Pirelli unmoved by Red Bull tyre complaints

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery shrugs off Red Bull’s complaints about tyres saying “the other teams are very happy”.


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Paul Hembery on the Malaysian Grand Prix (F1 Fanatic via Youtube)

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013No support for Red Bull in tyre row (NBC)

“Red Bull?s lobbying cannot have been helped by the fact their cars finished first and second in Sunday?s race, as Webber acknowledged.”

Williams could revert to FW34 exhaust (ESPN)

Mike Coughlan: “We’re of the opinion at the moment that a FW34-type of car would be faster. I don’t think we’ll go back to an FW34, but we might go back to an FW34 style of exhaust system and treat Fridays as tests across cars.”

Red Bull’s Mark Webber to stay in F1 after clash with Sebastian Vettel (The Guardian)

“[Mark Webber’s father] Alan Webber said: ‘We’ll be up in China for the next one.’ Webber’s father, speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, has made it clear this latest incident has only served to drive the wedge deeper between his son and Vettel. ‘I think it will take a while to earn the respect and trust again,’ he added, while also claiming the team are far from happy with their three-times world champion.”

Webber and Vettel partnership doomed, says Briatore (Reuters)

“I don’t think the relationship can be sewn together again.”

Not Easy To Juggle Interests Of Drivers, Says Domenicali (Speed)

“For sure, it?s not easy. You can see what is happening in other teams. I never speak about the others (other teams); you know me. You go and speak with them, it will be fun!”

Massa sure he can end winless run (Autosport)

“I think if we carry on in this direction, the chance for winning races and fighting for the championship is there.”

Paul Seaby Delighted with Team Effort in Opening Rounds (Lotus)

“On Friday our practice stops were as good as they ever have been, but from Saturday onwards we were struggling to string good stops together. The switch from wet to dry conditions and subsequent front wing flap adjustments didn?t help, but even taking that into consideration it still wasn?t our best weekend. We have to take that on the chin, put everyone through their paces with some more practice at Enstone, and work hard to get back to where we should be and deserve to be.”

Malaysia?s post-race interviews (MotorSport)

“I don?t remember ever interviewing a more disheartened top four drivers. Even in Germany when Felipe Massa was told the infamous words ‘Fernando is faster than you’, Alonso still celebrated the win ?ǣ although he had to play the part as team orders were not allowed.”

The Smiling Assassin (The Buxton Blog)

“On Sunday afternoon Sebastian Vettel gave the fans what they wanted to see. He said, ‘To hell with team orders. You can shove them. I?m here to win, not to finish second and I?m not turning down my engine until I know I can’t be beaten.’ I only wish he?d been man enough to admit it.”

A history of team orders in Formula One

“Vettel, though, had a more singular perspective: he spotted a chance to boost his own tally by seven points, the kind of ruthless pragmatism previously espoused by racers such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher (although in such situations the latter invariably had the benefit of a meek accomplice).”

Rookie diary – Caterham?s Giedo van der Garde (F1)

“The drivers? parade – my very first – was pretty cool. We did the 2013 driver photo before the parade and that was a great feeling, knowing I?m part of the show and surrounded by a lot of guys I?ve known and raced with for a long time.”


Comment of the day

Do the events of Sunday’s race prove Sebastian Vettel is not the undisputed number one driver at Red Bull?

If Vettel is Red Bull’s number one driver, why was the team order for Vettel not to overtake Webber, rather than the order being for Webber to move over and let Vettel pass him?

It seems a slightly unusual tactic to tell your number one driver not to win a race, no?

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

John Watson set the record for winning a race from the worst starting position on this day 30 years ago.

Watson lined up 22nd on the grid for the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach and won. Niki Lauda started 23rd and finished behind his team mate, with Rene Arnoux third.

The last F1 race at Long Beach began with drama as Keke Rosberg spun while trying to pass Patrick Tambay for the lead:

Watson has been in the headlines this week after having some sharp words to say about Sebastian Vettel’s conduct in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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  • 103 comments on “Pirelli unmoved by Red Bull tyre complaints”

    1. Seriously though, what chance do Red Bull actually have of succeeding in this tyre campaign? Yes they are multiple winners, but they don’t have the political capital Ferrari had in say, 2003 Michelin-Bridgestone saga. It’s the same for everyone. Get on with it.

