APRIL 19, 2013
Pirelli to make only minor tyre changes after Bahrain
Pirelli is set to make only minor modifications to its 2013 tyres after this weekend's Bahrain grand prix.
It was believed F1's controversial official supplier would make significant changes to this year's heavily-degrading tyres for Barcelona and beyond, but Paul Hembery said on Friday that most teams are actually pushing for the status quo.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that, in fact, the only changes will be to the 'hard' and 'soft' compounds, with the 'medium' and 'super-soft' tyres to be left untouched.
Correspondent Michael Schmidt said the minor changes to the compounds are designed simply to minimise the amount of graining.
"The final decision will be made on Tuesday in Milan," he wrote on Friday.
Pirelli's Hembery said the hard tyres should be working perfectly on a 40 degree track in Bahrain, but actually the circuit is proving too cool for the compound.
"That's why I don't rule out that the working range will be slightly changed for the cooler European races," he confirmed.
Changes to the 'soft' are also possible, but "we'll decide later," Hembery said.
"The construction will be the same, because if we changed that even slightly, the aerodynamics would be affected.
"Red Bull wants a stronger intervention from us, but we can't just do that, because of the other teams.
"The majority of the teams actually want us to do nothing -- Red Bull can't expect us to tailor a tyre just for them."
As for the super-soft and medium, "Both tyres are doing what we expected of them," said Hembery.
He insisted he cannot understand the strength of some of the criticism so far in 2013.
"No one is able to say before the race who is going to win," said Hembery. "There are many different strategies, and overtaking.
"I think we have done our job well," he added.
Finally, he thinks Red Bull's campaign of public criticism has actually worked against the reigning champions.
"I think they've just united the other teams against them," said Hembery.