Lotus: Tire choices for next races are “conservative”

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Lotus believe the tire choices Pirelli have made for the coming races are “conservative”.

Technical director James Allison told Sky: “For Barcelona, for the first time in a long time, we’re not taking hard and soft we’re taking hard and medium.”

“We’re taking the same selection to Monaco that we normally do, soft and supersoft, but for Canada again we’re getting a medium when previously we would have expected a soft.”

“So it’s going a bit more conservative. I think they’ve had a few people in their ear about maybe taking it a step too far and they’ve gone a bit more conservative than we might have expected.”

Pirelli have faced complaints from Red Bull that their tires are too aggressive, which forces them not to use the full potential of the RB9.

But Lotus, who are second in the constructors’ championship behind Red Bull, have often been able to make one pit stop fewer than their rivals due to the E21’s kindness to its tires.

However Allison stopped short of saying the tire allocation for the coming races will disadvantage Lotus. “I don’t think it will hurt us,” he said.

Pirelli have also produced a more durable version of the hard tire for the next race. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “This is a decision that we’ve come to having looked at the data from the first four races, with the aim of further improving the spectacle of Formula One.”

“In fact this is almost a tradition with us now, as we also introduced a revised version of the hard tire for the Spanish Grand Prix in 2011, which was our first year in the sport.”

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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