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Korean Grand Prix: Tombazis: We can’t just blame tyres

Designer Nikolas Tombazis says tyre issues are only one part of why Ferrari has dropped away from the F1 title race
Ferrari's chief designer Nikolas Tombazis admits that the Italian team can't blame changes to Pirelli's tyres for it dropping away from the front during the 2013 F1 season.

Fernando Alonso won twice in the opening five races of the season but has failed to take victory since his home event in Spain back in May.

While the double champion has picked up five podium finishes since then, he has invariably done so having fought back from a disappointing qualifying performance, having failed to start a race from the front two rows since Bahrain.

The Spaniard has also lost huge ground to Sebastian Vettel in the races since Pirelli introduced new tyres to counter the issues faced at Silverstone, but Tombazis said the team couldn't simply blame that change for it dropping away in the title race.

“That change occurred after the German GP, when the tyre belt changed from being metallic to being made of Kevlar,” he said. “However, it would be somewhat superficial to blame the tyres as the only reason for our decrease in performance. We also took some development steps that were not as strong and didn't work.”

Tombazis added that the team would work in upcoming races to try and gain a better understating of the tyres while also seeking to further improve the performance of the F138.

“Our efforts will be partly aimed at continuing to understand better the tyres and tyre management, which might see some improvement compared to our competitors,” he said, “and we are bringing small aero updates.

“One should not expect these to dramatically affect the final result but we feel they will bring some improvement.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.09.2013- Race,  Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138
22.09.2013- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138
20.09.2013- Free Practice 1: Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138
20.09.2013- Free Practice 1: Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138
Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 rear wing and Pirelli wheel.
Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 - Pirelli tyre and front wing detail.
Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 - Pirelli tyre.
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Michael Schumacher and the 1996 Ferrari F310
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Antonio Giovinazzi - Ferrari SF15-T
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]

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October 01, 2013 6:30 PM

Tombazis is correct. It's much more than tire issues that have degraded the scuderia's performance over the past four seasons. It's the extremely ordinary performance of Tombazis, Fry, their engineering teams and the satisfied management of Domenicali who seem to believe that making excuses and try to "understand" problems are good enough.


October 02, 2013 7:13 AM

Some still think the Ferrari is such a drag. Talking about 2 sec of the Red Bull. So Alonso is the reason for the pace? Interesting. Watch F1 a bit. Senna could bring a bad car through the grid to 2 in Monaco. Don't think Alonso is that great that he could keep a 'drag' in the hunt for 20 races. Ferrari cant find the source of the final piece of the puzzle. and that puzzles them

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