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Even thought they won the bahrain Grand Prix, Red Bull boss Christian Horner still feels that this years tire compounds are too knife-edge. According to Horner, there is a finite window of performance and it is elusive at best:

“These tyres are very complex and we got it just right here,” he said.

“The strategy worked, the strategy from qualifying worked in conserving tyres for the race, and Seb had plenty in hand.

“When you’re in the window with the balance with these tyres, then you can have a dominant display.

“But that window is very, very fine and if you’re outside of it then you can be four or five-stopping.

It comes down to balance and finding the right window for gaining the best performance. This window and challenge is apparently what fans want to see and what Pirelli believes is a tactical challenge that adds to the sport. Even Pirelli use the word balance telling AUTOSPORT:

“We are at extremes, as we were last year when there were similar comments like, ‘oh my god, you have gone too far,'” he said.

“If we made products that would just work here, we would find we had major problems when we got to the rest of the season. So, it is a balancing act.”

Pirelli will asses their performance during the three-week break and decide if a small adjustment should be made. For Red Bull, the tires are simply too soft and they’d like a re-think for the remainder of 2013.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Tim

    I am about sick of hearing about the tires. Sure . . . I’d like a more durable tire but it’s the same for everyone. Just get on with the program. Teams . . . you have what you have this year so make the most of it. You’re smart folks. I’m sure you can figure it out. The whining of the teams is almost as bad as Bernie’s whining over the sound of the new V6 engine formula for next year!

  • Matt

    I agree I am sick of hearing about the tires as well. The teams and also fans have to accept the fact that the tires are not going to drastically change for this year. I am just wondering what sort of nonsense Pirelli/F1 come up with for next year. I think I remember seeing a few months ago that aero regulations are not going to change for next year, but with the new engines/energy recover systems/new fuel loads changing the weights of the car I can’t imagine Pirelli or anyone else knowing what sort of loads will be on the tire until testing. I can easily see the tires next year being overly durable, too degrading, not grippy enough, and basically anything in between.

  • Rapierman

    Well, guys, when even the mediums get destroyed over the normal course of a race, you’d be whining, too. The only reason you don’t hear me complain is that my voice doesn’t carry that far; otherwise, Pirelli would be deaf from all my screaming as Master Drill Sargeant rips ’em a new one. I’ve seen better tires on a Mini Cooper.

  • otto bonn

    To me, the tires are merely a symptom of the overall disease that is killing Formula One. I’ve been a devoted F1 fan since attending the inaugural Detroit Grand Prix back in 1982 as a kid, and can honestly say that I’ve never enjoyed the sport less than this season (last season being a close second). Instead of seeing the world’s top drivers pushing the most advanced machinery every fortnight to see which combination is the fastest, we now have what feels like a largely manufactured exercise in creating a product whose purpose is primarily to entertain the masses. Each new rule change is another contrivance to create more parody among the competitors and thus put on a better “show.”

    This all started in the early naughts when Schumacher and Ferrari were so dominant. Bernie and the FIA were tired of it and feared the fans would leave the sport, so they started coming up with various rules changes purely for the sake of giving the slower drivers/teams a better chance to win races. In no particular order, these rules changes included: one-car-at-a-time quali followed by the current format (instead of 45’/12 laps per car), having to use both compounds of tires each race, starting the race with the fuel left onboard from quali, limits to number of tires available for each race, DRS, KERS, no team orders, etc. Add to that other unnecessary rules and other changes made in the name of safety and/or cost cutting like: no refueling, no testing, no T cars, boring Tilke tracks, and worst of all, the hiring of drivers with money over those with the most talent, have combined to make F1 far less sporting.

    What has brought F1 to the tipping point this season for me is the Pirsmelly tires! They’ve managed to almost completely neuter the drivers and cars. Drivers are now more concerned with managing their tires than pushing their cars to the limit. When faced with the prospect of battling for position, drivers can now be heard calling into the pits to have the team “mathematician” decide if it’s worth the risk of deviating from that ideal-tire-management lap time to actually race the other driver. I, for one, do not find that entertaining! The tires have simply become WAY too important in the overall scheme of things.

    If it were up to me, they’d bring back refueling, allow teams unlimited numbers of tires to use as they wish, no post-quali parc ferme, allow testing, bring back the much simpler/easier to follow 10-6-5-3-2-1 point system, and stop penalizing drivers for “racing incidents.” In other words, BRING BACK THE RACING!

    But I digress…

    • I enjoyed your digression very much. Thanks for sharing, mate.

  • mini696

    The tyres are horrible. Pirelli need to step up their game and stop using the excuse of “Its what we were asked to do”. They are a step (or three) too far.

  • Denis

    I’m sorry but, if you don’t think F1 is losing its edge because of tires, you’re dead wrong. Do I want better tires? Sure. But this is racing. And if a team can’t figure out what to do with the tires given to them, then that team isn’t doing something right. And it happens that the team who’s doing the complaining the most is Red Bull. Even after winning, they complained – which begs the question: why? Simple answer: the RB9, which is the 2013 version of the RB8, can’t make the tires work. Now, whose fault is that? Pirelli’s or Newey’s?

    Someone above said that we’re not seeing the fastest drivers duke it out. Has he been watching the races? Last I checked, the fastest and best are racing. Alonso’s, Kimi’s, and Lewis’ performances don’t count? The way that Kimi and Alonso can manage their tires IS racing. In this sport, you don’t get points for poles or fastest lap. You get points by winning. Vet tel can manage tires? Too bad. Without tires there’s no car. So, tires have to be the foundation of any balanced package. If you don’t find Kimi’s victory in Australia, or Alonso’s in China, or Grosjean’s drive in Bahrain, or Force India’s amazing first three races, or Lewis’ performance with Mercedes, then don’t watch. Today’s F1 isn’t perfect. But it isn’t complete crap either.

    I do agree that some rule changes are just stupid. Like no testing. Refuelling and unlimited tires need to come back. Rules changes were put in place so there is better, more fair competition.

    Could Red Bull have won three WCs without those rule changes? Nope.