Pirelli announce they will change their tyres after stinging criticism of the Spanish GP
Sunday's Spanish GP featured a bewildering 82 pit-stops
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 13/05/13 8:15am
Although Pirelli were instructed upon their appointment as F1's sole tyre supplier in 2011 to spice up the racing, Sunday's confusing and almost pedestrian race - which featured 82 pit-stops despite three retirements - felt like an evolution too far as tyre preservation became the clear priority ahead of outright pace.
"Every time we went on board with [Fernando] Alonso and [Kimi] Raikkonen, I felt I could drive that fast," complained Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle. "We've got to do something."
Even the men in the middle were unimpressed. "A right mess" was Jenson Button's succinct summary of the race, while Paul di Resta's plea to his Force India team to tell him what was going on midway through the grand prix was equally telling.
"This is the pinnacle of motor sport. We shouldn't be driving as slowly as we have to so that we can look after the tyres," added a disgruntled Button despite salvaging eighth place from 14th on the grid.
Stung by the criticism, Pirelli have already confirmed they will beef up their tyres, with Paul Hembery, the group's Motorsport Director, tweeting: "We aim for two-three pit stops. Today was too many, we got it wrong, too aggressive. We will make changes, probably from Silverstone.
"It is not always easy, cars develop, we cannot test with current cars, no in season testing either.
"We were asked to replicate Canada 2010, and aim for two-three stops."
Speaking directly to Sky Sports F1, Hembery clarified: "We know that with four [stops] it's hard to follow and too difficult, so we will make changes. We'll discuss that this week and we will either do that through compounding or through the structure of the tyres to make it less aggressive."
Despite the selection of Pirelli's two hardest compounds - the hard and the mediums - for Sunday's race, the vast majority of the field, including race victor Alonso, completed the 66-lap race after making four stops.
"It's just too much. I've received a tweet saying 'four stops isn't a motor race, it's a bus journey," added Brundle.
Yet while the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull are likely to welcome a change of approach from Pirelli, Lotus may not be so obliging after Kimi Raikkonen crossed the line just ten seconds behind Alonso after taking one fewer stop than the Ferrari.
"People will always complain," mused the Finn who is now just four points off the lead of the championship.
But with the groundswell of opinion on Sunday calling for a little more racing and far less stopping, Lotus may find themselves in a lonely minority.