Lotus have big upgrades and big concerns over tires

After surviving a couple of street courses in Monaco and Canada and an intense International Tribunal involving Mercedes and Pirelli’s private test, it’s back to the race circuit for Formula One. It’s not just any race circuit, it is Silverstone and it is the British Grand Prix. Lotus are keen to get back to racing and will bring the most significant upgrade package they’ve had on offer for 2013. Kimi Raikkonen said:

“Silverstone is a more normal circuit and we’ve been OK at every other permanent circuit so far this year,” he explained.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be back to the positions we should be with this package.

We just have to be patient, do our very best over the entire weekend and step by step we can start catching the leaders.”

Raikkonen has lost ground in the last two race to the championship leader Sebastian Vettel but Lotus reckons they will stop leaking performance with their upgrades and real race circuit on hand. Much of the pre-tribunal discussion was centered around Mercedes and their win in Monaco and just how much the team may have gained from a private 1,000km test. Had they found the pace to compete at the sharp end of the grid? Time would tell and many F1 pundits feel Silverstone will more truly represent the ultimate pace of the cars.

Track side Operations Director, Alan Permane, said of Pirelli’s choice in compounds:

They certainly seem conservative and contrary to the supposed approach for the tyre allocations in 2013.
The individual compounds – supersoft, soft, medium and hard – were made softer for each grade this year
in order to present teams with a challenge, which is what we saw at some races earlier in the season. That
work is undone if you simply allocate harder compounds for races, as we’ve seen with those nominated for
the next three rounds. It’s certainly unusual to take the same tyres to Hungary as to Bahrain and

The situation is quite similar to last year when the allocations went harder late in the year and
we just ended up doing one-stop races. Of course, there are teams who are eager for the tyres to be more
durable; whether through changes to the tyres themselves or changes to the allocations for races. In
contrast, we’re firmly in the camp that the approach to tyre allocation should remain as agreed by the sport
before the start of the season, and not be changed part-way through the year.

For Lotus’s part, they avoided casting aspersions on the outcome of the Tribunal but were concerned over Pirelli’s choice of compounds. Lotus have chosen an interesting hashtag for the moment which is #Godsaveourtyres

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