Pirelli have announced that a new hard tire will be introduced from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards. In response to a few teams (mostly Red Bull) Pirelli have opted to make some changes to the hard tire to make it more durable and flexible in terms of operating temperatures. this has been done in the hopes of allowing teams to run a wider range of strategies throughout the races.
When speaking of the current generation of Pirelli tires, Christian Horner has said they are “too on edge”. He criticized the recent necessity to do a 4-stop race and, even though his team has never had to do such a strategy, is adamant that changes need to be made.
In response, Pirelli have opted to steer the hard tires more in the direction of last season’s hard tires. They will be more durable and, hopefully, more readily accepted by the teams. Pirelli has been cautious about the situation, however. A majority of the teams have been happy, albeit a bit flustered’ with the 2013 tires and made it clear that they did not want too many drastic changes to be made.
Is this really the right solution?
While this change is noble and self-sacrificial and all, Pirelli now face the fear of even more criticism. Need I mention the Austin Grand Prix? While the racing was great at the Inaugural race at COTA, Pirelli’s criticism reached an all-time high as the chosen tire for that race proved to be far too durable. Every single car ran a one-stop strategy on the Sunday which put Pirelli in the spotlight for the Wei g reasons again. This race arguably was the trigger that launched Pirelli’s program to soften the tire again for 2013. Now, Red Bull is unhappy with the solution to a problem they were unhappy with as well. To make the conspiracists happy, maybe the notion that Pirelli is working with Red Bull in a Bridgetstone-Ferrari-esque is not totally baseless.
This cycle has been unending ever since Pirelli entered the sport. Red Bull’s criticisms have been largely overly exaggerated this season, as they have stated their struggle switch the tires. The fact of the matter is, Red Bull have not had to make a single extra stop because of tires. They are leading both championships relatively comfortable, and seem to be in no danger of losing that lead without a hard fight. If Red Bull are truly against the tires, it will take a true disaster of a race for them to be believed.