16 June 2013
Lotus: Pirelli choices ‘make no sense’
Tyre supplier criticised for going 'too conservative' on compound choice for the races at Silverstone, Nurburgring and Hungaroring.
Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane has been left scratching his head by the choice of tyres Pirelli has made for the forthcoming races in Britain, Germany and Hungary.
F1's sole tyre supplier revealed its decision during the week but, having had time to digest the information, Permane admits that, in his opinion, the choices 'make no sense' in light of other combinations selected over the past year.
With the introduction of Pirelli's revised medium compound, complete with Kevlar rather than steel 'belt', now ruled out for the foreseeable future thanks to the inability of all teams to agree to its use, the Italian company will take the two hardest tyres in its range – the medium and hard – to Silverstone, with the medium and soft preferred for the Nürburgring, before the hard and medium return for the Hungaroring in late July.
"It's unusual to take the same tyres to Hungary as to Bahrain and Silverstone," Permane told BBC Sport, "We didn't have those tyres last year. We had medium and soft last year and people did two stops. So it absolutely doesn't make sense - they're too hard for that track."
Although Pirelli has admitted that its 2013 tyre compounds are maybe 'too aggressive' when compared to recent years, Permane says he cannot understand the decision to go conservative for the next few races, even though the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes have been pushing Pirelli to move in that direction. Lotus, meanwhile, is among a minority favouring the current breed of tyre, having got its car working on them.
"They went softer to try to encourage more pit-stops, [but] there's no point in them going softer with the tyres if they're just going to take different harder tyres everywhere,” Permane continued, "This is exactly what they did in the last few races of last year. They brought harder and harder tyres and we just ended up doing one stop.
"Last year, they said they didn't want to interfere in the championship so they took 'conservative' tyres, but I never really understood what that meant."
Lotus team boss Eric Boullier is expected to raise the team's concerns with Pirelli ahead of the British Grand Prix, which takes place on the last weekend of June.
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