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Lauda hails Pirelli tyre change

2013-05-17 11:34

WEAR AND TEAR: The Pirelli tyres on 2012 World champion Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull car showing wear after the first practice for the 2012 Oz F1 GP. Image: AFP

Niki Lauda has hailed Pirelli's move to alter the design of its 2013 tyres ahead of the 2013 Canadian Formula 1 GP in June.

Lotus, arguably the team with the best grip on the Italian supplier's controversial tyres this year, is not happy with the decision. Team boss Eric Boullier said: "It's clear that Pirelli is a difficult situation and under pressure from different quarters. I hope they (the changes) are not too extreme."

Within the pits lane, most of the 'pressure' on Pirelli has come from Red Bull and Mercedes. Mercedes' W04 is perhaps the fastest car in the entire field over one lap but it chews through tyres alarmingly over a race distance.

'ONLY COINCIDENCE'

Asked what he thought of Pirelli's change of tack for Canada and beyond, chairman Lauda said: "This is very positive and I'm speaking as a neutral observer and not the Mercedes chairman. Nobody understands what's going on any more and there are no more man-to-man fights (races) because everybody is focused on their tyres.

"It can't be the intention of racing that the slowest man wins," the Austrian told Osterreich. "Everybody's just hoping he gets into the window where the tyres work; often it's only a coincidence."

Former driver Mika Salo has played down Lotus' fears that the team will be overly disadvantaged by the Montreal tweak. He told MTV3: "There didn't seem to be any drivers left who were happy with the tyres. It was clear that something was wrong with them but I don't think it's anything for Lotus to panic about; they were also good on 2012's tyres.

"If they are able to use the tyres better now, then they will use these (new) tyres better."
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