      1. I would rather they did end up winning though & the current tyre situation is starting to get ridiculously stupid!

        OK you don’t want tyres that are super durable, But at the same time I think the current tyres are too far the other way, There way too sensitive & are seriously starting to hinder the racing as everyone’s just running around tyre-saving all race.

        All you hear on the team radio’s now is save tyres, watch your throttle application, Be more gentle on turn in to watch the tyres etc…

        If I wanted to watch drivers running around conserving tyres, I’d watch Le Mans racing rather than F1!

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          27th March 2013, 3:30


          I don’t want to see tyres that are too durable, and I don’t want to see tyres that are the way they are now.

          Personally, if we could have a slightly softer model of the 2010 Bridgstones, then it would be perfect, coz it would mean the drivers aren’t driving at “8 tenths”, they could push, but a set of options would only last, say 15-20 laps.

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            27th March 2013, 3:33

            Or, Pirelli could just use the medium and hard compound for every race.

            1. But are tyres really that big a factor? All the teams seemed to be managing tyres, but some how Vettel had plenty of tyre-life left when he assaulted Webber. And even after passing he was considerably quick. Merc’s problems were more fuel related than tyre wear.

              See this is a game theoretic problem. The teams want stability and FIA want to give a fighting chance to the midfield guys. Sutil’s drive in Australia was one example of that. Plus there is always the “learning” that takes place each race. The teams will eventually figure out the tyres as this is Formula 1 after all. The correct formula will be achieved sooner rather than later.

            2. As you say, @sankalp88, Vettel clearly showed that Red Bull were overly cautious about their tyres by using them for what they are meant to do. He had the softer tyre on there, and made it do the job.

        2. +1.
          Tyres lasting 7-8 laps is ridiculous. We know season is in its infancy and teams will be on top of that half way through but c’mon, 2013 tyres are way too sensitive.

          1. David not Coulthard (@)
            27th March 2013, 12:42

            Tyres lasting 7-8 laps is ridiculous

            It depends on which track you’re talking about. If it’s the Green Hell or the Spa-including-Masta, I think 7-8 laps is fine, if not too durable :D

            1. @davidnotcoulthard – it’s just a shame we don’t race there anymore!

      2. It’s not just Red Bull. Both them and Mercedes have asked to revert to last year tyre specs. I do, however, agree that this is largely pointless and not just because Ferrari are against it, but because ‘to improve the show’ has been the dominant motto in F1 for some years and these non-tyres do provide what F1 administration perceives as ‘the show’.

    2. I don’t understand all of the rubbish about Vettel being a “true racer” who just “wanted the win more than anything” or “will give up nothing to win”.
      So what?
      That can be said about every single driver on the grid. I’m sure Max Chilton’s will to win is as strong as Vettel’s, and I’m definitely sure Webber’s is. That’s why they are all racing in the most elite form of Motorsport because they’ve shown that will to win throughout their career (and in some cases, a bit of cash..).

      Vettel disobeyed a team order, he didn’t gallantly stride toward a noble victory.
      He showed no sportsmanship in a sport where it’s very much about the TEAM as much as the driver.

      Rosberg swallowed his pride and accepted the outcome.
      There’s no excuse Vettel couldn’t do the same.

      1. The point is fans hate team orders. Vettel didn´t follow. He is making a point that every true winner and racer won´t be happy crusing to second place, when he has the chance to go for first.

        By this logic the actions of Rosberg are the ones that are wrong.

        1. Even “true racers” can show sportsmanship.
          From the various number of team and individual sports I’ve taken part in, nothing is held in higher regard than good sportsmanship.

          Vettel had to apologise because he was wrong.
          There was no sportsmanship shown in what he did. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. I don’t care how much of a “true racer” he is, to me he’s only shown the persona of a spoilt child. Sure he apologized but the damage was done.

