[QODLink]
Formula One

F1 tyre changes less dramatic than feared

Proposed changes to tyres should not adversely impact teams, assures Pirelli, as Lotus and Ferrari raise concerns.

Last Modified: 20 May 2013 13:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Nearly 80 pit stops were made during the Spanish Grand Prix, prompting Red Bull’s team boss to call the season a ‘competition in tyre management’ [GALLO/GETTY]

Changes to the Formula One tyres due to be introduced next month will be less dramatic than some have feared or hoped for, supplier Pirelli said on Monday.

Motorsport director Paul Hembery told Reuters that the Italian company would find a solution that all teams could agree on without the outcome having a major impact 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 mid ground and that's where we're at. The changes required would appear less than first envisaged."

Under fire

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

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

Lotus principal Eric Boullier last week 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 their opponents.

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

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

The winning time in Spain was just over seven seconds slower this year 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.

Regulations

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

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

Hembery said Pirelli were confident they could keep close to the 2013 specification while rectifying the tread problem.

Last week, 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 pitstops.

"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," said Hembery.

"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."

517

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.