Pirelli tyre change key to Red Bull title win

30th December 2013

The 2013 Formula One (F1) season was a great one for Red Bull as the team claimed the constructors' championship and the drivers' title through Sebastian Vettel, who dominated the latter part of the season to take his fourth world title in a row.

According to Red Bull's technical chief Adrian Newey, it was the change in composition of Pirelli's tyres that made the wins possible.

He said that the title race was still in doubt halfway through the season, but a number of high-profile tyre issues and failures saw Pirelli return to its 2012 compounds to make the sport safer.

Newey told Autosport: "I think we saw at the start of the season it was very tight. Ferrari started off very strong and Mercedes came on very strongly, and certainly going into August we were feeling that this was going to be really tough.

"And then I think we made some small improvements to the car, Pirelli also had to go back to the 2012 tyres which seemed to suit the car better and it suddenly fell into our hands."

He explained that the tyre change definitely helped the Red Bull team, with the changes providing a greater advantage for the team than any others within the paddock.

The older tyres were more stable under high loads, such as at top speed on the straights and through high-speed corners – two areas where Red Bull and Vettel have traditionally been strong.

Currently Pirelli is working hard to produce completely new compounds for the 2014 season, which will be fitted to new cars that have been revolutionised by a series of rule changes.

A number of teams recently travelled to Bahrain to help develop the new tyres and will be heading to Spain and back to the Bahrain circuit in the coming months to test their new models and the tyres they will be running on when the new season starts in March 2014.

Posted by Danielle Barge