There's been a lot said about and against the 2013 Pirelli tyres, and Red Bull
have been among the most vociferous critics of this year's compounds, with team owner Dietrich Mateschitz leading from the front with his statement last month that F1 "has nothing to do with racing anymore. This is a competition in tyre management."
But speaking after his dominant victory in Montreal in the Canadian Grand Prix
at the weekend, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel
has said that his team's out-spoken comments on the tyres have always come from the point of view of safety and not because they're seeking to neutralise the advantage that teams like Lotus regularly have over them in Grand Prix events this season.
"The criticism we had or I expressed was not based on performance," Vettel insisted in Canada after is latest GP win. "It was based on safety.
"Every time I complained about balance or the tyres and their behaviour, every time I said as well that on that day there were other people doing a better job," he continued, clearly frustrated at being misrepresented by what he saw as selective reporting of his comments.
"First of all we had to get to their level to start complaining about performance but obviously when you say something, it's in fashion these days to take what you like instead of probably publishing the whole answer," he said.
And he added that he and Red Bull
were far from alone in the view that the current tyres might not be fully up to the task and needed extra development.
"I'm sure if you ask other drivers - maybe they weren't that strong in the press, maybe they think they have an advantage with this sort of tyre," he said. "We had some occasions this year where the tyre suffered delaminating, the top layer came off for not exactly known reasons, probably debris but you will always have some pieces on the track.
"I think it's not possible to have an entirely clean track everywhere and I think that has been the criteria," he added.