Formula 1

Lotus won't agree to Pirelli tyre changes

Boullier is happy with the tyre compounds. (©GettyImages)
Boullier is happy with the tyre compounds. (©GettyImages).

Lotus is set to block Pirelli's introduction of a revised rear tyre at the British Grand Prix later this month according to team boss Eric Boullier.

Pirelli is set to test a new rear tyre in Friday's opening two practice sessions, after plans to introduce the tyres fully at this weekend's race were scuppered.

Director of Motorsport Paul Hembery says he needs unanimous agreement from the 11 teams to implement the the new tyres aimed at stopping the tread failures we saw in Bahrain and Spain.

However, speaking in Montreal on Thursday, Boullier said his team would not allow those tyres to be introduced yet.

"Pirelli will test the tyres but they need the unanimity of the teams to change the rules, or at least change the type of tyres, and today they haven't got it," he said to reporters.

That comes despite pressure put on to teams like Lotus and Ferrari who are happy with the current specification tyres by other teams such as Red Bull and Mercedes who are not.

"The rules are the same for everyone," he insisted. "They (the current 2013 tyres) were tested in Brazil last season.

"It is a major component of the sporting and technical sides this year, so I don't see why we should change during the season."

That comes amid an angry reaction from Red Bull's triple world champion Sebastian Vettel who claims the tyres should be introduced immediately because of the safety concerns.

When the suggestion was made that a delamination of the tread was less of an issue that an overall tyre failure Vettel's response was direct.

"Neither is overly safe, is it?" the German answered. "I don't want to dramatise, but we saw what can happen with Felipe Massa when the driver is struck by a flying object. I don't want a flying tread to hit my head," Vettel is quoted by Speed Week.

Meanwhile despite earlier claims a new deal between Pirelli and F1 bosses is close, other tyre manufacturers are being mentioned for 2014.

Former supplier Bridgestone and Hankook have pulled said they are not interested in joining F1, however another former supplier, Michelin, is said to be pondering a return.

"In the Montreal paddock it is being said that Michelin representatives have met with F1 executives to look into returning to the sport." according to Spanish sports newspaper AS.

Michelin joined F1 in 2001 however were heavily criticised after the 2005 United States Grand Prix when their tyres were unsafe for the banking at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and only 6 cars participated, they left the sport at the end of 2006.


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