Thursday's team principal press conference in Monaco centred largely on the ongoing dispute over tyres, and whether Pirelli is taking the right decision in introducing revised rubber for the Canadian Grand Prix.
While the Italian manufacturer insists that the move is being made on safety grounds after a worrying spate of delaminations in recent races, there is naturally some disquiet in the paddock among those teams who feel they have adapted best to the existing specification.
Red Bull's Christian Horner has been one of the more outspoken critics of the 2013 tyres, despite his team leading both championships after five rounds, and is in favour of Pirelli addressing the situation for Montreal. However, Lotus counterpart Gerard Lopez, while agreeing that changes are probably needed on safety grounds, believes that his team will be affected, having shown that it can make the fragile rubber last better than most.
“I think we've been pretty consistent throughout the year,” Horner claimed, “The tyres, on occasion, have been a bit too marginal, [and] that includes races we've won in Malaysia and Bahrain. I think it's good that Pirelli are looking at it.
“I think the most important and most fundamental thing is from a safety perspective. If you do have a delamination, if you have a big chunk of rubber, you don't want that to hit a car component or, worst case, a driver. So, there are safety issues that I know some of the drivers are concerned about. Hopefully, Pirelli are a very capable company. I think they know what they need to do and, hopefully, that can be resolved very quickly.
“It's a difficult one for Pirelli. It's a difficult one for the teams but, at the end of the day, we don't need to make it too complicated. I think the way things are at the moment, is too complicated for the fans. It's too difficult to follow races where you've got four stops, going on - it's hard enough when you're in the race. I think we need to just wind that back a little bit and more than anything make sure we eliminate any safety issues.”
“We've echoed the safety issues and said that whatever needs to be done on safety grounds is obviously fine with us, we're not going to go against that,” Lopez concurred, “But, as far as the tyres being marginal goes, we've found them to be quite consistent. But then again - different cars, different drivers, different styles... they work for us. We're actually quite happy with the way they are.”
Toro Rosso's Franz Tost, meanwhile, pointed out that F1 has been chasing a problem that wasn't helped by the conditions the teams encountered in pre-season testing.
“In February, it was very cold when we were out the first time and, if I remember, only Jerez was an acceptable test. Otherwise, in Barcelona, it was quite cold,” he noted, “We couldn't do a proper test for the tyres and I think, if we had tested in a warmer country, some of the problems we observe now could have been sorted out.