Formula 1 - Pirelli too cautious in India - Lotus

Lotus believes that Pirelli was too cautious with its recommended maximum stint lengths ahead of the Indian Grand Prix.

AutoSport

Amid concerns about the excessive wear of the tyres at the Buddh circuit, Pirelli issued an advisory ahead of the race about the maximum number of laps it recommended the tyres be used for.

It did not want teams to run the soft compound for longer than 15 laps and the medium for more than 35 laps to ensure that there would be no safety issues.

Lotus was one of the teams that benefited from going the furthest on the tyres, with Romain Grosjean extracting 47 laps from the medium to secure a surprise podium finish.

Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen went the furthest of all on the tyres, getting 55 laps out of a set of mediums before they ran out of life.

Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane told AUTOSPORT that he consulted the FIA before the race to make sure his team would be allowed to run as long as it wanted on the tyres.

"I spoke to Charlie [Whiting, F1 race director] this morning to make sure he was comfortable, and he absolutely was," said Permane.

"It [the recommendation] wasn't going to be enforced and we were very, very comfortable. There were no safety issues at all.

"Pirelli put the lowest common denominator in, and their hardest team could only do 35 laps.

"We knew we were very comfortable to do much more than that."

Lotus boss Eric Boullier said that he fully backed his technical staff to do what was right.

"Our own indication was good," Boullier said. "We were happy to show Pirelli was wrong."

The actions of Lotus and other teams including Force India prompted criticism from Pirelli, with its motorsport director Paul Hembery making it clear he was unhappy that his company's recommendations were ignored.

"We are disappointed to see that some teams went against our recommendations and used the compounds for longer than we advised them to do," he said.

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