Pirelli bring forward proposed tyre changes
The Italian firm’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery confirmed in a post-race press release that “We’ll be looking to make some changes, in time for Silverstone.” However it seems pressure from fans and paddock insiders has caused the planned changes to be brought forward.
Tweeting on Thursday morning he said “From Canada changes to be made to bring back 2 to 3 stops. Some structural changes combining elements 2012 and 2013 products. Changes made in interests of sport.”
A press release was posted shortly after, with Hembery elaborating on the changes. He said “Our aim is to provide the teams with a new range which mixes the stability of the 2012 tyres and the performance of the current ones.”
Continuing, he said that Pirelli always react quickly and the changes were made after evaluating data from the first five races of the season. “As a company, we have always moved quickly to make improvements where we see them to be necessary. After evaluating data from the first few races this year, we’ve decided to introduce a further evolution as it became clear at the Spanish Grand Prix that the number of pit stops was too high. The Spanish Grand Prix was won with four pit stops, which has only happened once before in our history. These changes will also mean that the tyres are not worked quite as hard, reducing the number of pit stops.”
The Canadian Grand Prix is just two races away and will see the introduction of the upgraded compounds. Hembery had also previously said that “if we make a change it will be seen that we’re making tyres for Red Bull in particular” due to the Milton Keynes based squad criticising them more than most.
However the volume of criticism from fans, teams, drivers and the media has caused Pirelli to make the changes to bring the racing closer to that seen in 2012, with two to three stop races and tyres that enable drivers to push more. Last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix saw higher than expected wear rates and a number of delaminations which added more fuel to the already fiery debate.
Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier will obviously be displeased the with decision, talking to AUTOSPORT he said that if Pirelli did make changes then it would be “not fair” on teams like Ferrari and Lotus who have worked hard to work with the tyres and made the best of the current situation.
Pirelli will bring the soft and super soft tyres to the next round in Monaco, the last race to use the current tyre spec. The changes will surely split opinion and it seems Pirelli are fighting a battle that they can’t win.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.