Subtle changes for tyres - Pirelli

2013-05-21 07:52

LONDON, England - Changes to the Formula 1 tyres due to be introduced in June 2013 will be less dramatic than some have feared or hoped for, supplier Pirelli said on Monday (May 20).

Motorsport director Paul Hembery told Reuters that the Italian company would find a solution on which all teams could agree without the outcome having a major effect on the championship.


He said the aim was "to make the changes that you have to make with minimal disturbance to the sporting equity".

"What we're trying to do is find the middle ground and that's where we're at. The changes required would appear less than first envisaged."

Pirelli said last week, after the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix was crammed with pit stops and some eye-catching tyre failures in practice, that they would change the structure and compounds of their tyres from the Canadian GP - round seven of 19 - in Montreal on June 9.

The move drew criticism from Lotus and Ferrari, the two teams which have most to lose from any changes after adapting their cars to the 2013 tyres more successfully than others, including 2012 champion Red Bull.


Lotus principal Eric Boullier last week (May 17) likened the changes to shortening the length of a pitch at half-time in a football match because one team could not run as fast as the other.

Ferrari, in a 'Horse Whisperer' column on its website, complained of rivals having selective memories when they criticised the tyres.

While Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won with four pit stops in Barcelona, so too did Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in 2011 without any furore. The total number of pit stops was also comparable in the two races.

The winning time in Spain was just over seven seconds slower in 2013 than in 2012 but the fastest lap in qualifying was nearly a second quicker.

The Spaniard's win allowed him to cut the gap on Vettel in the championship standings. Vettel is four points clear of Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus with Alonso third, 17 behind the German.


The sporting regulations state that tyre specifications cannot be changed during a championship season without the agreement of all competing teams, except for safety reasons.

That would cover certain structural changes, with Pirelli eager to rectify a situation in which tread on rear tyres have been peeling - 'delaminating' - without the tyre itself deflating, when damaged by debris.

Hembery said Pirelli was confident it stay close to the 2013 specification while rectifying the tread problem.

A week earlier the company talked of introducing a revised construction using elements from the 2012 and 2013 tyres to ensure both durability and performance and reduce the number of pit stops.

Hembery said: "Some teams have worked in a certain way to maximise the tyre and chassis package and they don't want that to be lost by radical change.

"We're trying to find something that is sportingly equitable amongst the vast majority that allows us to rid ourselves of the tread (problem). We're hopeful we can do that without making such a change that would radically alter the work of any team so far."

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