1 pass, and then done (tyres contributes to this as well)
- Drivers choose to wait for the DRS-straight rather than going for an exciting overtake elsewhere
- Makes F1 feel fake, click-button-to-pass
- Takes away all excitement of an overtake - you always know when and where they will pass.
- "And tyre-based overtaking shenanigans doesn't really provide any extra excitement than overly-easy DRS zones, as Brawn appears to imply. Seeing one car breeze past another because their rival is on knackered/hard/rubbish tyres is hardly the most thrilling of situations either."
- "But you cannot drive hard on the tyres otherwise they degrade. It is also a little bit that when you try and push the tyres, you tend to damage them a little bit. When you fight in traffic, you take more out of the tyres than if you are running in clear air."
[link] (May 21, 2012)
- "I think what we want to avoid is drivers cruising around under the performance of their car, unable to follow another car closely, otherwise it's not racing."
[link] (March 22, 2013)
- "These tyres are pretty marginal regarding construction and compounds. It´not fun, when a driver has to go 5sec slower than he could in order to make the tyres last. Pirelli knows that.".
- Brawn wants DRS reassessed
[link] (October 12, 2011)
- "It's quite excruciating, trying to save tyres non-stop from start to finish. It feels painful, and however bad it is for me, it must be a lot worse if you have to drive like that."
[link] (April 15, 2013)
- Says the balance has gone "a little bit" too far towards the tyres in F1. @jamesallenonf1
- "I can't drive any slower."
(May 12, 2013)
- "The life of the [soft] tyre, it's the worst I've ever experienced with bits flying off all over the place"
[link] (April 12, 2013)
- "I was fuel saving from an early point in the race which lost me a lot of time but generally these tyres make... it’s not fun, I didn’t enjoy the race. It’s not the same as back in the day when you had stints where you are pushing to the maximum the whole time, you had tyres that would last. Now you’re just... it’s like you have a hundred dollars and you have to spend it wisely over a period of time. It makes racing a lot different. It’s more strategic rather than pure speed racing."
[link] (March 24, 2013)
- "the new Pirelli tyres are a disaster"
[link] (May 20, 2011)
- "It's not racing, it's just driving around."
- "[...]it's a little bit WWF at the moment[...] Adrian Sutil tried that in Melbourne and Pirelli said that there were indications that the race fell apart for him because he tried to race people."
[link] (April 13, 2013)
- "The whole category is geared around tyres at the moment. Everything is around tyres. Tyres, tyres, tyre, tyres, tyres..."
[link] (March 22, 2013)
- "As soon as you fight, you chew the tyres up"
[link] (October 31, 2011)
- Mark Webber has followed in Michael Schumacher's footsteps by saying he isn't happy with this years Pirelli tyres as drivers can't push the car but are constantly driving much slower than desired to preserve their tyres: "The guys are saying, use all of your KERS on the full lap and it's like you can't drive much slower. If you push, you got to pit. [...]"
[link] (May 16, 2012)
- "Don't watch me, mate," said Mark Webber to a spectating Martin Brundle. "I'm only doing long runs this afternoon. It's going to be painfully slow."
- "Some people will like to see cars passing and re-passing all the time. Nascar stock-car racing in America is founded on that. But for some who have a more purist point of view about F1 - like me - overtaking should mean more than that."
[link] (November 17, 2011)
- Webber concerned at number of winners
[link] (May 17, 2012)
- Said it's not fun to drive with tyres like these - Lauda said he understands him because it's not fun for any driver to drive slow just because of the tyres.
- Heavily critical of tyres in post race media scrums. Says racing to a delta time is not real racing. Wants words with Pirelli.
- Compared it to driving behind the safety car, and says 90% of drivers feel the same.
- "F1 is a complete different sport these days".
- Said that it's simply not possible to drive on the limit at any time, they have to nurse the tyres since the start of the race.
- Confirmed by Schumacher and Rosberg that they don't drive on limit at any time of the race, sometimes they drive only at 60-70%"
- After Spanish GP: "I dont know what is happening with this F1. It is so weird. The circumstances are now completely different." "Just tyre management really."
[link] (May 13, 2012)
- "In part because of the rules and also because of the restrictions each year in the rules.” Explained Alonso, whilst opening a new Ferrari store in Madrid. “When someone discovers something, the next year it’s banned. They’re limiting more and more every time the creativity or potential development of a car. We’re seeing more similar cars every time and it’s looking more like GP2[...]”
- "On the other hand we can lose credibility. We cannot lose that the best teams, the best drivers, the best strategies win the races, because at the moment from the outside it seems that in every race anyone can win. It doesn't matter the talent, it doesn't matter the team, the performance - it's like a lottery. What you achieve in Formula One is not by chance. We need to make clear that if you win a race, it's because you did something better. And I don't think at the moment that this is clear for everybody."
- Unpredictable F1 became ’strange’ in Spain
[link] (May 14, 2012)
- "It doesn't have much to do with racing, if all you're doing is going easy on the tyres. If you lose five seconds per lap just because of the tyres, that doesn't have much to do with the skill of the driver or how good is the car."
