One stopper for Lotus In Spain?
Thus far, the Medium/Hard compound combination has been very kind to Vettel and Red Bull Racing. This may change this weekend in sunny Spain. Lotus may be the team with the most to gain from the new compound.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
By Ernie Black
Kimi Raikkonen using his harder compounds at Bahrain. (Abdrew Ferraro / LAT Photo)
May 7th, 2013 (F1plus/E. Black).- Below you will find a chart showing the first four rounds, compounds used and winners. As you can see, the medium/hard compound seems to have historically favoured Vettel and Red Bull so far this season. We also know that Lotus has been very gentle on its tyres this season. The E21 is setup perfectly to take advantage of the tyres most in race trim. Pirelli Director of Motorsports Paul Hembery offered this, “We’d expect the medium tyre to still be significantly faster and this is the one that the teams are likely to qualify on, whereas the hard is likely to be the preferred race tyre.”.
It goes without saying that everyone on the grid will be striving for victory this weekend. Having said that, there seems to be a pecking order which would indicate that Vettel, Raikkonen and Alonso all have a better chance than most at the win. All of which desperately want, if not need, the victory. Vettel wants to extend his 10 point lead over Kimi, Kimi wants to overhaul Vettel and extend his 20 point lead on Alonso, and the Spaniard needs the victory just to stay in touch with the top three.
Alonso currently sits fourth in the standings a massive 30 points behind the leading Vettel. While we are still only in round number five of nineteen on the calendar, it is still a huge gap to close. Many are focusing on Alonso as this is his home race and surely, emotions will be running high. Hamilton who is third in the points is all but discounted as his Mercedes has been less than kind to it's Pirelli boots this season. Although the German team claims it is on top of the issue, we have yet to see the proof.
On the opposite side of this issue sits Lotus. Lotus, especially with Kimi at the wheel, as mentioned, has been very gentle on its rubbers. The new Pirelli compound could play right into the Enstone team's hands. Some of us are expecting Kimi to qualify well on the medium compound tyres but not spectacularly. If Kimi is able to make a clean run and go a bit longer on the mediums, he could get away with a one stop strategy on the hards. It's a bit of a stretch for a 66 lap race, but if anyone can pull it off, it would be Lotus and Kimi.