In what can only be described as a preemptive warning to Formula One fans, Pirelli told AUTOSPORT that they expect to see more 4-stop races in 2013:
“So we will probably have some races with four stops, which we have said we don’t want.
“We would have needed to change the hard compound to avoid that, but to do that we would need the agreement from all the teams and we know that is not going to happen.
“We can do it if asked, but [in the event of four stops], my message would be stick with us for a few races. We talk about averages and over the course of the season we are aiming for an average of two stops.”
It was clear by the blowback after the Spanish Grand Prix that most F1 fans were nonplussed by the 4-stop race and found it difficult to follow the race with over 80 pit stops in total.
Pirelli were keen to make minor changes to the 2013 tire compounds to tweak the performance and thus avoid the need for 4-stop races. It is, what most fans would consider, a prudent move and tweaking of a strategy they tried but missed the mark on. Slight changes to current F1 constructs could make the series better and the constructs themselves more effective but once the season starts, the stakes are so high that any changes will please some and upset others.
Such is the case with Lotus, Ferrari and Force India who were not happy to see any changes to the current tire specifications as they are performing better than their main rivals on these too-aggressive tires.
Perhaps Pirelli have learned that their part is to supply a degrading tire that doesn’t last more than half the race distance. As it is, it seems Pirelli adopted the role as a competitor in Formula One and tried to insert themselves in the races as more than just a supplier but a competitive element that is at odds with the teams and intent on engaging in a game of stump-the-chump.
Pirelli will now offer preemptive PR warnings to tamp fan displeasure over upcoming 4-stop races because no matter what was asked of them, inserting themselves in the competitive element so deeply as to try to outthink the team engineers is not a race or competition the fans want to see… they want fast cars fighting for championships and there is no points awarded for the tire company who outthinks and stymies the team engineers.