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Pirelli open to reviewing tyres?

3 April 2013

This year's revised F1 tyre compounds have led to criticism being directed at lone supplier Pirelli, but the company will not bow to demands from certain teams for a return to 2012 spec rubber.

That, however, does not mean that Pirelli is totally averse to looking at the situation at some point in the season, should issues with wear become a problem.

Red Bull and Mercedes were the most vocal in their opposition to the current tyres at the most recent round in Malaysia [ see separate story] and, despite occupying the top four positions in the Sepang event, continued to claim that the rubber was not conducive to good competition on track, with both Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton commenting that wear rates had played a part in their respective races.

Pirelli, meanwhile, insists that any thoughts of changing the construction of the current tyres would be of its own bat, rather than at the behest of individual teams.

"If the paddock was asking for something, the whole thing would be different,” motorsport director Paul Hembery was quoted by Spanish newspaper AS, “In that case, we would have to do something, to change things. But, if some teams are isolated, what they should do is see what they have and try to solve problems.

“We know what is happening and what could be done, but if you do it just because one team asks, all it will do is make more problems.”

Hembery has already said that he expects the fuss over tyre wear to die down over the course of the season, as it has every year since Pirelli returned to the top flight. With teams getting a handle on the latest rubber through the evolution of their cars, the average number of pit-stops dropped with successive races, and Hembery would rather wait and evaluate the situation a little longer rather than making snap decisions.

“It's still early but, after the fourth race in Bahrain, perhaps we will review the compounds,” he revealed.

Lotus made just two pit-stops for fresh tyres - against the more usual three - as Kimi Raikkonen won the Australian Grand Prix, while Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel stopped a regulation four times on his way to a controversial success in Malaysia. On that occasion, Lotus was unable to make three stops work as Raikkonen came home sevent, one spot behind team-mate Romain Grosjean.

Meanwhile, reports claiming that Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus had been asked to change the design of the 'splitters' on their cars ahead of next weekend's Chinese Grand Prix appeared to be unfounded, with sources suggesting that rivals have been drumming up media interest in the story to force an FIA check on the three leading teams of 2013.


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