There’s no cake, let them eat asphalt

94
Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

In 2010, Formula 1 went to Canada to race. They did so on a resurfaced track on tires that Bridgestone said were struggling, due to the new surface, to get into the optimum heat window.

At that time, F1 was becoming a little, dare I say, processional and this tire issue—which could have gone 2005 US GP bad—managed to upset the apple cart so much that everyone thought it was terrific. The irregular degradation of the tires was seen as a quick way to possibly change things up and make the racing more exciting.

As such, the powers that be decided to offer a sole-supplier tire tender and while Michelin was initially interested, they bowed out saying, effectively, we’re not about to make dodgy tires…we don’t make dodgy tires.

Pirelli decided they would throw their hat in and they too said “we don’t make dodgy tires either” but if F1 wants special HD tires, then we are happy to accommodate because we’re just that good at it.

I’ve never been a big fan of the HD tire and yet it is still here. My tolerance of it is fueled by the thought that it is the same for everyone in all situations, unlike the lamentable DRS. While we have these HD tires, there were some recent comments in the press by F1 about possible track changes.

To that, I said it was easier to change the cars than ask all the track owners to make major changes to their property as they don’t have the resources to do so. Besides, F1 track designer extraordinaire, Herman Tilke, has already been designing most of the new circuits for the current aerodynamic impact today’s cars have—ripe with 45 degree turns etc.

Now it seems that these track changes are something that F1 technical boss Ross Brawn is going to be focused on according to Liberty Media executive Greg Maffei. Greg says that Ross is going to…

“work on things like making it more exciting on track. And there are a host of really simple things there from when tracks get resurfaced, or tracks are rebuilt or renewed, that you have the right kind of surface so there is tyre degradation so that there are enough tyre changes to make it an interesting story. That you have the right changes, turns and chicanes where there is likely to be overtaking. So there are things around that.”

This comes on the heels of the recently resurfaced Barcelona track and the bespoke tires Pirelli brought that caused some controversy given Ferrari’s inability to get on top of the new compounds. Is this a simple Canada 2010 notion all over again?

Are we suggesting that tracks should all be resurfaced like Barcelona so we can “spice up the racing”? Color me reactionary but this is not a good idea. We are getting pants-on-head silly now if we think taking the HD tires concept even further would be a good idea. Did Indy 2005 not teach us anything?

I’m struggling to find wisdom in some of the comments coming from Liberty Media folks over the last 12 months if I am honest. It’s strange to buy a sport you seemingly know very little about and then try to add bright lights, baubles and cheap parlor tricks to make it more like a Mario Kart video game.

The social media wave of Formula E couldn’t be more fabricated and in your face with Jean Todt positively beaming from the electric paddock and yet this fossil fuel bastard called F1 is left lumbering around trying to be both electrified sustainability wrapped in a video game veneer with tires that suck in an effort to be like the NFL and “spice up the show”. Please stop.

Could everyone just take a moment here and get your filthy hands off my desert? For heaven’s sake, fans aren’t asking for any of these contrivances with their sport. They just want reduced aerodynamic reliance, closer racing, real engines that could have hybrid KERS and a decent sound and some better fan access to the teams and paddock. How damned hard is it to understand that? Surely this isn’t rocket surgery.

Hat Tip: Independent

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TarheelPup

Well said. Can someone PLEASE send Liberty Media links to all the YouTube videos about the death of NASCAR and their comment sections? Liberty seems to be heading the same way. And for the love of all that is Holy, being the NFL isn’t even working out all that well for the NFL! There are good, solid reasons the NFL doesn’t appeal to overseas markets which, it just so happens, are the bread and butter of F1. Unbelievable.

sunny stivala

Certainly one of the best editorials penned.

arrow044

It’s begun. Ferrari off the top step and we’re back to “everything is wrong” rhetoric.

