JULY 7, 2013
New kevlar tyres not terrible
Although Lotus was initially opposed to the move to kevlar-belted tyres, Romain Grosjean in Germany said the change was actually "not terrible" for the team.
Before the tyre-exploding crisis at Silverstone, Lotus was one of a prominent few teams who refused to allow Pirelli to make the mid-season tyre construction change.
But with the new tyres forced through after the British grand prix, Lotus actually showed good pace at the Nurburgring, with Kimi Raikkonen and Frenchman Grosjean qualifying fourth and fifth.
"We were a little afraid of the tyres on paper," Grosjean told RMC, "but it (the construction change) was not necessarily terrible for us.
"It turns out that it's going pretty well."
Lotus engineer Alan Permane agrees: "The new rear construction doesn't appear to be hurting our performance."
But Force India, another team initially resistant to the new tyres, has struggled in Germany.
"It's difficult to determine if the change in tyre construction has hampered our performance," said deputy team boss Bob Fernley, "but for whatever reason we've not found the sweet spot this weekend."
The third team originally opposing the kevlar switch was Ferrari, who have had a solid weekend.
But Fernando Alonso said: "This race at the Nurburgring is not very meaningful, because we are only using these tyres once.
"It's only in Hungary that we'll know where we are heading," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.