FIA: Not so fast with that tire change

As Jonathan Noble at AUTOSPORT pointed out yesterday in his story about the potential tire compound changes that Pirelli have committed to for the Canadian Grand Prix, it may not be as simple as making a quick change. Lotus F1 and Ferrari both weighed in on the issue with disdain for the impending changes which they feel will detract from their performance and compliment other teams. Now the FIA has weighed in with clarification on the regulations surrounding such a mid-season change.

According to AUTOSPORT, the FIA said:

“Discussions between the FIA and Pirelli are ongoing regarding the tyre failures and making changes to prevent them happening again. These talks do not involve the subject of degradation or the number of pitstops.”

Pirelli motor sport boss Paul Hembery made comments in the press that there are no safety issues with the delaminating tires as they were cut by debris and that to change the tire now would only benefit Red Bull. These are statements that will be difficult to erase should the Italian tire maker go ahead with the proposed tire changes. Even more odd is that the FIA and Pirelli seemed to have missed a communication step prior to Pirelli making a public announcement that they would indeed change the compounds for the Canadian Grand Prix onward.

The FIA cites Article 12.6.3:

“Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.”

It will be interesting to see this saga play out but it represents yet another intriguing part of Formula One and its rush to pragmatism over prudence. Should Lotus and Ferrari be penalized for getting their math correct? Should Pirelli be punished by making a tire so temperamental as to impact the entirety of racing in F1?

Given the regulations and comments made by Pirelli, do you think they are treading on thin ice with any changes to the performance characteristics of the 2013 compounds?

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