Formula 1 - Vettel: Red Bull not lone tyre critic

Sebastian Vettel insists that Red Bull is not alone in being unhappy about Pirelli's tyres, and thinks it unfair his team are being singled-out as whiners.

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Formula 1 - Vettel: Red Bull not lone tyre critic
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Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel performs a pit stop during the Chinese Grand Prix (Reuters)

Rivals have criticised Red Bull's outspoken views on the impact of more aggressive tyres this year, even though it is leading the constructors' championship and Vettel is on top of the drivers' standings.

The team's stance was further questioned after the Spanish Grand Prix when owner Dietrich Mateschitz suggested F1 was no longer 'racing' because Vettel stopped four times - even though he adopted a similar tactic to win the race in 2011.

Vettel is aware of the views against his team, but reckons that unhappiness about Pirelli's products expands well beyond his outfit.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Vettel said: "It is because [between] quoting Red Bull or quoting Marussia, you guys prefer to quote Red Bull. So it looks like we are complaining.

"But I think generally, I hear the drivers' voices in the meetings we have together. Even if you pinpoint Lotus and say they have the best car for these tyres and these conditions, still their drivers complain.

"They have the same problem as us, just to a lesser extent. That doesn't mean no-one else is complaining."

Vettel reckons that the 2013 tyres are having a huge impact on the way drivers are going racing this year, likening the situation to skiers being forced to suddenly adopt wooden skis.

"These days the skis allow the skier to go really, really quick around the corners," he said.

"You need to be brave enough to dare to go that quick, you need to be strong enough, but then imagine from one year to another you have wooden skis.

"The guy who probably wasn't that good in the first place is now doing better than he should - although I'm not saying the people in front [in F1] now shouldn't be in front.

"What I mean is that the sport has changed a lot, the racing has changed a lot, and when it really comes to looking after the tyres and struggling with the tyres then it is not racing in the respect that we knew.

"If you compare some overtaking in the past to now, waving people past to save tyres and do your own race as fast as you can, that's not the idea of racing."

Vettel does think it essential, though, that Pirelli improves the safety of its tyres.

"I think we have seen a couple of occasions this year where - and I don't want to talk bad about people – but they have to do a better job on safety grounds," he said.

"We saw the tyre delaminating and blowing up. Fortunately nothing happened, but it's not because drivers drove over debris, it's because the tyre is simply not good enough, and that can't be safe.

"We don't want a big off. Imagine here, down the straight into the chicane you have a tyre coming off. I think it's something that none of us want to see."

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