Force India says mid-season tyre change favoured Red Bull and Mercedes

Otmar Szafnauer

Otmar Szafnauer

Force India has hit out at the mid-season specification change to Pirelli tyres that, according to technical director Andy Green, was a terminal setback for the Silverstone based team who spent the winter testing and adapting their car to the original rubber.

And, as Ferrari now turns its full attention to the 2014 challenge, the Italian team has also lamented the move from the original steel-belted 2013 Pirelli tyres to last year’s Kevlar specification.

The move was ostensibly made on safety grounds, but Ferrari and Force India both argue that it hurt their performance badly.

“We started the season in a good way,” said Fernando Alonso. “We won in China, we won in Spain and then we seemed to lose a bit of the performance, especially when the 2012 Pirelli tyres came back.

“That was probably the point in the championship [where] we said ‘bye-bye’,” the Spaniard revealed.

Force India’s is a similar story, but perhaps even more dramatic.

“Initially the others couldn’t do what Ferrari and us were able to,” technical boss Green told Auto Motor und Sport. “But Red Bull and Mercedes did a really good job of lobbying. That’s just unfair.”

“They had the same opportunity as we did to build a car for the 2013 tyres – if they didn’t do a good job, that [was] their problem. But they were rewarded for it instead,” he insisted.

The change from steel to Kevlar internals may seen academic, but it has a big impact on aerodynamics, Green explained.

“It gave us bad oversteer in fast corners,” he said. “The aerodynamics at the rear of the car no longer worked because the tyre deformed less.”

Green said that Force India then “stopped developing the car and could only react” to the problem “with different ride heights and suspension settings”. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • pfft

    Hmmm, interesting point.

  • Taskmaster

    The story is rubbish. Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus, Red Bull, STR, and McLaren have all improved, just as they do at the second half every year. Force India, Sauber, Marrussia, Williams, and Caterham have falled off, as they are unable to keep pace with the continuous improvement costs as the season progresses. Meanwhile, since the change – no more delaminations, no more explosions, no more cut downs, and no more 5 lap sessions from artificially extreme tire degradation with piles of clag cutting off passing lanes, which were shutting down all racing for the last 15 laps of every race. It’s finally looking like a race season again, and less like a phony video game. Enough whining already.

  • Mercedes are cheaters

    Mercedes was the biggest reason for the tire change. Mercedes threatened to leave Formula One if they did not get the slap on the wrist for their illegal tire test and also if the tires were not changed to suit their car.

    Mercedes built their car wrong and instead of Formula One telling them to bad so sad they caved to the Mercedes threats of pulling out of Formula One.

    To bad because Mercedes would not have missed at all if they leave.

  • harry harris

    FIA and PIRELLI is a joke