Pressure is mounting on F1 supplier Pirelli to change its tyres. It is being whispered ever louder in the Sepang paddock that Red Bull, Mercedes and perhaps other teams are pushing hard for the Ital...
It is being whispered ever louder in the Sepang paddock that Red Bull, Mercedes and perhaps other teams are pushing hard for the Italian supplier to amend the heavily-degrading tyres supplied so far in 2013 in Australia and Malaysia.
"There are definitely signs about a change of the compound," Mercedes' Toto Wolff is quoted by SID news agency.
"In all probability, either in Bahrain or maybe after (the new tyres will appear)."
Pirelli's Paul Hembery, however, said the marque will only look to change tack if the teams "unanimously" demand it.
"That (unanimity) is definitely not the case," he insisted.
"If we do something, and suddenly two or three cars are no longer competitive but some others are suddenly faster, then we just have a new problem.
"We are analysing the situation," Pirelli is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "but there is still no decision."
And spox.com quotes him adding: "Many teams want to change the situation to their advantage. If we feel we need to change something, we will."
The basis of Mercedes and Red Bull's argument is that, according to their analysis, the tyres wear out faster on the cars that have the most downforce.
That, they claim, is a safety issue.
"(The) fact is that the tyres are not only developing extreme degradation after only a few laps, but big chunks quarry out," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told F1's official website.
"So this looks like there is an issue with the basics of the tyres. Note, the tyres have these problems -- not us."
So rather than rush back to Milton-Keynes to make improvements to the car that will perhaps make it slower, Marko said the priority for Red Bull is to "sit down with Pirelli".
As for the claim that Lotus is doing so well because its 2010 car - the Renault R30 - is now used by Pirelli as its test mule, Hembery dismissed it as a "conspiracy theory (that is) not based on fact".
And a Lotus source is quoted by Italy's La Stampa: "If our car was like 2010, we would be in bad shape."