Pirelli keen to avoid claim of Red Bull favouritism

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Pirelli are wary of making too many changes to the current generation of tyres which might be seen as favouring Red Bull, who have persistently lobbied for more conservative compounds.

In the wake of yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix Christian Horner said cars should not be making four pit stops per race.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said that while Pirelli do not want to produce four-stop races, it did not want to be seen as favouring Red Bull either:

“You can imagine, though, if we make a change, that it might be seen that we’re making tyres for Red Bull in particular,” he said.

“That’s been the comment made in the media that Red Bull are pushing to make a change and if we do something that helps them you can understand that Lotus and Ferrari won’t be happy. So it’s a very difficult situation we sometimes find ourselves in.”

Hembery says this year’s tyres are degrading more quickly than they would like because of the increased performance of the cars:

“The cars are certainly pushing a lot harder than what we’ve seen in the past. The downforce levels are getting close to 2011 when the cars had blown diffusers. We also are seeing that with our new structure of tyre we’re pushing much harder the compounds. So combine those two together and we find that we really are working the compounds much more than we have done in the past.

“We don’t get to see the cars, of course, until we get racing with them. We don’t have any in-season testing, we don’t have access to those cars for testing so unfortunately we do have to learn sometimes when we’re actually at the race event.

“We will make changes, we want to bring something to Silverstone to make sure we are back on track, we’re at two or three stops. That could mean compound changes, structure changes, we’ll decide that within a week.”

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146 comments on Pirelli keen to avoid claim of Red Bull favouritism

  1. Ambik (@ambikm) said on 14th May 2013, 7:36

    Pirelli’s have done a fantastic job of producing tyres which had changed the dynamics of a F1 car. Its a challenge for the engineers to not only build a car around its aerodynamics but also its tyres. Now after its three years stint in F1(recently),Pirelli are facing its hardest criticism.But thats understandable because with the tyre structure failures with Merc,FI and I guess even I saw similar failure in the last race with one of the Torro Rosso’s(if I am not wrong). But I am amazed how the RedBull’s are so much vocal with this tyres? We have seen a Bridgestone era where an almost a race distance could be performed with a single set of tyres & now a Pirelli era where tyres are as important as any other development of the car.
    It is easy to produce a tyre that can last an entire race distance and you could then see a Red Bull / Ferrari/ Merc/ McLaren winning each a every race fare and square. But with the current situation of tyres it is different and thats why its interesting. But yeah I believe the structural failure is a real embarrassment for Pirelli’s,that compromises safety. But else its quite ok with how it is.
    Criticizing is not the way they are doing a job what they are told to do thats it. Its ethical or unethical is upto the FIA/FOM the teams. Red Bull and Merc should have been smart enough to atleast consider the tyres while designing the car. They were not unknown to the situation,were they? If Pirelli changes it entire tyre structure and make it more durable then why didn’t they do it at the start of the last season? Now teams who have considered tyres as a major part of there car development is sure to either gain or loose which is an unkonwn. Hence I think it would be very wrong to take such step now.

  2. Matthijs (@matthijs) said on 14th May 2013, 9:03

    “It is a bit bizarre – unless you all want us to give tyres to Red Bull to help them win the championship, which appears to be the case.”

    This is really rediculous. So we must do everything to avoid the best and the fastest being helped. What if Nike had the same philosophy? “Usain Bolt wins every sprint with two fingers in the nose. We don’t want that, therefore we make shoes that fall apart when someone puts too much pressure on it. Since Usain Bolt puts the most pressure on the shoes, he will suffer the most, therefore the sprint is exciting again.”

    I am certainly no fan of Vettel and RedBull, but if they are indeed the fastest then they should win.

  3. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 14th May 2013, 9:54

    You know, heres a strange concept. If there is a genuine problem, then fix the problem, don’t worry about how it appears to the rest of the media.

    There seems to be a problem that is creeping in with delaminating tyres, so start there. If Pirelli feel that they missed the mark on the durability of the tyre, then fix that.

    But that is such a cop out to say we are too scared to do anything because it might be considered beneficial for one team and not the other.

  4. fangio85 (@fangio85) said on 14th May 2013, 11:53

    I’ve seen a lot of reference to red bull having more downforce than their rivals this year, but I have seen nothing other than speculation that suggests that is the case. Out of everyone arguing ferrari and lotus are only kinder on tyres due to lower downforce, do any of you actually have any mechanical or aerodynamic engineering experience? Please explain to me how you all know how much downforce each car produces, and how exactly this affects these pirelli tyres? Also, while were here, can you explain to me exactly what the different suspension solutions of the top teams does to tyre performance? I’m sure the geometry, set up, and driver input is more important to tyre wear and warm up than aero, but ill gladly listen to anyone who can explain how it isn’t. Please provide links to reputable sources, don’t spew unfounded claims :)

  5. Shaz-man said on 16th May 2013, 4:08

    In Barcelona 2011 Vettel and Alonso both did 4 stops.
    Alosno had a great start, lost out in the end due to his care and tyre deg.
    Vettel ended up winning.

    Where was Bernie then??? Y din redbull complain then?

    This PURE favouritism…

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