          1. I agree @nackavich . There are several examples of selfless acts by drivers (most clear in the ’50s and ’60s), like when Peter Collins handed his car to championship rival Fangio. Or the drivers who saved Niki Lauda’s life (Edwards, Merzario, Ertl and Lunger), although that matter was definitely more serious.

          2. From the various number of team and individual sports I’ve taken part in, nothing is held in higher regard than good sportsmanship.

            75% of the readers of this site thought that Webber did the right thing in ignoring team orders at Slverstone, so I’d say that peoples views of “sportsmanship” tend to be highly subjective.

        2. The point is fans hate team orders. Vettel didn´t follow. He is making a point that every true winner and racer won´t be happy crusing to second place, when he has the chance to go for first.

          I might understand his decisions if he could stand with it.. But he was excusing after race and that makes it silly.

        3. The point is fans hate team orders. Vettel didn´t follow. He is making a point that every true winner and racer won´t be happy crusing to second place, when he has the chance to go for first.

          Gilles Villeneuve gave up his chance at the 1979 Championship by following team orders and allowing Jody Scheckter to win the Italian Grand Prix, and I don’t think anyone doesn’t regard him as a “true winner and racer”.

          If Vettel was a “true racer” he would not have advised the team to “be wise” as Webber closed on him in the 2011 British Grand Prix, would not have asked for team orders to move Webber over earlier in the Malaysian Grand Prix and would have declared at the start of the season that he wanted no team orders at Red Bull because he wanted to beat his team-mate fair and square.

          Webber’s actions in earlier grand prix don’t really leave him in a position to criticise Vettel however.

          1. This is a very measured opinion, I like it.

        4. I don’t hate them and I am a fan.

        5. @celeste I don’t hate team orders. I’d rather have them, it’s hilarious!

        6. The issue is not team orders but an understanding that had been agreed upon between the drivers and the team. Vettel reneged on the agreement and without forewarning the team or his team mate, decided to attack Webber. He lied when he accepted the agreement.
          The agreement should never had made by either driver. Their history has been void of any trust since at lease 2010. They need to settle their issues on the track as racers. Anything less is unacceptable by the fans; however, Red Bull is a team that has a lot of money invested so they want to cover their bottom line. This is truly a mess they have on their hands.

        7. If Vettel had said before the race began,

          ” I will not agree to any team orders, I will do what I think will give me the best result regardless of how it might affect Mark”

          then no-one would have anything to complain about and Mark would have been aware that he had to continue to drive at full speed and power to win.

          1. @hohum – did Webber do that in Silverstone? I can’t recall him saying anything of the like. We know now anyway that Vettel is a ruthless competitor as is Webber, so I wouldn’t be complaining about it – it’s going to be a fantastic battle!

            1. @vettel1, no I don’t expect he did, however before the race started they were supposedly racing each other till the end, unless they had a specific tactic which only comes into effect when 1 is in the lead, which neither were, and in the end Webber only feined a pass attempt before falling back into formation.

            2. @hohum – regardless, I still don’t see how a great battle is something to complain about, no matter who the drivers are and their history.

      2. When I Look at Webber and his Theatrics in the last few days….. it is like some sort of Opera with the grief stricken female lead, Sobbing audience who is feeling anger and hate towards the villan, then there are those girly speculations Oh will he every come back and race again…. Oh will he ever smile again… He has not tweeted yet….. OMG will he ever tweet again ….. oh the nerve wracking 3 weeks wait till he reappears again hopefulllY (sob sob) in the Chinese GP. Then there appears his dad who vows that his Son will be back…. Unsual apology from the villian….This looks like it has all the dramatic elements developing for a Romantic Story of Love and Betrayal

        Comon guys I thought this was a sport …and he calls himself Aussie Grit ….. This is a complete opera material. I can hear the soft tragic music in the background … LOL

        1. The fact that Mark stayed quiet means he isn’t the one generating the operatics, rather it’s the number of people expecting him to tweet generating the drama.

          Regardless, he’s now tweeted a picture he took whilst training.

        2. @tmax
          Haha well said. Well said.

