Rivals suspect Lotus has unfair tyre advantage

Kimi Raikkonen

Pit stop for Kimi Raikkonen in Malaysia

As Melbourne winner Kimi Raikkonen carried his top form to Malaysia, Lotus rivals are beginning to wonder if the team has an unfair advantage.

At Sepang, arguably even more than in Australia, the keyword is tyres.

“Tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres,” grumbled Red Bull‘s Mark Webber on Friday.

Pirelli’s more extreme 2013 product could be clearly seen flicking off the wheels on every one of the 15 corners at Sepang during Friday practice.

Yet serenely at the top is Raikkonen.

Auto Motor und Sport points out that the test car used to develop Pirelli’s troublesome 2013 tyres is the three-year old Renault. It was designed at Enstone.

“The competition has a nasty suspicion,” a report in the magazine read.

“Admittedly it (the 2010 Renault) is a very old car in terms of the speed of development in Formula 1. However, certain principles and philosophies of the chassis and aero balance survive for years,” said correspondent Michael Schmidt.

Has that given Lotus an inherent advantage in how it treats the 2013 Pirellis?

“We overlooked and underestimated this impact,” an unnamed rival team member is quoted as saying. Maybe we need to think about how we deal with this better for the future.”

  • Dan

    So its not that Lotus has developed a better car than the rest, it must have an unfair advantage from 3 years ago?

    I think its rubbish. Just face it Lotus has done a better job than the front runners and designed a car that doesn’t eat tires.

    I hope they have the money to keep up the development program.

  • The cry babies are at it again

    Lotus had he vision to design their car to be easy on tires and they also the vision to sign Kimi and it is paying off huge right now.

    I hope Lotus and Kimi go on to with the both championships this year.

    There also needs to be a budget cap of not more than 150 million. If you can’t design and build a quality race car for that amount then you don’t belong in F1.

    I am tired of the 4 teams with 300 million dollar budgets buying the championship.

    You want better racing and want to see who really are the best engineers and drivers then make I equal for all teams. Each team gets 150 million may the best team win.

  • Sverrir

    The tires being used today were developed before the current season using a three year old Renault car. If Lotus has access to the data generated in those tests they might have figured out how to minimize tire wear.

    This would definitely be an unfair advantage imo since effectively they’ve managed to run far more laps than other teams if tire wear is the main factor this season. It wouldn’t be a big deal if the tires lasted well.

  • JuniorJohnson

    well well well it does seem like the red bull cry babies are at it again.
    well i would say that lotus had the vision to design a car that be easy on those tires and its paying off right now.we just dont know what Horner has been doing with those red bull cars all this time anyway maybe he has some secret wich he uses and now it doesnt work anymore so now he starts crying and shouting and blaming it on the tires and webber.i wish that i could find a cup big enough to colloct all of horners tears!maybe we could get enough to put in some cans and make them fizzy!what a big baby he is

  • JuniorJohnson

    maybe like some guy here keeps saying ansd saying red bull are just like the new ferrari and they give them some exotic piretti tires that none of the other teams get.now for some reason i know what it is but I dont have time to ecplain it right now they stop giving horner these tires.it seems to me that horner has built his car on these exotic tires and now the tires are gone.well of course hes going to complain and cry and shout hes not getting the exotic ferrari tires anymoe!I mean horner is a genius builder but even he cant build and tell the future at the same time and how was he to know this would happen?

  • f1

    it may or may not be true. what top teams r doing when pirelli proposed renualt car for testing the tyres ?. hope FIA will take this matter seriousley and solve this for next year so no one will have an unfair advantage.

  • Odd Lord

    every frontrunning team has unfair advantages at some point in time..
    Did we all forget that MSC won 4 WDC-titles just because the Brigdestones where especially designed for him, even though all the rest of the drivers were obliged to use the same tires? (or the inferior Michelins at some point)

    Even Fangio won races because he lasted longer on his tires, for racing tires are one of the major factors determing laptime..

    I think it is just bullshit, i also think Lotus have been smart and designed a car around the problem, and now the harvest their labor.

  • quattro


    Good comments!

    Probably Lotus have insight in how those Pirelli tests went, since Pirelli surely needed Renault personell to set up different aspects of the car while testing different scenarios/setups. If so, it should be very probable that a certain knowledege transfer has taken place to the Renault (now Lotus) engineers.

    The good news is that ALO>>RAI, so I feel confident in any case.

  • Apex Assassin

    I wish the tyres weren’t the story again this year. They are terrible! Leave babysitting tyres for endurance racing and nascar.

    I’m so sick of hearing Pirelli defend these inferior tyres and wish we could see the drivers pushing hard. Maybe then we’d see what these very expensive cars could do.

  • Durptron5000

    Lol, it’s not like Lotus gets anymore information from Pirelli than they do…”we’re not winning they must be cheating.” Every team in F1 is up to some sneakiness it’s just a part of the game.

  • backmarker

    everyone knows that Kimi it’s very easy on tyres unlike Hamilton for example.And how do explain Kimi’s time today?Dont forget that in Australia Kimi only managed to run one lap in Q3 unlike all the others,and that’s why only managed 7’th on the grid.

  • backmarker

    Also in the Melbourne race Raikkonen was constantly fastest on track except when he was coasting to save the tyres.Lotus simply have a great car in this start of the season

  • fools

    @odd ord

    Spot on. Schumi had 2 sec a lap quicker tires that he and Todt were only allowed to look/review for use at GP races.

  • skyfall

    Anyway good for lotus for taking advantage of the data from pirelli ! Now the big balls will force pirelli to get the data for themselves thats why the cry!! Bla Bla i hate monopoly teams !! I am ferrari fan but i hate when they beat competition with dirty tricks !! Leave the development free please i think 2020 formula one will run on v4 quattro turbo charged come on limao!! We going backwards!!
    What happened to all technology?

  • fgfdgfdgdf

    hahahaharr, the advantage was simply Kim! What a load of BS, Romain was 10 th. A Ferrari fan

  • Butterfly

    This is all BS. The Ferrari of Alonso was a match for the Lotus, it’s just down to having good cars.

  • f1fanatic

    another absurd conspiracy theory from yallaF1, this is why less and less people bother about visiting this site of late.

    using petty theories to attract more readers. disgusting.

  • JuniorJohnson

    I tend to agreed with that f1fanatic below.it is an absolute disgusting conspiracy theory and there rivals should be ashamed!its absoluteley disgusting!