Tyres are still the biggest topic of conversation as the Formula 1 world descended on Monte Carlo ahead of the Monaco GP weekend.
But the big paddock whisper is that changes to Pirelli’s 2013 tyres will be only minor in Montreal next month and beyond.
According to the strong and widespread rumour, the only minor change will be to the rear tyres — which is good news for Ferrari and Lotus, and not-so-good for Mercedes and Red Bull.
“Anything else would be unfair,” Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “You can’t change everything just because some teams can’t cope with the tyres. We can live with the idea of stronger rear tyres. I think that will help everybody.”
The Finn is also quoted by MTV3 broadcaster: “The fairest thing would be to continue with the current tyres, but I know there is a lot of pressure to change something.”
It is believed teams will learn more about the rear tyre tweak on Thursday. In the meantime, the issue continues to divide the paddock. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso said Red Bull’s complaining is just sour grapes.
“It sometimes happens when you win too easily for some years, it’s difficult to lose some races after,” he told English-language reporters.
In his native Spanish tongue, however, Alonso was even more blunt. “I believe this year we are seeing that they (Red Bull) are not all angels. We saw it in Malaysia and now with these statements.”
“When you win in an easy way for a few years, you can forget how to lose,” the Spaniard added.
At the very same time, Red Bull’s world champion Sebastian Vettel continued to boldly criticise the Pirelli situation.
He is quoted by SID news agency: “It’s like a professional skier having to change for the following season to wooden skis.”
“I don’t want to speak ill of people,” added Vettel, “but in this context they (Pirelli) need to do a better job. We have seen repeatedly that the surface of the tyre comes off. This is because they are not good enough.”
He is quoted by Italy’s Autosprint: “None of us want our tread to come off in the tunnel.”
However, Vettel rejects the idea that Red Bull is complaining more than any other team.
“I think you (journalists) would rather quote us than Marussia for example. But in the driver meetings I even hear Lotus complain that they have the same problem as us, but less extremely. So we’re not the only ones complaining,” the German added. (GMM)