arrow044

So I went back and re-read your article to see if I was missing something. To see if it was a fresh take rather than the all too common monsoon of bashing we get when the window of opportunity is presented. Let’s be honest, that opportunity came in the obviously fake and engineered conspiracy that Pirelli made special tires at the request of Mercedes. I will grant you that you have been making these complaints for years. However there is a pattern and timing as to when these “critiques” emerge. Bashing DRS, Pirelli tires and lamenting the lack of wheel… Read more »

arrow044

To get people to be honest and get to the point, you have to ruffle feathers. Polite debate never gets anything done. Which is why most conversations are bland and no one ever challenges the moderator for fear of falling foul of the “decorum” statues. I actually choose key words for effect. Red herring and straw man were intentionally chosen to draw out certain response in you. Which I believe worked. These are your words so you can’t say you’re being take out of context: “Are we suggesting that tracks should all be resurfaced like Barcelona so we can “spice… Read more »

arrow044

Sorry but someone has to break to you. Like you said, you’ve been making these complaints for years. Probably coincided with the down turn of the red team. Everything you’re asking for already exists. Its called GP2. F1 has never been about close racing. Its always been an engineering/constructors exercise. Drivers account for only 5-10%. To me, people who go on and on complaining about xyz just want to have their cake and eat it. Demand a return to something that never was.

arrow044

Now we are getting somewhere. On the issue of aero. This is nothing new. The effect of aero wash on trailing cars has been an around since the 80s. Despite downforce increases over the decades, the racing has gotten only closer and closer. The problem is we have documentaries and five minute youtube videos making people think the racing was better back then. If you looked a finish records from back then, you think you were looking at an endurance race finish because the majority of the finished multiple laps down and the field separated by minutes rather than seconds… Read more »

arrow044

See what I mean! It’s always a moving goal post. You knock down the baseless complaint and you just pivot to the next. Bottom line is no matter what happens, certain people have a proclevaty for complaining. That’s why I always say a winning Ferrari is the only remedy. When Ferrari is winning, all of this none sense gets ratchet down. In reality you don’t have any meaningful complaints or constructive criticism. Fan engagement- liberty has already done things like London live show. Kids on the grid admiring their heroes instead of scantily clad women. On the technical side you… Read more »

arrow044

Its getting tedious because you keep ducking every time I address your point head on. I just laid out the different ways of fan engagement and your response is…its not the right kind. This is worst than trying to please Goldilocks. Which speaks to my main point of NOTHING is ever good enough for some F1 critics. On the matter of tracks. Please stop straw manning. Present your case factually. Not ALL tracks are being resurfaced. And not all ashpalt are created equal. No one is going around telling track owners resurface. In some cases its the track owners themselves… Read more »

sunny stivala

ARROW044. a tad too late but just in case you drop back in, When and if a FERRARI is winning they must be cheating. When a Mercedes is winning they have designed a superior car.

sunny stivala

It is normal to feel like you’re getting annoyed or disillusioned.
It’s easy to become disillusioned when the butterflies go away and routine settles I. it can be a turning point. it can help define whether or not it’s worth fighting for.

photogcw

To borrow words from author Douglas Adams: relax, don’t panic. When it comes to the issue of re-designing tracks for F1, I bet the tracks push back on F1 and reply with what you said, NC: change the cars. Like you, I never liked high degradation tires and this year, there are too many tire formulations with very little difference between adjacent colors. With the last tire issues plaguing the top teams in Barcelona, I almost expected a full tire rollback like the 2013 season. Now in its 3rd year of ownership, it’s time for Liberty to execute a proper… Read more »

Tim C

Grace has always said it best . . . “Racing, just give me good racing.” Best of luck to Liberty Media if they think following in NASCAR’s footstep in “spicing up the show” is a good idea. Die hard fans are leaving NASCAR in droves over the “spice up the show” mentality. Leveling the playing field so teams have a fair shot at winning is a good thing. But resorting to tricks and gimmicks is not going to work. NASCAR is doing these things and the grandstands are almost empty and the TV ratings have plummeted. If this is where… Read more »

Jimmi

I so agree with this editorial. I so hate that we need to hear about tires all the time. OK, if the tires have a critical temp window and you want to make that part of the story, let’s see the tire temp data onscreen so it can be part of the drama. Oh, that’s confidential, etc. etc. etc? Then get rid of, what? Like three or so unnecessary and confusing tire compounds? Maybe buy Firestone’s formulas. Then shut up and drive. Really, the tire situation in F1 is foppish madness. I personally would never buy Pirelli tires. I’m too… Read more »