- "Previously you could attack, but now, when it comes to fights, you're a bit in the dark. Twice today I didn't try to defend myself, because it would have just been shooting myself in the foot."
(April 14, 2013)
- "It doesn't look very nice I would say. I hope we have enough tyres to survive the race. Today tyre wear was pretty severe for everyone, so obviously you go around way under the [potential of the] car. It is not a lot of fun and that is how it is."
[link] (March 22, 2013)
- Shrugs at F1’s ’crazy’ pecking order
[link] (May 12, 2012)
- "I tried taking it easy on the tyres. They grain. I've tried pushing the tyres. They grain. The overall stint time is almost identical. "When the climate is a bit warmer, I think hopefully driving style will make a difference in terms of looking after the tyres and changing the degradation. At the moment, they just degrade and you don't really have any choice in the matter."
[link] (February 17, 2013)
- "My puncture happened after I'd already decided to pit. I got to the braking zone at Turn 14, locked up the front left and the tyre just punctured – there was a hole through it."
(April 12, 2013)
- "It's extreme degradation and from a tyre that's doing a [one minute] 35 in qualifying spec and then in the race after eight laps doing [one minute] 48s, it's a big difference. We're slower than GP2 cars by about five seconds."
(April 12, 2013)
- "It's very tricky and I don't think you will see many quick laps in the race; I think we're all going to be given a time to go to and that's it.
(April 12, 2013)
- "Whatever fuel load you have got in the car, if you race people, you are in trouble. So just don't race, put the tyre on and just try and get home."
(April 13, 2013)
- "It's unacceptable that we are 10 seconds slower in the races compared to qualifying, just because everybody has to cruise around and save his tyres. That's not F1. We have to be able to go fast."
- "The GP2s were faster in Qualifying than we were during long runs."
- "We want to drive faster and not cruise around like my grandpa for ten laps in order to be able to push after that. We want to be able to push all the time."
- "Of course we could make the current tyres last much longer, but then we´d have to drive slower than F3-cars"
[link] (March 22, 2013)
- "You can change some things to get maybe one or two more laps from them, but not 20."
- "When you are in a different strategy and mainly looking after the tyres, the worst thing you can do is fight someone next to you who is on a different strategy"
[link] (April 19, 2013)
- "The situation with the tires is absolutely stupid"
[link] (March 19, 2013)
- "Artificially creating more and more pitstops is wrong"
[link] (March 19, 2013)
- "I saw a few corners of action and then everybody taking care of their tyres. That's not real racing."
[link] (April 14, 2013)
- "If I talk for myself I would say yes it is maybe a little bit too unpredictable"
[link] (May 25, 2012)
- "Formula One no longer has anything to do with 'classic' racing. Today, it's not the fastest driver in the fastest car who wins, but the one with the optimum tyre management."
[link] (May 1, 2013)
- "It has become a kind of lottery to find out the window in which a tyre works."
[link] (May 16, 2012)
[...] watching everyone coasting around with a modest and prescribed amount of lap time possible from any set of tyres, the drivers are just handcuffed as to what they can do. [...] If anyone had the speed/will to do this nowadays they would end up having to pit extremely early and tumble down the order, this is why the tyres are anti-racing.
Nigel Roebuck: (Motorsport Magazine)
"...and for another, we have tyres which increasingly play an over-important role in the scenario of a Grand Prix. That seemed to me more apparent in Malaysia than ever before, and while the glib response is always that ‘it’s the same for everyone’, my feeling is that it’s bad for everyone when paranoia about tyre wear means that the drivers are running, as Mark Webber put it, ‘at about 80 per cent’, and the team principals are thinking overwhelmingly in terms of ‘getting the cars home’. This is how Le Mans used to be in times gone by – but that was a matter of lasting for a day and a night, not an hour and a half, and it is a supreme irony that, in this era of sports car racing, for such as Audi and Toyota Le Mans – unlike a contemporary Grand Prix – is flat out all the way."
Mark Hughes: (Autosport)
Does it matter? If the 'show' is good, what's the problem? The problem is that F1 races have always been contested as close to flat-out as they possibly could be, given the technology of the era. For the first time, we have deliberately introduced technology that enforces endurance driving."
Let's finish off with a fresh 2013 quote from Paul "out-of-touch-with-reality" Hembrey:
Melbourne 2013 being the clearly most boring Melbourne race since regulation changes in 2009 - I don't think your argument holds up very well mate. You are making the races boring, fake and artificial. How about actually listening to the criticism instead of shrugging it off, ignoring voiced concerns from many of the best engineers and drivers in this and previous eras?
He also rubbished any talk that Pirelli could be forced to consider changing its rubber:
"We don't see the need to," he said. "We had the most exciting Melbourne in years. Do you want us to make boring races?"
Looks like one critic above there to me, Hembrey.
"To be honest it was only one critic really. Everyone else came and said they don't know what they [Red Bull] were talking about."
Edited by Alx09, 12 May 2013 - 14:14.