Lauda: Speaking as a neutral I say Pirelli changes are very positive

Niki Lauda

Niki Lauda

Mercedes F1 team share holder Niki Lauda has hailed Pirelli’s move to alter the design of its 2013 tyres ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix next month and beyond.

Lotus, arguably the team with the best grip on the Italian supplier’s controversial tyres this year, is not happy with the decision.

“It’s clear that Pirelli have found themselves in a difficult situation and under pressure from different quarters,” team boss Eric Boullier said. “I hope they (the changes) are not too extreme.”

Within the pitlane, the bulk of the ‘pressure’ put on Pirelli came from Red Bull and Mercedes.

Mercedes’ W04 is perhaps the fastest car in the entire field over one lap this year, but it chews alarmingly through the tyres over a race distance.

Asked what he thinks of Pirelli’s change of tack for Canada and beyond, chairman Lauda said: “This is very positive, and I’m speaking as a neutral observer and not the Mercedes chairman.

Pirelli engineer with F1 tyres

Pirelli engineer with F1 tyres

“No one understands what’s going on anymore, and there are no more man-to-man fights, because everyone is just focused on the tyres. It can’t be the intention of racing that the slowest man wins,” the Austrian told Osterreich.

“Everyone is just hoping he gets into the window where the tyres work, and often it’s a coincidence only,” added Lauda.

Former driver Mika Salo, meanwhile, has played down Lotus’ fears the team will be overly disadvantaged by the Montreal tweak.

Backing the move, the Finn told MTV3 broadcaster: “There didn’t seem to be any drivers left who were happy with the tyres. It was clear that something was wrong with them.

“But I don’t think it’s anything for Lotus to panic about, as they were also good on last year’s tyres.

“If they are able to use the tyres better now, then they will also use these (new) tyres better,” added Salo. (GMM)

  • McLarenfan

    How can Niki Lauda be neutral his team is looking bad because they are wicked speed wise but unable to keep any pace up.
    I think Salo has a very good point about Lotus they were fast last year so they may well be in an even better place with new rubber.

  • Aberracus

    Hahahaha OMG Lauda is neutral now !

    Salo is wrong, the picking order will be altered, and the championship will be stained and ruined.

  • Steve

    ” the championship will be stained and ruined.”

    Ha ha. If Alonso wins you won’t think the championship has been stained or ruined. You will think that if Vettel wins – but you think that every year if Vettel wins anyway.

  • Steve

    I’ve been following F1 for a long time, and there has never been an instance where a tyre was designed specifically to hurt one team the way these tyres were designed to hurt Red Bull.

    THAT stains the entire sport.

  • Steve

    “Backing the move, the Finn told MTV3 broadcaster: “There didn’t seem to be any drivers left who were happy with the tyres. It was clear that something was wrong with them.”

    What? Wait a minute .. I was getting the impression from the F1 press that everybody and his dog liked these tyres except for those wicked Red Bull people. How dd this hint that the tyres are universally agreed to need changing filter through?

  • F1 Fan 4 A Long Time

    The 2013 spec tyres were obviously designed to slow Redbull down. It’s not really a surprise that they’re complaining about them, and Ferrari and Lotus aren’t.

    Its not the first time that tyres have been used to handicap a dominating team that are winning so often, TV ratings are down.
    In 2005 we had the ‘one set of tyres per race’ rule, which blatantly favoured Michelin-Renault and killed the race pace of Ferrari-Bridgestone. It was a year when the title was virtually given to Alonso based on that rule change, but Ferrari did put up a pretty good fight, given the circumstances.

  • Butterfly

    It’s amazing to see how many experts are watching Formula 1 around the world. It’s staggering.

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