Date: 19th February 2017 at 7:20am
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Are Pirelli, the Italian tyre manufacturer and official supplier to Formula One already making excuses ahead of the 2017 season?

Pirelli have been the exclusive tyre supplier of Formula One since 2011.

In the modern era, Pirelli have been asked to develop tyres with high degradation, forcing teams into making numerous pit-stops.

Regulations have also forced drivers to use numerous different tyre compounds during a race weekend, skewing a drivers performance during qualifying and the race as they use tyre strategy to gain an optimum performance over the course of the weekend.

But for 2017 it’s all change.

Wider tyres, giving the teams more mechanical grip is one of many regulations changes for the new Formula One World Championship season.

The new tyres, which are 25% wider, are hoped to see speeds increase, with drivers knocking as much as 4-5 seconds a lap off recent times due to increased speeds, particularly in the corners.

The tyres will also provide low degradation, in a bid to see drivers pushing both themselves and the car more. Formula One should be raced on the limit and that is the idea behind the new tyres.

But Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery is not convinced.

‘You can’t please everyone and you can only go in one of two directions [high degradation or low degradation], We did something from the outset which was desired, then there was a decision to go in another direction. he told told

‘We’re just following what the sport asks us. All we ask is that they tell us what they want. There’s no point in complaining that we deliver what we have been asked to deliver.

So what will the new Formula One look like? ‘We’ll see fewer stops, that comes with less degradation. You come into the pits either because of performance loss [due to degradation] or wear, and in this case we are reducing both.

‘We’ll see a lot more one-stop races but if we deliver with the aerodynamic package cars that are closer together, and the tyre’s not overheating on the surface, drivers will be able to push and lead to a scenario where overtaking is improved.’