Ferrari’s Horse Whisperer has been quiet of late but you had this nagging feeling that he/she would rise to the occasion and comment on the tire (tyre) issue didn’t you? Of course Ferrari, who are doing quite well with the temperamental Pirelli tire compounds of 2013. Now that Pirelli have announced they are changing the compounds, some of the teams are not happy… Lotus and Ferrari to name two.
Pirelli motor sport boss, Paul Hembery, said that Red Bull would be the benefactor and then said it was not a change due to safety. Now the press have looked at the rule book and questioned those original comments. An enterprising Jonathan Noble at AUTOSPORT posed the question about Article 12.6.3 of F1’s technical regulations and you can read his conclusions here. In short, the supplier can change the tires if there is a safety concern.
“Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.”
The exception would be safety concerns that required a change.
“If in the opinion of the appointed tyre supplier and FIA technical delegate, the nominated tyre specification proves to be technically unsuitable, the stewards may authorise the use of additional tyres to a different specification.”
Hembery said there was no safety concern as well so are they in breach of Article 12.6.3?
Ferrari feel people have short memories as their Horse Whisperer points out:
“These are difficult times for people with poor memories. Maybe it’s because of the huge amount of information available today that people are too quick to talk, forgetting things that happened pretty much in the recent past. Or maybe the brain cells that control memory only operate selectively, depending on the results achieved on track by their owners.
A classic example of this is the current saga regarding the number of pit stops. Voices have been raised to underline the fact that various teams, some of whom got to the podium and others who were quite a way off, made four pit stops in the recent Spanish Grand Prix, making the race hard to follow.
It’s a shame that these worthy souls kept quiet two years ago when, at the very same Catalunya Circuit and on the Istanbul track, five of the six drivers who got to those two podiums made exactly the same number of pit stops as did Alonso and Massa last Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix.
In fact, there’s nothing new about winning a race making so many pit stops, even discounting those where it was down to changeable weather. One only has to look back to 2004, when Michael Schumacher won the French Grand Prix thanks to what was a three stop strategy, later changed to a four stopper. That was the key which allowed the multiple champion’s F2004 to get ahead of the then Renault driver, Fernando Alonso, who made three stops. And on that day and we remember it well, our strategy and the tyre supplier were showered with praise for allowing us to get the most out of the car.
Today however, it seems one must almost feel ashamed for choosing a strategy that, as always for that matter, is aimed at getting the most out of the package one has available. On top of that, if this choice emerges right from the Friday, because all the simulations are unanimous in selecting it, then why on earth should one feel embarrassed when compared to those who have gone for a different choice, only to regret it during the race itself.”
That’s the latest on the tire saga so what do you think? Does Ferrari have a point? It will be interesting to see if all of you anti-Ferrari fans can swallow some McLaren pride and actually support the Horse Whisperer. ;)