Jaime Alguersuari confused by tire ‘drama’

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Former Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari has admitted that he does not understand the drama surrounding Pirelli’s 2013 tire compounds.

The Spanish driver last raced in Formula One in 2011, but he was dropped by the Italian team in favor of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, and he has not been linked to any seats recently. However, he is still in a position to comment on the on-going saga, having used Pirelli tires during his final F1 season.

“I don’t see the drama. When Vettel was winning in 2011 things were like this but when things go well you don’t complain and when they go wrong you complain about the tires,” Alguersuari explained to Spanish newspaper AS.

“Four stops in Spain were to be expected because it is very abrasive asphalt and high temperatures.”

When Alguersuari last raced at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2011, a four-stop strategy was used by race winner Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton (P2), Mark Webber (P4) and Fernando Alonso (P5), yet no great fuss was made. Alguersuari believes that it is a case of some teams having more success with the tires than others.

“What is happening is that some understand the tyres and others don’t.

“Alonso and Ferrari understand the rubber, so do Raikkonen and Lotus. Others do not.”

The situation took another twist last night with the FIA announcing that any changes had to be made on safety grounds, not to intentionally reduce the number of pit stops. Therefore, Pirelli may have to revise their plans for a radical redesign, but we can still expect to see the new tires debuting at the Canadian Grand Prix next month.

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

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Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”