In the fallout of Sunday's German grand prix, teams are assessing what impact the tyre shakeup had on their performance. After the tyre-exploding British grand prix, the most obvious loser of the move from steel to kevlar-belted tyres was Mercedes.
But, in fact, the German team had earlier pushed hard for the change. So, having won two of the previous three grands prix, why the Nurburgring struggle? The answer could be in the FIA's clampdown on teams radically altering pressures and cambers, and switching the rear tyres from the left and right sides.
Team boss Ross Brawn agrees: "I think the ability to swap tyres was a good way of offsetting the stress of the tyre," he is quoted by AFP news agency. "You could use it in qualifying and then swap it, and have it in a different condition for the race."
That was banned for the Nurburgring - where pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and Silverstone winner Nico Rosberg struggled desperately - and beyond. Lotus, on the other hand, appeared to be the big winner of the tyre shakeup, enjoying a return to form in Germany, while the big loser was Force India, who had thrived on the previous tyres. "There will be some winners and some losers," deputy boss Bob Fernley told Sky. "For sure, we're a loser."
There will surely be more winners and losers out of the next tyre shakeup, when Pirelli will debut an all-new combination of its 2012 and 2013 tyres in Hungary and beyond. "It will help us more than others," predicted Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg, referring to Pirelli's reverting to the 2012 construction.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport also quoted McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh as admitting he hopes the change will help the struggling British team "quite a lot". "Although in the meantime, we - like others - have adjusted to the new (2013) tyres," he added. (GMM)