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"When we're going round three seconds slower than a GP2 car did in qualifying, and only six seconds quicker than a GP3 car did in the race, there's something wrong,"
Mercedes' Lauda also made Newey offer - Marko 01/01/1970 12:12am
2013 May 13
Branding for Pirelli, 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday. Image © Pirelli - 12th May 2013 -

2013: Formula 1 Gran Premio De España - Catalunya - F1 - 2013 - Catalunya - Formula 1 Gran Premio De España

F1 reaches 'T-word' tipping point

May 13 (GMM) There is an angry 'T- word' on everybody's lips after Sunday's puzzling and painful Spanish grand prix.

"Can anyone tell me what's going on?" an exasperated Paul di Resta asked his team during the race in Barcelona.

With that, he summed up the situation in F1 at present: Pirelli's unprecedentedly heavily degrading tyres are confusing even the sport's drivers.

Lewis Hamilton, having qualified on the front row, sounded amazed, sarcastic and incensed when he informed his Mercedes bosses that "I've been passed by a Williams now".

Only 24 hours earlier, the same Williams had failed to make it out of 'Q1', while many were tipping a Mercedes victory.

"When we're going round three seconds slower than a GP2 car did in qualifying, and only six seconds quicker than a GP3 car did in the race, there's something wrong," said McLaren's Jenson Button.

Hamilton, asked to slow down to protect his tyres during Sunday's race, replied that he couldn't go any slower "otherwise I'm going at walking pace".

"That is the way the sport has gone to improve overtaking," he told reporters afterwards. "It is for the public to judge."

Until now, Pirelli has vigorously defended its mandate, having come into F1 tasked with spicing up the action by supplying tyres that will force multiple pitstops per driver.

But, amid the post-race vitriol in Spain from both inside and outside the paddock, motor sport director Paul Hembery announced that Pirelli will now make changes.

"It's too late for Monaco but we'd look to change things for Silverstone," he said.

Gerhard Berger, a former grand prix winner and team co-owner, explained: "They can't go on like this.

"Every 14 days it's just negative advertising for them. And the fans no longer know their stuff."

In short, the pressure has built to tipping point, spurred on by vocal opponents like Red Bull, and also the media.

"Is this really a formula one world championship?" said Nicola Pohl in the mass-circulation German newspaper Bild.

She quoted Red Bull team boss Christian Horner saying: "It's like chess now.

"And chess is not necessarily a sport that has many fans."

Hembery is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport: "In the last two years, the public has supported us. The races have become much more exciting.

"But the criticism has reached a level where we can no longer be indifferent."

However, not everyone supports a major change. Apparently Ferrari and Force India are quite happy with the 2013 tyres, as is - obviously - Lotus.

"It's like football," team owner Gerard Lopez said. "As soon as one team is always hitting the post, the discussion becomes making the goals a bit bigger."

Another factor is that if Pirelli makes significant compound or structure changes, they want a day of testing prior to Silverstone.

"They'll never get it through," said Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder, "because all the teams would have to agree."

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Lotus sells team stake, Mercedes on F1 board 13/05/2013 10:10am

Lotus sells team stake, Mercedes on F1 board


May 13th 2013

May 13 (GMM) F1 team Lotus has reportedly sold a $1.5 million stake to a British property investor.

Average time taken for a Pirelli fitter to fit an F1 tyre from scratch: 2m30s

Spanish Grand Prix - Wallpaper


May 12th 2013

The fifth wallpaper in the 2013 Victor's Series commemorates Fernando Alonso's victory in the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix held at Catalunya, Spain.

Most laps led on Pirelli tyres: 739 (Sebastian Vettel)

Spanish GP - Sunday Press Conference

FIA Press Conference

May 12th 2013

Post-Race Press Conference organised by the FIA for the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. SUN 12.05.13, 6:06PM. DRIVERS: 1 – Fernando ALONSO (Ferrari), 2 – Kimi RAIKKONEN (Lotus), 3 – Felipe MASSA (Ferrari).

Most overtaking manoeuvres in a wet race (= most ever): 125 at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix

Lotus F1 - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013

Drinking from the Bottle...

Average life span of a dry compound this season: 120 km

Ferrari - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013

Spanish Grand Prix Montmeló, 12th May 2013.

Total kilogrammes of rubber deposited on track in 2011: 10,200

Force India F1 - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013

Paul Di Resta scored six points for Sahara Force India in today’s Spanish Grand Prix. Teammate Adrian Sutil’s race was compromised by a slow pit stop, which denied him a chance to join Paul in the points.

Total number of nationalities within the Pirelli F1 team: 10

Caterham F1 - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013

SPANISH GRAND PRIX 2013. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain - 12th May 2013.

Pirelli in F1 - Podium places: 196

Sauber F1 - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013

Weather: sunny, 21-19°C air, 35-39°C track.

Number of overtaking manoeuvres (most in World Championship history): 1120 (after Abu Dhabi)

Marussia F1 - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013

LITTLE REWARD. 2013 Spanish Grand Prix - The Race.

Most pit stops in a race: Hungary (88 - of which 3 were a Drive Through)

Williams F1 - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013

Spanish GP Race. Sunday 12 May, 2013.

Total number of tyres provided for the season (dry and wets): Race tyres: 24,000 dry tyres; 4,600 wet tyres plus an additional 6,000 for the tests

McLaren F1 - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013

“A solid platform from which to move forwards from here on in”

Longest continuous energy input into a tyre: Istanbul (Turn 8)

Pirelli - Spanish GP Race

May 12th 2013


Number of people required to put up and take down Pirelli's hospitality unit in Europe: 6