        3. Antonio (@frosty-jacks-racing-team)
          28th March 2013, 2:14

          +1. All that came to my head was the Neighbours theme tune…

      3. What he did was wrong and he has apoligized, however some fans still tag his act as “PR stunt”…

        The good thing about it team orders are bound to extinction at Red Bull because drivers don’t trust each other.

      4. I’m sure Max Chilton’s will to win is as strong as Vettel’s

        I think there is a huge amount of naivety in the belief that at an ultra-high professional level (F1 driver, multinational CEO etc.) somehow, deep down, everybody is equal in attitude and talent.

        The difference between them may be imperceptible for two reasons: all of them are light years ahead of us, average joes; plus we are outsiders missing a large part of the picture. But the difference is still there.

      5. Vettel is a true racer if that means knifing your buddy in the back. If Webber hadn’t had the car on savings mode, Vettel would never had gained so much under DRS and that alone is unfair, the surprise effect is another, call it a fight and go for it, like men do.

    3. The COTD misses the point. It wasn’t the team order, it was Mark’s “protected” comments after the race that revealed most about the setup at Red Bull.

      1. Oh, please. Mark Webber is a smart man, and he is playing with us. He knows what to say to the press in ways very few driver does, and fans eat it all..

        Tell me what was Mark´s punisment after Silverstone 2011? No punishment. Or the one after Brasil 2012? No punishment. Or his punisment after he hide the fact that his shoulder was broken in 2010 since Japan´s race?

        No Mark Webber has never recieved a punisment.

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          27th March 2013, 1:30

          When Watson states Vettel should be banned for a race, I think he speaks about it from a “moral” point of view. But as the Tv commentator said just before the podium: “How would you punish a driver who currently leads the championship and drove the car in the right way for 3 years? Some people don’t accept that Webber had the same chances (even more chances) to become a champion, at least in 2010, and got nothing.
          That’s the dilemma.
          Do you think Red Bull would raelly ban Vettel for a race? And it’s not FIA the one to ban Vettel, because from the regulations point of view, the pass was legal.
          What a brain stroke!!!

          1. Watson is speaking from the point of view of Horner proving *he* is in charge of his drivers. The only punishment that can really work at this level is preventing the driver from driving, through whatever means.

        2. @celeste

          Tell me what was Mark´s punisment after Silverstone 2011? No punishment. Or the one after Brasil 2012? No punishment.

          Tell me, how did Mark Webber defy orders?

          Sure, he was told to “maintain the gap” at Silverstone in 2011, which he didn’t do – but at the same time, he never passed Vettel. So even though he ignored an order, Red Bull still got the outcome that they wanted. And even though he ignored orders at Interlagos in 2012, Vettel’s race was ruined by a collision with Senna, and his car was so damaged that Red Bull were lucky he didn’t get shown a black-and-orange flag. In the end, the result was still the one that Red Bull desired.

          The difference with the Malaysian Grand Prix is that Vettel ignored the order and the outcome was different to the one Red Bull had intended.

          1. Funny, ignoring is not defying. And, folowing that logic, if Vettel hadn’t managed to overtake Webber, he would have been a real hero.

          2. I Love the Pope
            27th March 2013, 12:29

            So, just because Mark wasn’t successful (and Seb was), its okay? In other words, they did the exact same thing, but Seb was better, so Seb is at fault? Silly.

        3. Tell me what was Mark´s punisment after Silverstone 2011? No punishment. Or the one after Brasil 2012?

          Once again, someone else who fails to understand that Silverstone 2011 and Malaysia 2013 were two COMPLETELY different situations.

          In Malaysia 2013, Vettel only caught up with Mark because
          a) They pitted Vettel first event though he wasn’t the lead driver giving him the undercut and
          b) Webber was told that Vettel would not come at him and subsequently turned his engine down as they were both instructed, but as we know, Vettel ignored this order.

          At Silverstone 2011 Webber caught Vettel simply because Vettel had ruined his tyres and was too slow. Webber DID NOT catch Vettel because he had been told to turn his engine down and from what I can understand, there was no agreement or understanding before the race as there was in Malaysia 2013.

