Pirelli to tweak hard compound for rest of 2013

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Pirelli will make adjustments to its orange-labeled hard compound for the rest of the 2013 Formula One season.

Although it’s not exactly the same as the 2012 specification compound, it is much closer, said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery.

“After evaluating tire performance over the balance of the first four races, we took the decision – in consultation with all of the teams – to change the hard compound from Spain onwards, as we did in Barcelona two years ago when we also introduced a new hard tire for the rest of the season,” he said.

“This latest version of the hard compound is much closer to the 2012 tire, with the aim of giving the teams more opportunity to run a wider range of strategies in combination with the other compounds, which remain unchanged.”

Pirelli will bring the new hard to the next Grand Prix in Spain, along with the medium compound. Monaco will see the two softest compounds – soft and super-soft – put into action. That will mark the first race since Australia when the super-soft was brought. Canada is projected to have the medium and the super-soft tires.

Although Red Bull has won two of the last three races with Sebastian Vettel, the team claimed it was still unhappy with the tires. Other teams have adapted while Christian Horner said after the race, “I think the tires are still too on an edge.”

‘Still quite early’ for Ricciardo to think about Red Bull F1 future

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Daniel Ricciardo feels it is “still quite early” to make a decision about his Red Bull Formula 1 future despite seeing teammate Max Verstappen announce on Friday he would be staying with the team until 2020.

Verstappen, 20, put pen to paper on an enhanced F1 contract with Red Bull, with his previous deal due to expire at the end of next season in parallel to Ricciardo’s own agreement.

Ricciardo was asked following practice on Friday why he is yet to strike a new deal for himself with Red Bull, and explained he is in no rush to make a final decision when he has over a year to run on his current contract.

“It’s not that I’ve said no to anything. It’s just still quite early I think,” Ricciardo explained.

“People talked a little bit about contracts and the silly season for next year, but I thought that would still happen next year. It’s still quite early.

“If I’m to try and extract some positives out of his news it’s that it gives us good confidence for next year. He and his management see a lot of positives in the team to continue like that.

“I’m 100 per cent here next year, I can at least say that, and I think it gives both of us confidence that we’ll keep progressing the way we are.”

Red Bull said upon announcing Verstappen’s new deal that it wants to “build a team around him”, with the 20-year-old standing out as a once-in-a-generation talent.

The focus surrounding Verstappen has not left Ricciardo feeling as though he is in the shade or in any way playing second-fiddle to the Dutchman, stressing he has no internal concerns at Red Bull.

“For sure, as far as media goes, he certainly gets a lot of attention. He’s broken records for his age and things like that, so rightly so,” Ricciardo said.

“Take the media out of it, as far as inside the team, new parts on the car, things like this, there’s always been parity and equality.”

Verstappen is only the third driver to commit to a deal beyond the end of next season, following Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari and Fernando Alonso at McLaren on multi-year contracts.

All 10 F1 teams have at least one free seat for 2019, making Ricciardo a possible candidate for seats with either Mercedes or Ferrari were he to consider a move away from Red Bull.

Speaking to British broadcaster Sky Sports, Red Bull F1 advisor Helmut Marko said he felt Ricciardo was “putting himself on the market” by waiting to make a decision on his future, but that talks would take place when possible.