Boullier frustrated by Pirelli changes

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has expressed his inevitable disappointment at Pirelli’s decision to change its tyres for the Canadian GP.

Boullier is adamant that his team has simply done a better job than others of adapting to the tyres as supplied for the opening races of the seasons.

“There aren’t many sports where there are such fundamental changes to an essential ingredient part-way through a season,” said Boullier today. “Just imagine for a moment that, because a football team can’t run as fast as its opponent, the dimensions of the pitch are changed at half time! That there are changes to come can be seen as somewhat frustrating, and I hope they are not too extreme.

“It’s clear that Pirelli have found themselves in a difficult situation and under pressure from different quarters. Last year, when we were designing our 2013 car, each team received information from Pirelli and everyone did the best job they could to develop a chassis which would make best use of the tyre characteristics. We even ran with some experimental 2013 tyres at the end of last season, to assist us in confirming our development paths.

“As with every season, some teams do a better job than others with their designs, and some drivers are more adaptable than others to the changes of both car and tyre. It is frustrating when you’ve developed a car from a set of tyre specifications which are available to everyone – for tyres that are the same for everyone – to then be told that they are being changed mid-season.

“That said, we have a team of talented designers and engineers who will be working twice as hard to ensure we adapt to these changes in the most competitive manner.”

Meanwhile regarding the suspension failure that stopped Romain Grosjean in Spain he said: “It was frustrating for Romain and frustrating for the whole team. A Formula 1 car is made of so many components, and despite all the checks every once in a while a failure happens. Our technical team has taken immediate action, identified where the problem was and redesigned a new part for Monaco onwards.”

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Boullier frustrated by Pirelli changes

  1. The French team boss has a strong case here.

  2. wizzfrizzle

    Eric is completely right, the teams that did their homework during the winter are now getting punished because others were “lazy”.
    There is no other sport in the world where this would be allowed by the governing body.
    One can only hope that the new tyres are going to be even worse on the Red Bulls.
    This situation clearly presents the mental difference between teams, Mercedes eats tyres but they take the blame for that themselves, Red Bull eats tyres and they blame Pirelli.

  3. I can nothing do but agree with him!

  4. Stone the Crows

    He’s right.

  5. I shouldn’t add to the pile, but I agree. It makes being a fan feel awfully phony if we’re just watching the money make the rules.

  6. Steve W

    Well, Lotus aren’t Red Bull are they?

  7. **Paul**

    The flip side to Erics argument would be as follows:

    1.) 2013 Pirellis don’t enable teams to really race. The whole weekend is around tyres, not cars or drivers (tyres should be <5% of a weekend).
    2.) Have Ferrari & Lotus done a better job in Winter? I'd say that's an extremely flaterring view of things. Lets be honest here, both Ferrari & Lotus were soft on tyres last year (detrimental to Ferrari's qualifying pace), so surely the tyres have moved to suit their cars rather than they designing the car to be soft on tyres. The fact Merc are still hard on tyres, Lotus/Ferrari soft on them strongly suggests this is the real case.
    3.) Why did Pirelli make tyres that are so fragile ? Last season we saw some great races, and by and large the tyres didn't limit wheel to wheel racing. Why did the Italian company change it's 2013 tyre construction?

    Should Pirelli have changed the tyres for 2013? No.
    Have Ferrari/Lotus magically developed their car for these tyres? No.
    Are we likely to see any real racing on current 2013 tyres? No.
    Should Pirelli be changing the tyres from Canada onwards? Probably if they want anyone to witness a race this season.

    • Andrew

      You are so wrong its unreal.

      Tyres are THE most important thing to make sure your car can use. Do you REALLY have that short a memory? From lewis causing punctures through flat spots and his driving, Bridgestones dominating then Michelin dominating. Michelin liking an understeer driving style, Button not being able to warm his front right on the RA106….. Your plain wrong and clearly not watched Formula 1 more than 2 years. If you have, them tints are past the point of being rose.

      Ferrari and Lotus have build their cars be softer on tyres. Its not a detriment in Qualifying in the slightest; because they aim for the race. Points are on sunday, not Saturday. Mercedes’ glory runs on a Saturday when they know they just chew the tyres on sunday make a mockery, but also show the design philosophy of what is an end of 2007 season Honda design.

      . That is why for example, Ferrari had massive struggles in 2011 with the hard compound. They hired former Bridgestone expert Hirohide Hamashima. He solved the problem with the F150 Italia’s struggled with hard compounds. That is why in 2012 they didnt struggle with any tyre compound.

      Teams AGREED to soften the compounds for 2013 at the FIA’s request! Data was available and tests were conducted at Brazil 2012. Teams knew and agreed to change. Its upto the teams to adapt to the tyres, they knew they would be softer.

      And dont give me any crap you see from the fake ‘F1 fans’ about tyres and how they shouldn’t determine anything. its those sort of people who are a disgrace to the sport and partially the reason why Pirelli are changing the tyres illegally in the first place.

      But tyres have always been influential. Always in Formula 1. On the right tyre? Make the tyre last? What stint do you use the tyre? How do I drive on the out lap? How do maintain a relative pace? Which tyre manufacturer do I go with? Do I design my car around a harder bridgestone or do I go for a softer Michelin which likes understeer?

      Tyres have ALWAYS been heavily influential in Formula 1. ALWAYS. Anyone who says, like yourself, that tyres are too influential is bias and blind to the past 13 years minimum. Were you moaning about Bridgestone having superiority by getting tyres specifically for Ferrari, the rest of the bridgestone users being given secondary tyres? Alternatively, did you moan about Michelin being better in 2005 and 2006?

