Red Bull boss joins Pirelli critics
DIETRICH MATESCHITZ: The owner of the Red Bull F1 team believes Pirelli's fast-wearing tyres are bad for F1. Image: AFP
LONDON, England - Red Bull F1 team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has joined the list of critics who believe Pirelli's high-wear tyres are bad for the sport - and said that they were turning the competition into a lottery.
Multiple champion Michael Schumacher has lambasted the unforgiving tyres and warned that they were preventing the drivers from showing their best ability and total commitment.
A different driver has won each of the first five races of the 2012 season, the most open start to a season since 1983.
Mateschitz understood that unpredictability was good for the fans but argued that it had taken the purity out of the sport. No team had yet demonstrated understanding of how the Pirelli tyres work.
Last Sunday, in Spain, Williams' Pastor Maldonado took full advantage of this situation to become the first Venezuelan to win a GP but Mateschitz said: "F1 is more exciting and more unpredictable than ever and, obviously caused by the rule changes before the season, the top teams moved closer together.
"I always had confidence in the potential of our RB8 and I still have but everybody has to learn F1 again. It's become a kind of lottery to find the window in which a tyre works... and I don't believe this just happens on purpose to create more overtaking and tension in the races. I suppose no one really understands these tyres."
He admitted he had been surprised by the pace of the 2012 Lotus team but suggested it, as with rivals, would not have to maintain form in the development waras the season unfolded.
"Lotus has been the biggest surprise of all," he said. "I think Kimi (Raikkonen) indeed had the pace to win in Bahrain. The question is: for how long can Lotus keep the pace of development work the other major outfits will show?
"If they can keep up with them they will be a force to be reckoned with."