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Lotus: unfair to tweak tyres now

| Source: autosport.com |

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Lotus thinks it would be unfair if Pirelli makes changes to the tyres later this season just because some teams are struggling to make the rubber last.

After a number of outfits were forced to make four-stops during the Spanish Grand Prix due to the high degradation, Pirelli has conceded that it may have to tweak its tyres to limit a repeat in the future. Such changes could hamper the Lotus outfit, which appears perfectly suited to the high degrading rubber with its E21.

Kimi Raikkonen was able to execute a three-stop strategy at the Circuit de Catalunya to finish second and move to within four points of the lead of the world championship.

Well aware that there is a push from some quarters for Pirelli to make changes, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has admitted tweaks could be a negative for the Enstone-based squad.

“I think it is not in some ways fair, but we have to deal with it like we always did,” he said. “Everyone has the same tyres.”

Boullier reckons that complaints about the tyres are being focused in the wrong area, and he feels that rival teams have simply not dealt with the situation very well.

“People need to get the right question,” he said. “The question is not the tyres: it is because we did something that allowed our car to [look after the tyres].

“It is the same for everybody. There was some slight change for here [to the hard compound] which was to please the most complaining team.

“But I don’t think Pirelli is going to change anything. They were asked to build tyres lasting 20 laps and they did it. So that is it.”

Pirelli: we can bring back processions

Pirelli says it will help bring back boring processions to Formula 1 if that is what teams and fans want.

In the wake of a fresh debate about the impact the tyres are having on the sport – and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz claiming F1 “has nothing to do with racing anymore” – Pirelli has reiterated it is only doing what it has been asked to.

When Pirelli returned to F1 for the 2011 season, it was asked to spice up the show and deliver multiple stop races with high degrading rubber, just like the famous 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.

Paul Hembery, its motorsport boss, is aware his company is facing criticism for what is happening on track right now, but he has made it clear that those calling for a radical overhaul need to be sure about exactly what they are hoping for.

“What do you want?” he said. “We were asked to provide two to three stops and replicate Canada [2010].

“I know some of you would like us to do a one stop race where tyres are not a factor, and you can go back to processional racing where the qualifying position is the end position, if that is what you want in racing.

“What do you want us to do? You tell us, we will do it.”

Hembery suggested that his company was baffled about why the tyre situation was being viewed as so extreme this year, when it has been no different ever since it returned to F1 in 2011.

“It is rather bizarre because we are only doing what we did in the last two years,” he said.

“We don’t understand why you [the media] are all so excited.

“It is a bit bizarre – unless you all want us to give tyres to Red Bull to help them win the championship, which appears to be the case.

“I think it is pretty clear. There is one team who will benefit from a change and that is them.”

Red Bull’s RB9 is widely believed to be the car that produces the most downforce in Formula 1 this year, but it cannot make use of all that peak performance because it puts the tyres under too much stress.

The nature of the challenge of looking after tyres means cars that are more mechanically sympathetic like the Lotus and Ferrari are better equipped when it comes to being consistent in the races.

On Twitter:

@KimiFanPage
Kravitz: ”Kimi’s middle stint was too good. Kimi’s middle stint was absolutely fantastic and that was the thing that got that position.”

Video: Ted’s notebook from Spain GP (1:40mins) + Grid Walk with Martin Brundle, talking to Pirelli manager Paul Hembery about Lotus (3:05mins)

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5 responses

  1. Leonardo

    Some are for tyre tweaks, others are not. Red Bull are obviously for new tyre tweaks, while Lotus is not.

    I am of the opinion that if Lotus can manage their tyres effectively as they have done, then its clear Red Bull are doing something wrong with their own tyre management – and THAT’S what needs to be changed. Tyres are not the issue.

    Cant just change tyres because Red Bull are complaining about it. That would be a rather unfair advantage to all the other teams that are making the Pirellis work for them.

    Simple.

    Like

    May 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

  2. Rudhi

    I think the 2013-tyres are too extreme. It will be much better for the sport if pirelli goes back to the 2012-tyres with slightly more level of degradation. For sure we’ve seen a lot of overtakings on Sunday but I am not sure whether we should consider the majority of overtakings we’ve seen during the race as such. The drivers were allowing their rivals to pass as they were driving on a pre-defined pace. On several occasions we’ve heard engineers advising their drivers not to fight to protect their positions for tyres’ sake. Its not exciting to watch the cars so slow on their lap-times, embarassing i will say. Even the onboard footage were not impressive at all as it look so slow and ‘easy’. It was like racing on a wet track when the drivers were on the throttle exiting a corner. Meanwhile it was impossible to go flat-out in fast corners. I can’t imagine how it must be frustrating for the drivers. I am convinced that Kimi will still be fighting at the front if the tyres are improved. A solution must be quickly found to avoid races being dominated by pit-stops. 4 stops are clearly too much. 3 seems the perfect number. Undoubtedly its not easy for Pirelli to achieve that but i think they’ll do the necessary changes to do that. The right balance between ‘flat-out race’ and overtakings should be found found and the teams and Pirelli should work together. Failure to achieve that may hampered F1 and drivers’ credibility. We must also not forget that Pirelli has done a fantastic job during the last two years, so its quite unfair the way some teams are criticising them particularly Red Bull. To conclude i’ve got a question for u guys, do u think the 3-stop strategy was the right one on Sunday? I cannot say it costs the win but I am sure Kimi would have been right on the tail of Alonso after the 2nd pit-stop had the team opted for a 4-stop. I was quite deceived after the race and I think Kimi also was wondering after the race whether they chose the best strategy. Anyway congratulations to Alonso, he did a great race and deserved the win though its not easy to say that

    Like

    May 14, 2013 at 9:25 am

    • Leonardo

      Truth is, Lotus needs that extra little more power to beat the likes of Alonso and Vettel. Lotus are managing their tyres better than most, but it all comes down to basic raw speed, one-lap race pace and strategy. Without that, Kimi is going to find it increasingly difficult to get clear – and stay clear – of Ferrari or Red Bull. Strategy is good, but pace is what is now required.

      It’s time for Kimi to be greedy!

      Like

      May 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

  3. the main issue is not the tyre but how the f1 car is developed.

    Redbull is under the impression that high downforce will win them the championship, on tracks where this has not put enough load to wear the tyre has made them win.

    Spain is known has the circuit that requires a great downforce and with the great downforce redbull has they would be burning through all their tyres especially the left front, turn 3 in spain puts alot of load on that tyre.

    Same situation with merc, they were epic in last sector during quali coz they very aggressive on tyre that way extracting all the grip at once through the slow twisty corners.

    People say they will be strong in monaco, they could be in the barriers there

    Like

    May 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

  4. erix

    I think less pit stop will benefit for Kimi as well. Let say Kimi 3 stops compared to Alonso 4 stops is like 4:3 efficiency. But if Kimi does 1 stop fighting 2 stops it would be 2:1 efficiency. So bring it ONN!!

    Like

    May 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

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