      Zero equality and parity between teams there. Tyres influenced whether you even stood a chance of fighting for the WDC let alone whether you would get THE best tyres from that manufacturer.

      Its people whinging because their team is losing. Simple as. I didn’t berate Pirelli because Ferrari couldn’t work the hard tyres in 2011. Its down to the design of the car. What did Ferrari do? Hire Hamashima. Solved their problems.

      Formula 1 is about building a race winning car. That means a car that can use its tyres, its engine, its mechanical grip to maximum effect. If the tyres last all race; then its about making an endurance F1 car. If the tyres don’t last all race, its about a car which can extract the performance without punishing the rubber.

      It used to be about who could nail the manufacturer of tyres best. I remember 2006; Button still struggled with the front right warming up. What did they do? Adapt the suspension, he changed how he warmed the tyres up. Job done.

      RBR’s problem is they cannot adapt, Newey builds a downforce rocket and is succeptable to straightline speed and tyre degredation. Whats the difference between that and a car which is succeptable to mechanical failures? NONE. Its upto the team to sort its own problems out.

      What do RBR want? To get more bhp from the Renault engine and the tyres durable so it suits THEM. How about building and adapting your car to suit the equipment universally given to all?

      • **Paul**

        I haven’t got time to reply to all of this, but I think it’s fair to say we disagree. But in summary:
        – Tyres are THE ONLY factor in F1 now. That’s not previously been the case. Only two years ago it was aero that was the dominant factor in the sport.
        – 2006 Michelins, yup I wanted those changed. At pressure the had wider shoulders than the Bridgestones giving a cornering advantage IIRC. Not fair on Ferrari, the FIA trying to even things up to stop MSC winning.

        Above all though, a series were drivers do not battle for places isn’t worth viewing, and having the likes of Vettel and Hamilton getting told to let people past is farcical. I guess I was hoping that F1 fans would be more concerned about a good race rather than their allegiances…

      • Andrew

        2) Wrong again. If Aero isn’t a fact then why hasn’t Caterham or Marussia got points or won? If there isn’t a reliance on car, traction, engine, grip, then why are Williams and McLaren so far back? Force india have a great car; that’s why they can tustle with Mercedes and beat McLaren. You telling me Tyres are making Caterham a second faster this year, Williams a second slower than last year? Exactly. Stop talking drivel, because that’s what your doing. Did you cry about last years tyres, when teams weren’t to grips with them? No? Ok.

        2) Wrong. Your lack of knowledge is painful to read. That was 2003 and those tyres were banned after Bridgestone knew they were being used for a while and weren’t bothered because Bridgestone was still dominant. Please go to youtube and watch the conference where Patrick Head is calling out Ross Brawn while the journalists laugh and Brawn gets annoyed and snaps at a journalist laughing. Briatore snickering behind Patrick. Totally wrong year. The only questionable act by the FIA was to ban the Massa Damper which just like those tyres back in 2003; it was known and accepted until Ferrari was losing. Fact is, Michelin turned the tables on Bridgestone. If you complained about 2006 and 2005, I sincerely hope that you cried about 2000-2004 where Bridgestone were dominant, there was no equal playing field and they gave their best tyres to Ferrari and the other Bridgestone users had to make do with lesser tyres. Did you complain?

        And don’t give me that crap about drivers not doing battle. Again, hypocritical short memories from fake Formula 1 fans. You aren’t a fan of this sport at all. Canada 2011; Alonso’s tyres were gone. He let Hamilton through without a fight to conserve rubber and try to get to the end instead of pitting. Vettel did the exact same. Alonso didn’t fight Grosjean or Perez as he would further destroy tyres.

        In a sport where teammates let each other by, told to hold station, aren’t allowed to race. A sport where B-teams wave their parent supplier teams through (Sauber/Ferrari, STR/RBR), your moaning about rival drivers waving each other through so they don’t waste their tyre life?

        What about in Germany 2012 where Alonso won. He waved Hamilton by who was lapping him to pass him. Didn’t need to go defending against a car unlapping himself so he let him go. later in the race Alonso then re-lapped lewis.

        Its called using your brain. Formula 1 has NEVER been wheel to wheel racing. Ive watched since I was 11 in 2001; wheel-to-wheel racing was rare. Its about strategy. Nick Heidfeld was ahead on track of Kubica who was doing a two stop to Nick’s one stop. What did he do? Wave Kubica through. That’s not racing. That cost Heidfeld his only chance of a race win.

        Stop talking drivel. Your embarrassing the F1 community and lowering the IQ of this page.

      • herowassenna

        Hi Andrew,
        I like your passionate views and agree with everything you have said.
        One thing I would like to say which you haven’t included in your reasoning is that the other Bridgestone runners in 2005 were Minardi and Jordan. Remember the Indy fiasco, 6 runners?
        By 2006, Williams, Toyota and Spyker and Super Auguri joined Ferrari as Bridgestone users.
        Let’s be honest, if you are teamed with Ferrari, are giving them upwards of $20,000,000 a season for testing of tyres alone, from 2000 onwards, as a company you are likely to support the strongest team, aren’t you?
        Otherwise can’t fault your argument.
        One thing made me smile, in 2001 I was 33 years old and have had the pleasure of following F1 since the 70’s.

    • Tires cannot be <5%!!! the braintrust removed fuel from the equation, and that continues to frustrate me, but without fuel as a variable, tires must be a large variable; otherwise, it's a parade.

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