Date: 13th May 2011 at 12:42pm
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Following the Grand Prix in Turkey last week, many F1 fans and media writers asked the question whether the changes introduced this year had too much of an affect in Istanbul.

With KERS, DRS and the less durable Pirelli compounds, F1 is far from predictable this season.

Even amongst teams, drivers are running different strategies and either reaping the rewards for getting it right, or getting punished for getting it wrong.

Bernie Ecclestone was a key figure in the changes and it would appear that many are enjoying the racing that the new regulations have created, which has pleased Pirelli, who had previously suffered a barrage of criticism for the tyres they had developed when stepping into F1 following Bridgestone’s departure.

“Obviously before the season started everybody was a bit nervous because change isn?t always liked, but after the first few races the feedback from the public is great. They are coming up to us and saying ?what a great show? and telling us how much more entertaining the racing is.’ Pirelli?s motorsport director Paul Hembery told formula1.com.

But it would seem not everyone has enjoyed the new style of Formula One, with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo appearing to be one of the harsher critics (obviously not influenced by his teams poor start to the 2011 World championship).

‘We have gone too far with artificial elements. It’s like, if I push footballers to wear tennis shoes in the rain. To have so many pitstops – listen, I want to see competition, I want to see cars on the track. I don’t want to see competition in the pits,’ di Montezemolo has been quoted by Autosport Magazine.

‘In the last race there were 80 pitstops. Come on, it’s too much. And the people don’t understand anymore because when you come out of the pits you don’t know what position you’re in.

But while di Montezemolo might think that the spectators at the track, or the fans watching on television around the world are to thick to understand what’s happening on the track, if he thought that there was a chance of lowering the amount of pit-stops with new strategies, then Pirelli are one step ahead.

Hembery continued: “We will study [the teams] strategies and ensure that when they are moving more to a two-stop strategy that we are able to change things swiftly. But should we move towards a one-stop strategy I know that Bernie [Ecclestone] will not be very happy. I actually don?t think that the fans will be either as the public reaction has been quite extraordinary. To be honest that took us a bit by surprise because we didn?t think that there would be the kind of compliments that we?ve been getting from people. And they?re from not just real fans but also from casual followers of Formula One. Of course you cannot please everyone. There are some out there who would prefer to see an outright competition of speed. But we had that before and ended up with some boring races that turned the public off, so we have to balance that.

Former World champions Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso also disagreed with the criticism of not only the Pirelli tyres, but also the impact that the introduction of KERS and DRS have had on the racing: ‘I enjoy racing with Kers hybrid and DRS – it makes it more entertaining for the drivers and fans.

‘Anything that makes the racing more exciting should be applauded and we’ve definitely had more interesting races.’
Hamilton told the BBC, while Alonso added: ‘I think it was fine. The overtaking we saw [in Turkey] was more from tyre-performance difference than DRS.

‘I like it; we are getting used to it. It is a new F1 compared to last year.’