VF1blog: Pirelli changes a stab in the dark?
Pirelli’s current state of affair is literally complicated than we could anticipate. They now are expected to revert to the point this time last year where we had five different winners in as many races. The scenario was entirely different in the opening few races of 2012 as the clampdown on blown diffuser and the overhaul of tyres took a while for the teams to get in the right direction and utilise it to perfection.
As for me, I don’t want to see processions in racing again but only without impacting what the sport is meant for. No compromises at all to the speed and ability of a racing driver or the missile he drives while contributing to a narrow finish to the race. You see, that’s where it goes out of control in the name of strategy. It’s alright that tyre management is vitally factored but it’s been relied upon so much since the beginning of 2013, thanks to Pirelli.
The range of tyres made available for 2013 have been quite aggressive which are high performance oriented while quickly falling apart. The swift deformation is the reason why Pirelli are hit with vehement critics as the teams couldn’t fully access their machines’ true potential especially the aerodynamically obsessed Red Bull RB9. Pirelli openly agree that it has understated the 2013 cars’ abilities and it had expected slower lap times.
“They have basically been stressing everything too much, and probably we underestimated the performance,” Hembery said.
The part of the problem is driven by Pirelli using Renault R30 racer for on-track testing of its rubber which is needless to say significantly slower than the contenders of today. Red Bull has been vocal in their outburst against Pirelli as owner Dietrich Mateschitz has criticised the situation of F1 being “nothing to do with racing any more” despite winning two of the five outings we have had so far.
Pirelli brought revised hard compound tyres to Spain, which was in close relationship with the 2012 rubber, and rendered an extra set to help teams react to the situation. But the heat at Catalunya took its tole on the tyres as pit stops poured in at quick successions. Alonso had to contend with four stops on his way to victory just like most of the race finishers.
After the race though he said, “With this year’s degradation and this year’s tyres we see the races keep changing all the time. Whoever keeps the tyre alive normally is on the podium at least,”
Meanwhile, Vettel who came home just short of podium lamented that ”We are not going to the pace of the car, we are going to the pace of the tyre,”.
Surprisingly, Force India’s Paul di Resta has lend his support to Pirelli as he believes the aggressive nature would help the midfield teams to close the gap at the top. But his midfield counterpart Ricciardo thinks the other way round complaining that he couldn’t race at full speed. While admitting that four stops are too much, Pirelli had to deal with the flak rested upon itself in the wake of Spanish GP by fans, team personnel and Bernie.
The forthcoming Montreal race will see Pirelli making mid-season revisions to its 2013 compounds in a hope to reduce excessive tyre degradation. The tyre structures will incorporate certain characteristics from the previous two seasons’ rubbers to better cope with the demands of the 2013 cars. Hembery is hopeful that the pecking order is set to remain unaltered and the changes have been briefly stated to teams today. He commented,
“There have been concerns from some of the teams that the changes will favour one team or another, but we don’t think that will be the case,”
The revisions are likely to favour the struggling Red Bull and Mercedes teams, of which, the former couldn’t showcase the full potential of its car while the latter suffers from swift rear-tyre degradation. Lotus team is very keen in tyre management and safe to say understood the nuances better than any other. Raikkonen languishes just four points off the leading Sebastian Vettel and is in a good stead to take the fight to the reigning world champion until the end.
Lotus’ Eric Boullier is not particularly happy with Pirelli’s move as he thinks it would be unfair to change what is eventually same for everyone in the middle of the season.
“There aren’t many sports where there are such fundamental changes to an essential ingredient part-way through a season,”
“Just imagine for a moment that, because a football team can’t run as fast as its opponent, the dimensions of the pitch are changed at half time!” said Boullier.
The first priority should be preventing delamination encountered by Hamilton and Resta which was so scary and could’ve gone anywhere. Pirelli will be scrabbling for a perfect mix of durability and performance and it remains to be seen what Canadian GP holds for us as the tyre revision turns out to be a big gamble for the Italian manufacturer who is expected to announce the contract extension with F1 sooner.
Author: Suren F1
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