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War of words over tyres heats up

After the pit stop frenzy in Barcelona, it seems everyone had a view on Pirelli's 2013 tyre compounds. And by no means everyone wants to see changes.
After 82 pits stops in Barcelona as a result of tyre degradation at the Circuit de Catalunya that required most drivers to make four changes during the course of the 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix, even Pirelli was admitting that enough was enough.

"It's clear that four is too many," admitted Pirelli motorsports director Paul Hembery in Spain after the race. "We'll be looking to make some changes, in time for Silverstone, to make sure that we maintain our target and solve any issues rapidly."

Hembery went on to tell ESPN that he would be in favour of making the adjustments even sooner: "I'd prefer to do it for Canada," he said. It's not quite as aggressive compared to here."

That will be music to the ears of those at Red Bull Racing, which has been a prominent critic of the impact of this year's tyre compounds on the race day action.

"This has nothing to do with racing anymore, this is a competition in tyre management," Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz was quoted as saying this weekend. He went on to point out that qualifying was no longer about fighting for pole but about saving sets of tyres.

"It's too confusing for the fans," added Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. "When we're saying to Sebastian Vettel, you're racing Kimi Raikkonen for position, but you're not and don't fight him, that's not great."

But while Red Bull might be happy to hear that change is on the way in time for the British Grand Prix, some significant other top teams are opposing any rethink by Pirelli that might jeopardise their early season momentum.

"Lotus and Ferrari don't want to change the tyres," admitted Hembery. "And we don't want to be accused of wanting to make Red Bull win the world championship."

And sure enough, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier was quick to wade into the debate after the Spanish Grand Prix, in which Kimi Raikkonen secured a third consecutive second place for the team.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.09.2012- Race, Dietrich Mateschitz (AUT), Owner of Red Bull (Red Bull Racing)
22.11.2012- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
24.11.2012- Qualifying, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager Lotus F1 Team
21.04.2013- Race, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal and Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorspor Director
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorspor Director
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KevinW - Unregistered

May 13, 2013 3:44 PM

When all anyone talks about is the tires, F1 becomes nothing more than a tire strategy spec race. It's lost its luster as a max effort race series because of it. It is now a greater bore with all the faked tire wear and passing aides than it was when dominant teams were rewarded with real race results. Just because it looks like racing on TV, does not mean its actually racing. The FIA is killing the golden goose with these stupid tactics.



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