Why F1 teams voted down the "knee-jerk reaction" tyre change

The failed bid to change Formula 1's tyre specification mid-season to try to end Mercedes' domination has been described as a "significant risk" and a "knee-jerk reaction".

Why F1 teams voted down the "knee-jerk reaction" tyre change

A meeting on Friday morning at the Red Bull Ring ended with a 50/50 split between teams over whether to switch back to Pirelli's 2018 tyres.

This was a result of Mercedes' dominant start to the season and the struggles many teams have had on the thinner-tread tyres introduced for 2019.

McLaren, Renault and Mercedes' customer teams Williams and Racing Point joined the championship-winning outfit in voting against the change.

Read Also:

Asked by Motorsport.com to explain the team's position on the change, Racing Point technical director Andrew Green said: "We listened to the arguments and we especially listened to Mario [Isola], Pirelli are the experts in this area.

"From what we could tell it wasn't clear cut at all that a change reverting to last year's compounds' gauge thickness would be a positive change.

"It sounded like a significant risk to us. From our perspective it's too late for this season, the decision to focus on trying to do something to improve the tyres and the show for next season is the right thing to do.

"To not distract from the testing that's going on post-this event and post-Silverstone is the right decision. And try to do something for next year, rather than a knee-jerk reaction in the middle of this year."

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said she was also "not fully convinced" that 2018 tyres would solve the issue of this year's racing not being as competitive as had been hoped.

Asked by Motorsport.com about the meeting, Williams said: "Williams isn't in favour of doing that.

"Clearly we're in favour of doing everything we can to make the show better, but I don't think a quick fix that we don't actually know is going to resolve the issue."

Pirelli will work on a proposal for a possible alternative solution later in the season.

One option is for 2020 development tyres to be run later this year in Friday practice sessions, as F1's rules allow two sets of prototype compounds to be used ahead of a grand prix weekend.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff indicated that he felt the push was teams that were "driven by the interest to increase their own relative performance".

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl agreed, saying that F1 does not have "a tyre issue" and that Pirelli has matched "all the requirements we have set out last year as F1".

He said the motivation to change the tyres was simply because "we have three top teams with the same resources and one team is doing a significantly better job than the other two".

Seidl added: "It's nothing really we can influence as McLaren. It's down to the three top teams and the FIA and F1 to see if there's anything that can be done short-term to fix that issue."

However, Red Bull – joined by Ferrari, Haas, Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso in backing a mid-season change – does not agree with the arguments behind keeping the 2019 tyres.

Responding to Motorsport.com's question about how the teams' viewed the push for 2018 tyres, Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan said: "We would quite happily accept the 2018 tyres to come back.

"I don't think the risk is as great as some perceive. It is about creating a show. We almost have to take a step back and take a less slightly team-centric position and say if it would be better for the show, could the teams cope with it?

"Our opinion is yes, we could. We accept there's been a majority vote not to do so but we have a slightly different view to the majority."

shares
comments
Revealed: How Ferrari is seeking extra downforce in Austria

Previous article

Revealed: How Ferrari is seeking extra downforce in Austria

Next article

F1's current state is exactly what fans asked for

F1's current state is exactly what fans asked for
Load comments
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Prime

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021