F1 tyre situation 'fundamentally wrong' - Lauda

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Niki Lauda insists that it's bad for fans when there are so many pitstops, but Paul Hembery says that fans think the racing is more exciting now

Mar.19 (GMM) Niki Lauda has slammed the tyre situation in Formula One, accusing Pirelli and the FIA of confusing the fans.

"The situation with the tyres is absolutely stupid," the forthright triple world champion, broadcaster and Mercedes team chairman and shareholder said.

"Artificially creating more and more pitstops is wrong," Lauda told German newspaper Bild.

"Pirelli can't really help it as they are only doing what the FIA ordered them to do, but 90 per cent of the time no one understands what is happening in the races now."

Sahara Force India F1 Team mechanic marks Pirelli tyres outside the pit garages
Sahara Force India F1 Team mechanic marks Pirelli tyres outside the pit garages

Photo by: XPB Images

Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel finished the 2013 season opener third on Sunday, while Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen did one fewer pitstop and surprisingly won for Lotus from seventh on the grid.

Lauda said the current situation, with the tyres more influential than ever before, is confusing for the fans.

"My advantage is that I can ask our (Mercedes) engineers. The fans cannot. But even our people are confused.

"When the tyres are so soft, it's bad for Formula One. The fans don't understand if there are more than two pitstops. (For F1) it's a fundamentally wrong path."

Pirelli's Paul Hembery hit back: "Many fans have told us they think the racing is more exciting now."

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Series F1
Article type Commentary
Tags fia, hembery, lauda, pirelli

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