Vettel says tires “aren’t working properly”

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Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has criticized the 2013 Pirelli tires following a difficult day in Barcelona during the second test.

The Red Bull driver made his feelings abundantly clear to the team at the end of the session, finishing over a second behind Romain Grosjean down in fourth.

“The tires aren’t really working properly and I think everybody is suffering the same problem, struggling to make the tires last for more than a lap.”

He did however concede that some of the teams may be suffering less than Red Bull.

“It’s difficult to compare things you are testing and also to compare yourself to others.”

Pirelli have opted to supply the teams with more aggressive tires in 2013, meaning that drivers will have to be careful to make sure they do not burn them out too quickly. The move came about following criticism that too many races were seeing only one pit stop, especially in the races towards the end of 2012.

Vettel also revealed that he struggled in the changeable conditions today, with the Circuit de Catalunya experiencing unusually high winds.

“I didn’t do that many laps today, but to be honest the weather wasn’t great and it was a pretty rough day in terms of the wind.”

This was a sentiment race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum supported.

“Once again the weather was the main inhibitor today. This morning the conditions weren’t great, so it was a bit of a slow start for everyone.

“In the afternoon we were able to move on to dry tyres, but the wind was quite strong at times and just as with Mark yesterday, that didn’t make life easy for Seb.”

He did appear more optimistic for tomorrow’s session, when conditions are expected to improve in north-eastern Spain.

“The weather is supposed to be much better tomorrow with a balmy 14 degrees forecast, so hopefully Mark will get a smooth run on his last day of testing.”

Kanaan, Dixon to rejoin Chip Ganassi Le Mans effort

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Both Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will be rejoining Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as part of their four-car armada at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team revealed late last week. Both drivers contested the event last year, with Dixon in the No. 69 entry – finishing seventh in the GTE Pro class – while Kanaan replaced an injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68 – finishing sixth in GTE Pro.

For Kanaan, this also represents a return to the Chip Ganassi organization, with which he contested the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2014 to 2017 before departing for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2018.

Kanaan will join Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in the No. 67, while Dixon will reunite with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, the three drivers having won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, in the No. 69.

Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, and Billy Johnson will share the No. 66 entry, with Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68.

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