Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has questioned Red Bull’s recent complaints over the 2013 Pirelli tires in light of the defending champion’s recent results.
“How can they complain when they’ve just had a one-two?” asked Boullier. “That would not be very understandable.”
Red Bull have raised questions about the new compounds in 2013, with Pirelli designing a more aggressive tire in order to force teams into making more pit stops. This has seen many driver struggle to make their tires last whilst running at optimum pace, but Boullier sees no reason for Pirelli to change their design.
“Pirelli has no reason to change their tire spec. It is the 2013 tire spec and that is it. I don’t think there is any interest or wish from Pirelli to change anything. There is no reason why they have to change.
“Red Bull won and they are going to win more. There are worse cars in the top positions with these tires.”
Lotus have been one of the few teams to truly master the new compounds, with Kimi Raikkonen managing his tires perfectly in Australia en route to winning the first race of the season, but many teams have found the 2013 compounds more problematic. However, the tires are yet to be used at a completely dry race weekend, and until they are, the debate is set to continue.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.