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Hill fears tyre tweak could boost RBR

Damon Hill believes that changes to Pirelli's hard tyre could benefit current points leader Red Bull Racing.
Former F1 world champion Damon Hill has questioned whether Pirelli is playing into Red Bull's hands by opting to tweak its hard tyre compound ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

The Briton, who currently works as an analyst for Sky Sports F1, pointed out that Red Bull had been at the vanguard of complaints about this year's batch of tyres, which are generally softer than their 2012 predecessors, and would welcome an adjustment that took the current spec back towards last year's. Although other teams have also been vociferous in their objections to the 2013 tyres, none look as likely to benefit as the team already leading both championship tables after four rounds.

“The suggestion is that Red Bull weren't too happy with the hard tyre because I think their car generates quite a lot of lateral-G and it was just chewing the tyre up too much, so I think they prefer a harder tyre,” Hill mused, “So you might see that [the change in hard compound] swings towards Red Bull's favour.

“There are mutterings that that is the case and some of the teams are suggesting that that is not what they want to see and that they quite like the softer tyre. But that is F1."

The Spanish Grand Prix is, traditionally, the race at which teams introduce their first major development upgrade of the season, but Hill doubts that that much will be visible to the untrained eye as tiny changes are pulled together to produce a bigger gain.

“Now [that the teams] are back home in Europe, they are closer to the factory and have a chance to try out some of those modifications and bring them to Spain for the grand prix,” he explained, “We are going to see some fairly big upgrades on the cars when we get to Spain, [but] they will be very, very small little subtle things.

“A large change in the car means a complete redesign, so they are fettling at the moment. You are looking for hundredths or thousandths of a second from the modifications, but they all add up. Some people might make 0.25secs gain and that is a huge amount of time if they can get that. It might not sound like a lot, but then that is per lap - 55 or 60 laps in a race and it all adds up."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.04.2013- Pirelli Tyres and OZ Wheels
23.03.2013 - Damon Hill and Natalie Pinkham. Sky Sports F1
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
05.07.2015- Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
05.07.2015- Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
05.07.2015- Race, HRH Prince Michael of Kent (GBR) and Mario Isola (ITA), Sporting Director Pirelli
05.07.2015- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30 and Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
05.07.2015- Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
05.07.2015- Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
05.07.2015- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
05.07.2015- Race, (L-R) Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 and mMax Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
05.07.2015 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23
05.07.2015 - atmosphere
05.07.2015 - Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorspor Director
05.07.2015 - (L to R): Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Will Young (GBR) Singer; Emma Bunton (GBR) Singer; and Geri Halliwell (GBR) Singer with the sons od David Beckham
04.07.2015 - Qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
04.07.2015 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
04.07.2015 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11

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May 06, 2013 5:42 PM

All teams except Mercedes out to benefit from Pirelli’s changes to the hard tyre, of course only when the hard tyre is being used. It is imperative to keep in mind that overheating a tyre is as bad as not being able to get the tyre into its working temperature range, a car which overheats its tyres in a short time will be capable to set a fast time over one or two laps. Regardless of the technicalities Hill spoke or was quoted about the tyres “being harder”, what Pirelli did was it lowered the hard tyre minimum working temperature from 110 to 100 degrees so it is now closer to the 90 degree minimum working temperature of the medium tyre.

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