Alonso: We have to be honest, the quality of the tyres is very much on the limit

Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari pit garage during Korea qualifying

Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari pit garage during Korea qualifying

Pirelli hit back at Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso for criticising their Formula 1 tyres after the qualifying session of the Korean Grand Prix

The Spaniard, who is second in the championship but 60 points behind Red Bull‘s triple champion Sebastian Vettel, qualified only fifth for Sunday’s grand prix while his German rival will line up on pole position, for the third race succession.

He told reporters that the tyres could not even last a fast lap of the circuit without their performance dropping off.

“Of course Alonso is one of the great F1 drivers, so to hear such comments is disappointing and below the standards you would expect from such a champion,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery. “I can only suggest he goes to ask the soon-to-be four-time champion how to get the best from the same tyres.”

Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest in Korea qualifying

Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest in Korea qualifying

Alonso had recognised that his car was off the pace and accepted that the tyres were the same for everybody as he complained about them.

“The tyres cannot do five kilometres. If you push them, you finish the tyres. It’s something that is not normal,” he told reporters. “We have to be honest … the quality of the tyres is very [much] on the limit.

“But I’m not blaming the tyres. That they are not good we [can] all see with our eyes. It’s the same tyres for everybody…so it’s a compromise we need to find.”

Pirelli, who came in for strong criticism earlier in the season after a spate of blowouts that led to a change in compounds and structure, have long argued that they are only meeting Formula 1’s own request for less durable tyres to encourage overtaking and mix up the strategy.

Pirelli tyre technician at work in Korea

Pirelli tyre technician at work in Korea

Ferrari are second in the championship and Alonso said that he and Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa could be proud to be ahead of their rivals given the pace of the car.

“We are the third or fourth fastest team. It’s what we’ve been in the last four years and I managed to fight for the Drivers’ World Championship and we put Ferrari in second position in last year’s [Constructors'] Championship,” he said.

“We are now in second position and Felipe and me will try and do our best to keep it…in a way [we can be] very proud of our personal performance.”

Five races remain after South Korea, with Vettel likely to wrap up his fourth successive title long before the season-ender in Brazil next month. The German has won the last three races, and seven of the 13 to date. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Boycottthebull

    I think his comments were fair given that Bernie asked for high degrading tyres but the response from Pirelli were rather childish.

  • Dr. Azlan

    Hambery should have said Alonso and Luca hang their balls early in the pool on Fridays.

  • TylerC

    There’s but one small problem with Hembrey’s comments, aside of course from the fact that they sound like a 10 year olds’ argument on a playground, and that would be Alonso isn’t wrong! Overtaking is almost always from DRS on the straights because novody dares leave the racing line in the corners

  • TylerC

    There’s but one small problem with Hembrey’s comments, aside of course from the fact that they sound like a 10 year olds’ argument on a playground, and that would be Alonso isn’t wrong! Overtaking is almost always from DRS on the straights because nobody dares leave the racing line in the corners

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    “We are the third or fourth fastest team.”

    usual lame bullshit by Alonso. His car is always among the fastest in the race. Being a bad qualifier is his own fault, made more severe by frequent defeat to Massa.

  • Liambo

    Vettel was struggling on the tyres until Pirelli saved Red Bull’s season. Paul Hembery(fan boy) needs to dust himself down and stop making a mockery of the entire 2013 F1 season, which was destroyed and tainted by Pirelli’s actions.

  • quattro

    I have defended Pirelli in the past – this however shows me that I was wrong and everyone complaining about Pirelli rubber (and their way of conducting themselfs) right. The good thing is that, in contrast to ALO, I have the luxury of choosing another manufacturer – a luxury I certainly intend to use in the future!

    The irony of things… Have you forgotten Mr Humphrey which driver, and which team that would complain and nag, each and every grand prix about the durability aspects of your tires in the first part of the season?? They stopped complaining first when you changed mid-season the specifications of the tires to one that (obviously) fits their package better. Obviously, too short of a memory to remember that, since you are asking ALO to look at exactly those persons now!

    The irony of things… we have not even started talking about all those occasions that we could see, on TV, the tires made by YOU literally EXPLODE on track putting driver lives in danger. Off course, we could not require you mr Hembery to remember that – after all it was more than four races ago that it happened last time, too far back in history for someone of your intelligence to remember…obviously!

    You would expect the motorsport director of a major company to have more intelligence than this, or at least the ability to express himself more eloquently than what he has! Pirelli, through their representative, mr Humphrey, clearly demonstrate that they are not trustworthy – that I will remember next time I look for quality rubber for our cars!

  • Hobosport

    Hembery doesn’t even address the issue. Alonso freely admits that everyone has the same tires and that others are making them work better in terms of pace.

    His complaint is that they cannot handle a full qualifying lap before degrading. It’s a justifiable complaint in my eyes that has little do with his personal performance. Vettel is not able to make his tires last a whole lap either, he is just faster on them.

    You could give everyone one set of tires for the whole weekend and the last place man’s complaints would be just as valid as the first. Obviously it’s not that drastic, but the formula does need some tweaking.

  • Boycotthehaters

    So one the one hand we’re told that “Red Bull are winning because Pirelli introduced more durable tyres and we should have stayed with the fragile tyres” and on the other hand that “Alonso is struggling because the tyres are too fragile”?

    The only thing the haters can be consistent about is their hate.

  • Tinto

    Aggressive Pirelli answer to Alonso: “I can only suggest he goes to ask the soon-to-be four-times champion how to get the best from the same tyres.”

  • Butterfly

    quattro:

    Too right, I totally agree with you.

  • Butterfly

    Now would be a good time for Ferrari to hold Fernando’s back and kick PH in the teeth.

    What a monumental moron.

  • Nowhereman

    Pirelli tires are viewed here in the US as quality tires.
    They rate mid pack at best.
    It shows with PH’s immature comments.
    People, when things look strange and fishy smelling, just follow the money.
    Two teams got information / changes they required to become more competitive in F1. (Merc and RB)
    One illegally and the other, well you just follow the money trail.

  • grimreaper

    When Red Bull complain Pirelli change the construction. When Ferrari complain they are told by Pirelli to consult Red Bull? Double standards Mr Hemberly. Pirelli love Red Bull! !.

  • AlsoRan

    Ditch the one tire supplier rule and allow each team to choose their supplier.
    Michelin would love to be back but do not want to be the only supplier.
    Bring back refueling.

  • Tinto

    Not necessarily related to this topic, but it is about Alonso. Latest comments of Martin about booing Vettel in Singapore…. Yesterday he commented on air that Alonso had incited the booing. He said that Vettel had calmed and quieted the boos down with a joke and then Alonso deliberately stirred the negative boo people up again.Today Martin made a whole segment supporting Vettel saying that it doesn’t matter about the booing now its winning and the multiple WDCs that will count in history.

  • Ranger Steve

    Well at least Alonso was proved wrong!!!

    Those Pirelli’s certainly lived up to Alonso’s and our expectations… utter crap.