Formula 1 News

Increased venom as F1 tyre war erupts again

New decision to bring a new un-tested tyre after complains from few teams sparks a controversy fo preferential treatment.
Saturday, May 18, 2013

LONDON, May 18, 2013 (AFP) - Formula One's increasingly-bitter 'tyre war' erupted again, with increased venom, this week when Ferrari followed Lotus in hitting out at rivals Red Bull and accusing the champion team of having a selective memory and tyre suppliers Pirelli of bowing to pressure.

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In an astonishing succession of statements, following Pirelli's decision to change the structure of their under-fire tyres from next month's Canadian Grand Prix, it became clear that both Ferrari and Lotus believe Red Bull has pressurised the Italian rubber company into complying with their own wishes.

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Pirelli has denied that is the case, but in a row that has intensified significantly since last Sunday's chaotic, pit-stop strewn Spanish Grand Prix, the paddock has divided and feelings are running wild in the run-up to next weekend's showpiece Monaco Grand Prix.

In the 'Horse Whisperer' column on their own website, Ferrari -- who won that race with a four-stop strategy for Spaniard Fernando Alonso -- on Friday declared: "It seems one must almost feel ashamed for choosing a strategy that, as always for that matter, is aimed at getting the most out of the package one has available.

"On top of that, if this choice emerges right from the Friday, because all the simulations are unanimous in selecting it, then why on earth should one feel embarrassed when compared to those who have gone for a different choice, only to regret it during the race itself?"

The 'scarlet scuderia' also stressed that Red Bull's criticisms about the tyre strategies in Spain came two years after their world champion driver Sebastian Vettel triumphed in Catalonia with a four-stop strategy.

"These are difficult times for people with poor memories," they wrote.

"Maybe it's because of the huge amount of information available today that people are too quick to talk, forgetting things that happened pretty much in the recent past.

"Or maybe the brain cells that control memory only operate selectively, depending on the results achieved on track by their owners.

"A classic example of this is the current saga regarding the number of pit stops. Voices have been raised to underline the fact that various teams, some of whom got to the podium and others who were quite a way off, made four pit stops in the recent Spanish Grand Prix, making the race hard to follow.

"It's a shame that these worthy souls kept quiet two years ago when, at the very same Catalunya Circuit and on the Istanbul track, five of the six drivers who got to those two podiums made exactly the same number of pitstops as did Alonso and (Brazilian Felipe) Massa last Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix."

Ferrari's outburst has come just five days after Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz attacked the state of F1, after the Spanish Grand Prix, claiming the sport was no longer about racing, but instead was simply about tyre preservation.

Defending triple world champion Vettel floundered as Red Bull failed to make a three-stop plan work and had to slot in an extra change of tyres as they failed to finish with a car on the podium.

Lotus boss Eric Boullier expressed his frustration on Thursday that teams could potentially be penalised for better adapting their cars to 2013's more aggressive rubber.

He said: "There aren't many sports where there are such fundamental changes to an essential ingredient part-way through a season.

"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!"

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