Jimmi

6 “constructs” is too many.

subcritical71

I also do not see track owners making changes to the track simply to spice up the show. Most tracks are having trouble surviving as it is already (but hey, that doesn’t stop the teams from spending for spendings sake despite the potential peril of smaller teams, you could say that is in the DNA of F1 but that’s another conversation!) In fairness to what is quoted though, it does not seem Greg wants the tracks to make changes just for changes sake and bare the brunt of the cost. But rather if the track is going to be “resurfaced,… Read more »

subcritical71

Fair point. I was only thinking that it wouldn’t take that much to convert if other projects were going on. I can see after thinking about it more that for a track like Melbourne, it would take numerous permits and approvals just to re-profile a public road, much less have it go in all sorts of new directions. Yeah, the tracks are not gonna pay for all of that. Now, if Liberty wants to go with a deal where they pay the entire cost of the upgrades they would like done so that they can see more commercial upside then… Read more »

sunny stivala

“There’s no cake, let them eat asphalt” as soon as it popped-up on my screen I posted “Certainly one of the best editorials penned”. It was my honest opinion, both NC and all else on here might rest assured that I was not rubbing NC’S back or anything the like, as everybody on here knows I will be the first to disagree with anybody were I don’t agree, and that includes NC. But credit is where credit is due. If anything in my opinion NC was too conservative in his editorial article in regards the powers that be. He didn’t… Read more »

Broderick1

@sunny stivala

“Mercedes not only requesting help with the tyres, but also supplying recommendations as to what should be done to the tyre. ”

This is an interesting conspiracy theory. Any links to that?

Are you saying that, not only did MB ask Pirelli for help but that they asked for the 0.4 mm reduction? Fascinating but without links or concrete evidence it will just sound like you are spreading speculation, hearsay and conspiracy theories.

sunny stivala

@ Broderick1.
Pirelli modifiziert reifen: dunnere laufflache bei…-auto motor sport April 6 2018.
Revelation:mercedes asked Pirelli for help by J.news-youtube April 7 2018.
F1i.com:Pirelli caters to mercedes blistering tyre demands! 07/04/2018 at 09:39.
Revelation:mercedes asked Pirelli for help:TJ13 Aprl 7 2018.
Pirelli agree to change after mercedes approach: PlanetF1. April 7 2018.

sunny stivala

NC. no offence taken, not at all, what you or anybody else believe or not is a right of yours/theirs. But to the “they approached all teams after Australia, and all teams agreed” that has been put to Arrivabene right after the race (Spain) and his pronto response was, in English: “FERRARI had been informed about the tyre change, but not consulted”. by this he meant that the reverse had happened with Mercedes (consulted rather than informed). in Italian: “l’unico accenno ploemico sugli pneumatici portati della Pirelli con un battistrada piu basso di 0.4mm se lo e concesso prima del… Read more »

subcritical71

Are your links a joke meant to waste our time? I didn’t see/hear anywhere in your ‘links’ a quote on your theory. Speculation and innuendo do not translate to the ‘facts’ which you are trying to peddle. Repeating something also does not make it fact. Two of your links directly references your first link as the source (which was speculation). The video… I don’t know what that was trying to prove. So now we have a situation where someone speculated, a couple of people repeated it, and you read it. You then decide to repeat it here (again) as fact.… Read more »

sunny stivala

All that speculations theories about helping Mercedes when they requested help seems to have lead Pirelli and the powers that be to change the tyre goal post at the fifth race of the season by means of “Safety reasons” more than by what some believe was an agreement by all teams.

subcritical71

Yeah, just as I thought wasting our time

arrow044

Frustrating isn’t it? What Sunny is doing is not a banning offense and I don’t want him to get banned. However, the only way this stops is if Todd, the authority figure, tells him he can’t behave this way. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen so Sunny will continue to spread the fake news, Todd will ask for links, and the rest of us will have to decide whether or not to just ignore Sunny’s post.

subcritical71

Well, quite frankly I don’t think he will. In his mind he is doing nothing wrong no matter how many people have the exact some issue with him. Any search for Salvu Borg or Sunny Stivala will show that he uses the same caustic approach on many websites. He frustrates users, uses attention grabbing headlines as fact, and generally adds no value to the discussion. After he presents the topics as facts he will then backtrack and say it’s merely his opinion to buy more time. He’ll be good for a few days and then back to the same MO.… Read more »

sunny stivala

So expressing an opinion, also carry over on here what I have read elsewhere is regarded as pushing false news. Giving sources as asked is also now being regarded as wasting “our time”. That was after as expected declaring the sources as un-reliable. Here are some more, “Thisisf1 2 months ago on 2018/04/07” “Racefans. Independent motorsports coverage. 13 march 2018 17:33 Keith Collantine”. “GPblog news. Nicolas quarles van ufford Pirelli changes 2018 tyres at Mercedes 4request. 07-04-2018 09:35”. are they also un-reliable?. If so no problem with me, I respect others opinions, and it doesn’t matter if mine is not.… Read more »

Broderick1

These are not direct quotes from any of the participants in your conspiracy theory that Mercedes and Pirelli conspired to change the tyres to give them an advantage.

They are basically clickbait sounding headlines to promote the idea of a conspiracy.

We need actual quotes from either Isola or Wolff or Allison that they asked Pirelli for help or that MB suggested the 0.4 mm decrease.

So far, you have provided no proof that your conspiracy theory is worth investigating. We need facts and not opinions by the usual suspects.

sunny stivala

I have no doubt whatsoever that the only quotes acceptable to you would only be that from Isola, Wolff or Allison. that is understandable, you just keep dreaming of ever having that. unlike you who have been out to prove that what others said was not the truth in was not out to prove that what others said is the truth, was just quoting what others said. do you still believe that the in-season tyre goalposts changing pushers would have been able to harness 70% of teams needed approval for their push?.

Broderick1

It’s called corroborating evidence or statements from at least one participant from all camps accussed of conspiring.

You did not provide any.

Again, with all due respect, your opinion still amounts to speculation and a conspiracy theory.

With regards to your last question, you have to ask the FIA why they thought that this was a safety issue and did not require approval by the teams.

If you have any proof or facts that this wasn’t about safety, I would love to hear them.

sunny stivala

“This is an interesting conspiracy theory. any link to that?” How can you call it a conspiracy theory without knowing if any links exists.

Broderick1

With all due respect, you are the one who came up with a conspiracy theory. I just wanted to know where you got your sources or info to come up with such a conspiracy theory.

Nigel

I love this article! However, although I agree with your conclusions, I think we may disagree as to why. In the past, F1 was an easy sell: sex and death; and from the Coliseum to Rocky V, people love that. However, F1 is trying to be relevant in the environmentally friendly, #MeToo, Safety-Nazi world….and they are crucifying themselves to do it. I remember when KERs was introduced, all that you heard was “F1 must be road relevant!!!!”. That was the moment it all went wrong….why does F1 have to be road relevant? We don’t demand that tennis be relevant! Personally,… Read more »

arrow044

Good grief! If I can figure out your politics from a single post, you’re more ideological than you care to believe. Talk about conflating. Dial back the hysteria.

Broderick1

Tyres should not dictate the championship nor change the outcome in the middle of one.

They should have left the tyres alone. If a driver is suffering from blistering and is at risk of blowing up his tyres, there is a solution to that – pit and change tyres and move along.

It is up to the car designers and team engineers to solve this problem and not Pirelli.

Broderick1

Steal away! :) I just can’t understand the logic of changing something that is a standard component supplied by a third party for no other reason than to be relevant or be in the news. Tyres are there to showcase the technical aspects of a Formula 1 car. They could put road tyres on them and I could care less. I am exagerrating, of course, but a great team would work their way around this limitation and still amaze us. I’ve always said, just bring one set of tyres, the softest and stickiest, and let them race. Like the old… Read more »

Broderick1

I would go with the best grip and so-so longevity and yes, Michelin didn’t compromise when the tender was offered. I don’t blame Pirelli for making the tyres that F1 asked for, but at least just do the change once – before the season begins. After that, no more unless tyres just explode randomly ala Siverstone 2013. I think they were again concerned about their reputation if the tyres don’t hold up in Spain, Silverstone or France, hence, the change. In that case, they shouldn’t be surprized with the calls of favouritism after. By the way, it didn’t matter who… Read more »

arrow044

“Tyres should not dictate the championship nor change the outcome in the middle of one.”

