Boullier: Red Bull their own worst enemy with tires

A interesting piece over at AUTOSPORT and most informative too. It seems that Lotus F1, on the heels of their Australian Grand Prix win, have suggested that the Pirelli controversy is really nothing more than Red Bull being their own worst enemy.

According to Lotus F1 boss, Eric Boullier, Red Bull is to blame for their current tire woes:

“I can understand why they are not happy,” said Boullier.

“The way they designed the car is all based on the aero. This is why, when the tyres start to be an important part of the car and the car performance, they may struggle.

“They are fast on one lap but then struggle with tyre degradation, which is partially due to the way they designed the car.”

Current rumors have Red Bull, and perhaps other teams, lobbying Pirelli to revert back to the 2012 specification tire as they have been struggling to come to grips (pun intended) with the new compounds for 2013. The debate continues amongst teams and fans alike with drivers struggling to manage their tires.

The issue first revealed itself during winter testing but Pirelli were quick to suggest that cool temperatures were the culprit for advanced levels of graining. The Malaysian Grand Prix weekend saw much warmer temperatures and the excessive degradation was attributed to the high temperature levels making one wonder just what temperatures do the new Pirelli tires perform in?

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Felipe Mass as well as Fernando Alonso seemed genuinely stumped as to how they slotted first, second and third for the start of the race. Perhaps they all knew they lacked dry-weather pace and it was sheer strategy of switching to a fresh set of intermediates in Q3 that got them their.

In the mean time, Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton both feel they have a car to contend with in dry weather and Force India’s Adrian Sutil looks positively motivated to be on the grid and prove to everyone that the team made the right decision in choosing him over Jules Bianchi.

It ultimately depends on what you like from your Formula One. If passing is your aim, the KERS, DRS and HD tires are perfect and this year’s Pirelli compounds have you relishing the concept of teams struggling to find pace. If constructs are not your bag, then this current row over rubber has you miffed and wondering where the purity of the sport has gone.

Boullier says Red Bull can sit in the mess they made and leave Pirelli alone and he has a point. The series is what it is and the teams will get on top of the tire issues in time. Whether we are resigned to 5-7 lap stints due to tire wear remains to be seen but for this F1 fan, that’s just a bridge too far in my opinion.


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