Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011

Fry: Ferrari ‘understand hard tyre issues’

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Ferrari say they have made progress with the difficulties they experienced with Pirelli’s new hard tyre.

Fernando Alonso led the early stages of the Spanish Grand Prix but was lapped by the end of it as he struggled after switching to the hard tyres.

Pat Fry, who took over from former technical director Aldo Costa following the race, say they “understand” the problems they experienced in Barcelona:

“Trying to make the hard tyres work is quite difficult. If you look at some of the smaller teams, they could never get the hard tyre working at all.

“So you’ve got quite a large spread in the speed of the various cars, and that grows as the tyres get hot.

“We had a few issues which we’ve been working on last week, and we now understand, that were giving us some particular issues that exaggerated the problems that people have on the hard tyre.

“Hopefully we’ve got an understanding of that now and have been working on fixing it”.

Pirelli introduced a new version of the hard tyre for that race and said this week it is “likely” to be used again in Silverstone.

The teams will use the soft and super-soft tyres for the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend. Fry expects it to be less challenging than last year’s race was in terms of tyre use:

“It’s a bit like Monaco, I suppose, where it’s all about traction and braking. The braking is always a challenge there compared to Monaco. But the traction and how the car uses its tyres at the corner exit will be very key for how quickly the rear tyres wear out.

“It’s the same two compounds again [as were used in Monaco] but, if anything, I think it’ll be slightly less trouble than last year because the compounds are that little bit harder”.

He added the team will have updates on its diffuser and rear wing this weekend.

See the video above for more from Fry on the strategies used in Monaco and the special demands placed on brakes at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and also thoughts from engine and electronics director Luca Marmorini.

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Keith Collantine
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17 comments on “Fry: Ferrari ‘understand hard tyre issues’”

  1. Hopefully Ferrari will get their act together and start challenging for victories and taking points away from vettel!

    1. It’s not just Ferrari that ned to get their act together to start taking points away from Vettel, its everyone, including mark Webber!

      1. Maybe Renault should help us a bit there by supplying some faulty engines :-o

        But I guess that even if they would, these would somehow be Webbers’ by his luck with technical issues lately!

        1. Not without being transferred from Vettels car first ;)

  2. Is it possible, Pat Fry will bring in a bit of insight into that McLaren tyre simulator that is said to be top notch?

    It might be that understanding the tyres and having the tools to simulate what to expect are the reason why McLaren does not seem to have a problem with any tyre this year.

    1. I am sure the people who decided they would be running the old car in the first round of testing like to agree! They do seem vindicated by the pretty solid track record of getting the tyres to work. And the lack of unreliability by McLaren once the season started.

  3. Ferrari need to start winning now, Hopefully both them and Mclaren can claw back points from Vettel.

  4. Brawn had tyre issues in 2009…Mercedes still has them today.

    Understanding is one thing, fixing is another. It may have something to do with a fundamental aspect of the car that can’t be changed easily, or have a negative secondary effect.

    1. I agree.

      It all started with the lack of aerodynamical downforce in the beginning of the year, resulting in bad results on tracks with a lot of long, sweeping fast corners like Sepang or Barcelona. It was the same last year and they managed to overcome the problem came Germany.

      Now they had the tyre issue as well which proves to be harder to solve.

      Of course they are going to be competitive in Montreal: where mechanical downforce, good handling, traction, brakes and engine power counts, and soft tyres are allocated they are good to go, like Monaco. But it’s not gonna be enough in the long haul.

      The championships are already out of Alonso’s and Ferrari’s reach anyway. It’s only Sebastian Vettel’s race really. I don’t expect anybody will catch up with him. He has won it with this strong start like Button did in 2009. The only driver I see is capable of catching him, who has a slim chance is Lewis Hamilton. I agree with his comment that Vettel, Alonso and him are the best drivers in the field, with Rosberg a close fourth, but only he has the package with which this talent could be make count in terms of the championship.

    2. Ferrari had smaller issues in 2010, so the solution isn’t far away.

  5. I’d like to see them get on top of the tyres issue. They were sturggling with the super-soft aswell were they not?

    1. They looked pretty solid on the supersoft.. but just couldn’t get it together during qualifying for some reason.

  6. In a moment of idle speculation I wondered what the outcome would be if Ferrari got into Q3, set a decent time on softs which seems to favour their car and did a last minute switch to hards as Q3 ends.
    If that is legal, then start on the hards, pit at the end of lap 1 when everyone is getting sorted out and switch to the softs. It would seem to me that given the pace Alonzo showed in Spain, he would have then a tire strategy built around running the race on softs recognizing that they have to be prudent on the use of softs for practice, Q1 and Q2.
    Idle thoughts as I say.

    1. That would not work Alex,

      they have to start the race on the exact set of tyres that was used to set their fastest lap time in Q3.

      Oh, and by the way, the sofst (with the yellow markings) will be used as the harder tyre (“prime”) in Canada, they use the super softs (red markings) as the softer (“option”) tyre here, just like last race in Monaco

  7. sid_prasher (@)
    8th June 2011, 20:25

    Nice interview. Too many “hopefully” thrown in there though :)

  8. Just like last years more than the DRS the result of the race will be on the tyres.

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