Pirelli was in the headlines far too often in 2013; still, it says it felt almost used by Red Bull with the team’s critiques and criticisms of its 2013-spec tires before making the midseason construction change.
“That was clearly disappointing because everybody has the same challenge, and that is one thing that was true,” Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery told Autosport.
“We are a partner and competitor, we always said if all the teams, or the sport itself, tells us to make a change we will do it, but being put under media pressure was very disappointing.”
It was one of the bigger stories in 2013 – the high degradation in the first half of the year, the secret Mercedes test and the tire failures in Silverstone – were all reasons why the midseason change was implemented.
Red Bull of course, stormed away in the second half with Sebastian Vettel scoring the last nine victories in succession.
Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.
Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.
The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.
Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.
Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.