The Italian tyre supplier announced earlier in the week that tweaks would be made to the construction of their 2013 range to give the performance of the current tyres but the stability of the 2012 compounds.
Changing the tyres was not what Lotus wanted after already getting to grips with the current rubber better than most. The move looks set to benefit Mercedes and Red Bull, both of whom were the main complainers on the subject.
Talking to AUTOSPORT about the recent announcement from Pirelli, Boullier shared his frustration. “There aren’t many sports where there are such fundamental changes to an essential ingredient part-way through a season,” said Boullier on Thursday.
“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.”
He admitted that it is something that was not on the Enstone teams wish-list, and that they obviously had pressure from different corners. “That there are changes to come can be seen as somewhat frustrating, and I hope they are not too extreme. It’s clear that Pirelli have found themselves in a difficult situation and under pressure from different quarters.”
The Frenchman also explained that all teams received data on the 2013 Pirelli tyres from the supplier at the same time, Lotus obviously did the better job with what information they had to design the car to suit them. “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.
He added “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.”
Despite the frustration, Boullier knows that he has a great team of designers and engineers at the team who will work extra hard to redeem the situation. “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,”
Kimi Raikkonen currently sits second in the drivers standings, four points of leader Sebastian Vettel. Lotus currently lie third in the standings after a strong start to the season.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic