The 2012 ‘tyre lottery’ is a buzzword in the F1 paddock at present, but Gerhard Berger on Thursday slammed those who are complaining the loudest.
"It’s nonsense that the tyres are deciding everything," said the former grand prix winner and Toro Rosso co-owner. Some are moaning that the heavily degrading and unpredictable product supplied this year by Pirelli is devaluing the achievement of winning at the pinnacle of motor racing. "I think Michael Schumacher and Red Bull are finding an easy excuse for their problems," Austrian Berger told Auto Motor und Sport. He thinks a better explanation for the balance of power at present is the new exhaust rules, with aerodynamics no longer as important as in the past.
Berger also said the tighter restrictions on flexing front wings has similarly allowed the less financially-powerful teams to have a chance. "So when there’s just a few tenths between first and fifteenth, the tyres come into play," he explained. “I think this is just fine for formula one."
Berger has no problem that the once-derided ‘pay driver’ Pastor Maldonado is now counted among F1’s exclusive club of race winners. "He did a fantastic race from start to finish in Barcelona, withstanding pressure all the way through from Alonso. "I think it’s right that an outsider can be rewarded for a great job," he said.
Nonetheless, the head-scratching on the pitwall continues. "There are many things from the last two races that we cannot explain," said McLaren’s Jenson Button. Peter Sauber added: "Only the top teams are complaining because they don’t win everything anymore. The tyres are the same for everyone."