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.”

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”