          And I’m sorry, but what orders exactly did Webber ignore at Brazil in 2012? I’ve watched that race several times and saw two things
          a) Vettel’s problems in that race were down to him turning into turn 4 from very wide just expecting no one to be there. He should have opened his eyes and been more aware. What’s more, he should have received a penalty for causing an avoidable collision and causing the retirement of 2 drivers.
          b) Webber pulling over and letting Vettel through and even being thanked by the team for doing so over the radio.

      2. @john-h I agree that COTD does miss the point. I believe that neither Mark or Seb’s contract say anything about a number one driver, but Seb knows he can get away with anything he likes, not because he’s a world champ, but because he has the backing of the people that matter, the guys at the top, HM and DM.

        Horner is the one I question, how complicit is he when is comes to day to day operational issues? His job is to get the best from both drivers and their respective pit crews/mechanics to maximise the points for the team. However, he also has to keep his boss happy by pushing his agenda and maximise Vettels points. All whilst maintaining Red Bulls PR image.

        His “silly” comment is a prime example of the tricky balance he has to try and maintain, he knew he had to say something on the radio because his silence would have been defeaning, both to Mark and the public. But, he couldn’t say anything too strong for fear of upsetting DM.

        1. @gdog Webber actually has the backing and loyalty of Dietrich, probably an appreciation of all he has done for the team since they bought out Jaguar Ford. Vettel is Helmut’s protegé, which is unsurprising given he is in charge of the young driver programme and Vettel is far and away the most succesful product of that. Probably never to be beaten.

          I’m surprised that Helmut did come out and say that he thought Vettel was in the wrong on Sunday, when, in the past, he has defended Vettel quite vigourously. Has he been told to be less one-sided by DM (I suspect DM won’t have been impressed by HM’s very public attack on MW over the winter)? Or has Vettel made up his mind to leave for Ferrari at the end of this year and Helmut has fallen out with him?

      3. it was Mark’s “protected” comments after the race that revealed most about the setup at Red Bull.

        That might make sense – if Mark had ever been punished for his own defiance of team orders in the past. Since he has never received more than a slap on the wrist, what exactly does it reveal about the setup at Red Bull?

        All I’ve learned from this is that Mark “True Aussie Grit” Webber is a bit of a drama queen.

    4. Not sure if anyone has ever drawn attention to this, but another famous disobey-er of team orders (and recently coveted by one knight of the realm) was Colin McRae. His example, of driving even more flat-out than usual, must run at a similar risk level in rallying as wheel-to-wheel racing does in single-seaters. But his refusal to bend to team orders is another that’s always held in high regard. I’m not judging (I frequently let my daughter win at ‘guess who’), I’m just citing another interesting case.

    5. That Mercedes’s tweet is wrong. They got 27 points, not 37.

      1. 37 points including Hamilton’s fifth in Australia.

        1. Oh, ok then. I thought it was regarding the malaysian gp only.

    6. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      27th March 2013, 1:04

      Domenicalli saying he doesn’t like speaking about the other teams? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
      (well we have a 3-week break)
      This is so much fuss about “Vettel was wrong”. Yes, he was wrong (if you want to feel it that way). I think it`s quite fine to do what he did, despite “it’s a team sport” or “I hate whatever Vettel does” comments. I think that he knew (or probably didn’t know) the risk he was taking. He didn’t get team orders, but sometimes your boss can be wrong too, can’t he?
      If you feel I’m wrong, it’s your right to say it, as much as it’s other people’s right to totally disagree with your point of view.

      1. To be fair, I don’t see Domenicali shooting his mouth off at other teams that much. Or maybe he looks humble and quite neutral in his views by comparison when he’s in the same team as Luca di Montezemolo!

      2. I think Domenicalli and ferrari have every right to give their 5 cents worth in this whole red bull saga.Red bull weren’t shy to give ferrari stick after hockenheim and they were acting all holier than thou with their “we let our drivers race”.Well that statement blew up in their face.So respect to domenicalli for staying out of it.

    7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      27th March 2013, 1:17

      Flavio Briatore pinned the blame on Red Bull’s management.

      “Unacceptable,” he is quoted by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport. “You can see who the real manager is at Red Bull; it’s Vettel.”

      This coming from a manager who thinks making one of their drivers crash to make the other win