An obvious straw man and comical. If you said that at a weekend SCCA autocross, you’d get laughed off. We won’t laugh to ridicule, but how naive to dismiss the importance of tires. Tires are the #1 factor when it to comes to motorsports. Secondly, the change was agreed upon in preseason testing. Before the season started. And Spain was round 5/21. So what’s this nonsense about mid season change?

arrow044

Really Todd? “Naive” sets you off?

subcritical71

My 0.02c… the SCCA doesn’t use a common tire supplier from what I remember. And since F1 does I agree with this point in that the tires should not be changed to suit any particular manufacturer (@ anytime).
Just to be clear, that does not mean I don’t think the tires are a huge performance differentiator between teams. The teams need to get on top of the provided tires to be successful.
I also think the in-season test showed that in this case (Spain) Pirelli made the correct call in changing the tires to prevent problems during the race.

arrow044

“The teams need to get on top of the provided tires to be successful”

That’s all I’m saying. No matter what level of motorsports, how your car deals with the tires will decide your level of success. Teams can build the best car in the world but if its not working under the given tires they won’t succeed. Mercedes’ pace struggle as we’ve seen comes down to the tires despite having one of the best cars and engines.

Broderick1

Actually, the “motor” is the #1 factor in MOTORsports. Hence, the name. Saying that it’s the tyres is the comical bit. I should have been more clear with the tyre changes. I meant that if they did agree to change the tyre specs, in my opinion, they should have introduced the new tyre prior to Australia and stuck with it the whole season. None of this rubbish of introducing tyres in-season or mid. Pirelli opened themselves up to criticisms of favouritism regardless of who benefits from the change. I could care less if Ferrari or Mercedes or Redbull won. Calls… Read more »

arrow044

Thanks for proving to us all you know nothing about driving dynamics and zero knowledge of why the tires were made thinner in the first place.

I don’t know whether to laugh or face palm over this comment:

…”in my opinion, they should have introduced the new tyre prior to Australia and stuck with it the whole season”

Remind us what was so different about Spanish, British and French GP this year??? Here’s a hint: its the black stuff.

arrow044

Todd, it would appear you’ve made our little exchange personal. No wonder why your comment sections are always so bland and lack opposing view points. I sense you’re itching to ban me, so feel free to. Seeing as you’re taking offense at everything I write, when there is nothing to be offended by and now actively policing my speech…its only a matter of time. Its ok. I get the hint.

Broderick1

No worries. I’m still laughing over your claim that: “Tire is the #1 factor in motorsports!” “zero knowledge of why the tires were made thinner” Seriously? I could pull up hundreds of articles and explanations in seconds, online. Isola even explains it himself. It’s not hard to understand. Unless you had a bit of trouble yourself. Driving dynamics? Again, you shouldn’t assume that you have a better motor racing pedigree than others. It just make you look like you are desperate for attention. They have resurfaced tracks before and they do not always introduce a totally redesigned or highly modified… Read more »

arrow044

“In my opinion, there was no need to reduce the tread …”

I’m done.

Broderick1

Bye! Enjoy your tyresport!

sunny stivala

“Non of this rubbish of introducing tyres in-season?” They did not introduce tyres in-season, they modified the tyre in-season as per Mercedes request.

Broderick1

Stop with the conspiracy theories. Please. There are no hard facts or evidence that Mercedes requested the modification.

Why are you insisting when you, yourself, have not presented any facts to back up your conspiracy theory?

sunny stivala

But you did present facts to the contrary! such as they did it on safety grounds and not to help Mercedes, also and not because they had no chance of getting the necessary 70% teams approval. and remember, they did not introduce tyres in season, they simply modified the tyre as per Mercedes request so as they (Mercedes) would better manage the tyre optimum operating heat range as per their car. And what gives you the idea that somebodies else opinion is a conspiracy theory and your opinion is not?

