Lotus surprised by Pirelli decision to drop softs for Spain

James Allison (GBR) Lotus Renault GP Team Technical Director Formula One Testing, Day 1, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 1 February 2011.

James Allison

Lotus have revealed they are surprised by Pirelli’s decision to not supply the soft-compound tyre this weekend for the Spanis Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Following all the controversy about the Italian supplier’s 2013 tyres, with Red Bull by far the loudest critic, Pirelli announced that it is tweaking its ‘hard’ compound for Barcelona and beyond.

But, in the past, Pirelli has usually supplied the ‘hard’ and the ‘soft’ tyres for the Spanish Grand Prix.

So far this year, Lotus’ 2013 car has shown to be arguably the most effective in managing the heavily degrading compounds, and the team and its lead driver Kimi Raikkonen are both currently second in the championship points standings.

It’s no surprise, then, that technical director James Allison is disappointed Pirelli has not allocated the ‘soft’ compound for Barcelona.

“We’ve used Pirelli’s hard and soft compounds for the last few years (in Spain), so we were slightly surprised to see them opt for the more conservative hard and medium this season,” he said.

Similarly, 1996 world champion thinks Pirelli’s moves will favour championship leaders Red Bull.

“You might see that (Pirelli’s decisions) swings towards Red Bull’s favour and there are mutterings that that is the case and some of the teams are suggesting that is not what they want to see and that they quite like the softer tyre,” he told Britain’s Sky. “But that’s Formula 1.” (GMM)