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A traditional gem to put Formula One’s tyre-some talk to bed

PUBLISHED: 10:13 03 June 2013 | UPDATED: 10:13 03 June 2013

Vitaly Petrov takes his 2012 Caterham around the streets of Monte Carlo last season. Photo: Andrew Ferraro

Vitaly Petrov takes his 2012 Caterham around the streets of Monte Carlo last season. Photo: Andrew Ferraro

LAT Photographic

Sometimes through adoration and a truly awesome recent record of success, it can be forgotten why so many Formula One fans dislike Red Bull. Obviously it’s not a ridiculous notion, given the dominant entity in many a sport seems to enjoy success and blame in equal measure. After all, they prevent others from having their turn at the top.

Good week, bad week

GW – Honda: Will team up with McLaren again from 2015 to renew an iconic partnership; Paddy Lowe: The ex-McLaren man’s switch to Mercedes has been confirmed, starting in June.

BW – McLaren: Honda’s arrival is almost certain to make next year’s final stint with Mercedes tricky; Williams: Grove is under pressure to turn round a woeful opening to the 2013 season.

Sometimes through adoration and a truly awesome recent record of success, it can be forgotten why so many Formula One fans dislike Red Bull. Obviously it’s not a ridiculous notion, given the dominant entity in many a sport seems to enjoy success and blame in equal measure. After all, they prevent others from having their turn at the top.

But it can be more than that. Sometimes it comes down to attitude. Class. Not necessarily how that team wins things, but how they carry themselves in between.

And at the moment, Red Bull’s squawking about Pirelli’s 2013 tyres is reminding a lot of people why RBR irritated before they exhilarated.

Barcelona reinvigorated the Milton Keynes complaints that Pirelli’s tyres were killing the racing this year, restricting drivers’ ability to push and in turn – ironically – ruining the show. But don’t be fooled. None of this comes from Red Bull’s determination to make sure the watching public is entertained. It all comes from the fact the team is struggling to understand the rubber – and as a result they are under pressure from Lotus and Ferrari.

"I don’t know with whom Bernie spoke… We made a conscious decision to withdraw from Formula One "

Quote of the week: BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt puts down Ecclestone’s suggestion they could return to F1

The real irony is they are not really struggling at all. Sure, Barcelona wasn’t the best race they have ever had, but Red Bull still lead both the drivers’ and constructors’ tables after five race. There is no practical need to make significant changes when the season has already starting to swing – which is why your fingers should all be tightly crossed.

The pressure on Pirelli – it must be said, led by Red Bull – means that from Canada the tyres will be reworked versions a little closer to their 2012 cousins.

That is what Pirelli have said – part of me hopes it’s nothing more than a PR game the tyre manufacturer is trying to win. Lotus and Ferrari are not best pleased with the news. But then F1’s standard fare is to subjectively argue rules in your favour – it’s an unchecked situation that will one day produce an irreparable fracture in the sport. It’s just unusual for the chasing pack to want the current situation to stay the same, while the leaders bang on for it to change.

Fortunately, tyre discussions should be more insignificant come this weekend in Monaco.

There’s nothing like it – an iconic event Formula One could never afford to lose; where Monte Carlo’s streets provide a test every driver is desperate to pass – and a test no one would even dream of setting nowadays.

More than at any time this season, Sunday’s race will come down to the driver; to their ability to weave a Formula One car through the eye of a needle for 3.34km, 78 times.

It is the purest spectacle where tyres, DRS and blown diffusers will always come second fiddle to the magic of Tabac, La Rascasse and Mirabeau.

The perfect test – arriving at the perfect time.


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