Broderick1

Kindly point out to me when I stated as fact that the tread reduction was for safety grounds. Never. I actually asked you “to ask the FIA why they thought that this was a safety issue and did not require approval by the teams”. Because this is the only way this modification would have been allowed, through safety reasons. As of July 1, 2013, because of the Silverstone tyre debacle, Jean Todt changed the rules to allow Pirelli to change tyres specs without approval from the teams. You need to ask Todt why or if he thought that this modification… Read more »

sunny stivala

this tyre modification asked for by Mercedes because of their tyre blistering problems would have been passed by 70% of teams approval. the powers that be know they had no chance of garnering that teams approval. this lack of approval by other teams exposes the real intent behind the moving of the tyre goal posts during the season. Hypocrites of the first order, the lot.

Broderick1

@sunny stivala

Still with your conspiracy theories.

You are not offering facts that support your speculations, assumptions and insinuations that Mercedes asked Pirelli for the tyre modifications. None. It’s just part of a theory you concocted which suggests that Pirelli, Mercedes and the FIA conspired to help Mercedes. It has no basis in fact which makes it not very credible.

“The powers that be…” ay yay yay! Sounds like conspiracy jargon.

Have you asked the FIA yet why this change was approved? Your answer lies with them and not with parroting opinions and unreliable sources online.

subcritical71

@broderick… you summed that up quite well.

sunny stivala

That’s as expected from you, no surprise there.

Broderick1

I tried. :)

subcritical71

@Broderick1 – George Carlin would be proud, you put up a good effort!

sunny stivala

It is getting really “comical” now excluding the tyres from being the number one factor in car performance. this time its as bright as a 1000w bulb.

Broderick1

@Sunny Stivala You cannot exclude from the number one. It either is or not. The statement by Arrow044 did not say “that tyres is one of the most important factors in motorsport”. He claims that “tires IS THE #1 FACTOR in motorsports”. He means above everything else. More than the engine or PU, or the aero, or the driver. And please try not change the wording to suit your argument. He clearly stated “motorsports” and not “car performance”. So do you agree with Arrow044 that “tires is the #1 factor in motorsports”? Remember, “the #1 factor” not “one of the”.… Read more »

sunny stivala

Yes I fully agree with him re the tyres (his post).

Broderick1

Great. That’s all you needed to say. There was no need for the insults, was there?

sunny stivala

What insults you talking about?

subcritical71

LOL, I’m thinking brakes…..

Tom Firth

Some would argue you should get a Murray or a Byrne instead ;-)

Broderick1

I don’t know but I think Arrow’s objective was to put me down and might have made a bold proclamation/slash exagerration that “tires is the #1 factor in motorsports” just to drive the stake in deeper. He seems pretty mad with my statement that “Tyres should not dictate the championship nor change the outcome in the middle of one.” I would have been laughed off by weekend SCCA drivers, he says. I wish he would have just said “I disagree”. Now, sunny’s joined in with the barbs. Oh well, in one ear, out the other. Personally, I think tyres are… Read more »

sunny stivala

Blab and more blab, like your objective was not to put others “ME’ down?

Broderick1

Nope. If you look at my posts to you it’s all about looking for facts to support your theory.

I did not call you names nor insult you. I just wanted evidence and proof which you never provided. You kept responding with other things beside proof so I replied back. That’s all. I am just as annoyed as you now about this conversation so I’ll end it here. Cheers.

Alianora La Canta

Too many of the tracks on the calendar are already samey. Specifying a type of asphalt will make things worse.

subcritical71

Anybody else get the fan survey today?

I won’t discuss the contents as I don’t know how enforceable the cofidentiality agreement is, but it does offer a peek into what they are thinking about.

subcritical71

Consider yourself lucky. I hope Grace received it. It was about the same quality as the previous ones. It would be nice to hear her thoughts on it in the next podcast.

sunny stivala

As if we didn’t had enough trashing-it out about tyres and the polemics caused by the political maneuverings of the powers that be on here. A new story as regards tyres this morning. The powers that be seems totally committed to confuse us followers as best they could. “Pirelli has been officially requested to do away with hard, medium and soft with three colours. With three colours , The same colours and names for all races. “but obviously different compounds, because you cannot use the same compound in Silverstone or Monaco. We will have compound A,B,C,D,E,F or whatever, but different… Read more »