Much has been said and written about Pirelli’s 2013 range of tyres, and after a catastrophic British Grand Prix weekend of blowouts the Italian manufacturer went back to the drawing board and produced a new tyre taking in some aspects of the 2012 tyre model, combining with 2013 elements which Lotus trackside operations director says take them into unknown territory.
Speaking ahead of the Hungarian GP, Permane said, “For the first time this season we’ll see a combination of the 2013 compounds with 2012 construction used in a race scenario. This has brought something of an unknown into the equation with this year’s car.”
“The tyres are of a slightly different shape and will react differently to camber, toe in/out and so on. We’ve had the opportunity to get a better understanding of how they’ll behave at the Young Driver Test so there are no concerns on that front,” explained Permane.
But the Lotus man believes that the changes are good, when compared to the first allocation aoounced by Pirelli for the tight (Monaco-like) Hungaroring circuit, and believes that their positive experience with the 2012 tyres, which allowed Kimi Raikkonen to challenge for the title most of last season.”
“As I’ve said previously, we believe the original allocation of medium and hard compounds would have been a very conservative choice for Budapest,” said Permane. “On top of that, our knowledge of this construction from the 2012 season carries over quite well to this new configuration; giving us a good baseline in terms of such considerations as ride height, camber and toe sensitivity.”
Eric Boullier echoed Permane’s sentiments, “Budapest will be the real test, but we’re confident we have enough data to say that there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises. We performed well in Hungary last year and we’re eager to do the same again this season too.” (GP247)