2013 F1 season
Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has hit out at Pirelli’s planned changes to the 2013 tyre compounds from the Canadian Grand Prix.
“There aren’t many sports where there are such fundamental changes to an essential ingredient part-way through a season,” said Boullier.
“Just imagine for a moment that, because a football team can’t run as fast as its opponent, the dimensions of the pitch are changed at half time. That there are changes to come can be seen as somewhat frustrating, and I hope they are not too extreme.”
Pirelli came under criticism from several quarters following the Spanish Grand Prix, which saw a total of 77 pit stops with most drivers making four changes of tyre.
Red Bull have consistently criticised the tyres since the beginning of the season and Bernie Ecclestone added his voice to the complaints after the Spanish race.
“It’s clear that Pirelli have found themselves in a difficult situation and under pressure from different quarters,” Boullier acknowledged.
He added that Lotus had designed their car to make the most out of this year’s tyres and did not deserve to be penalised:
“Last year, when we were designing our 2013 car, each team received information from Pirelli and everyone did the best job they could to develop a chassis which would make best use of the tyre characteristics. We even ran with some experimental 2013 tyres at the end of last season, to assist us in confirming our development paths.
“As with every season, some teams do a better job than others with their designs, and some drivers are more adaptable than others to the changes of both car and tyre. It is frustrating when you’ve developed a car from a set of tyre specifications which are available to everyone – for tyres that are the same for everyone – to then be told that they are being changed mid-season.
“That said, we have a team of talented designers and engineers who will be working twice as hard to ensure we adapt to these changes in the most competitive manner.”
2013 F1 season
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Image © Renault/LAT