Date: 26th April 2012 at 10:14am
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Since Pirelli returned to Formula One as the sports official tyre supplier, the Italian tyre manufacturer has been working to a brief set by Formula One, to make the racing more exciting, by re-introducing tyre strategy to F1 racing.

Last season there was a lot of talk about the tyre degradation, which obviously suited more drivers better than others. Those with a smooth style of racing such as a Vettel, Perez or Button were able to get the most out of their tyres in comparison to Webber or Hamilton.

But generally it was thought by most in the paddock that Pirelli had contributed to a entertaining Formula One season in 2011.

For 2012 Pirelli have altered the design of their tyres slightly to close the gap between tyre compounds. In Malaysia and Bahrain, teams were split between making two or three tyre stops to race at the cars optimum race pace.

With around a second a lap difference between the tyres pace and then different windows to make the stops, some teams struggled to get the most out of their car.

One of those that struggled was Mercedes and seven time F1 World champion Michael Schumacher, who speaking after the race in Bahrain believes that Pirelli have created racing that doesn’t allow a driver to race at the limits of the drivers ability or car.

‘The main thing I feel unhappy about is everyone has to drive well below a driver’s, and in particular, the car’s limits to maintain the tyres,’

‘I just question whether the tyres should play such a big importance, or whether they should last a bit longer, and that you can drive at normal racing car speed and not cruise around like we have a safety car.
Michael Schumacher told Sky Sports after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

He continued: ‘I’m not happy about the situation, let’s see what happens in future. If it was a one-off car issue, you could say it’s up to us to deal with it.

‘But basically it is everybody, with maybe one or two exceptions, and if it is 80% of the field that has this problem, then maybe the tyre supplier should think about that.’


After hearing the comments Pirelli’s director of motorsport Paul Hembery told Autosport Magazine: ‘I’m disappointed to hear those comments from someone of Michael’s experience,’

‘Others were getting on with the job and getting their tyres to work. His comments during winter testing were that he was very happy with the tyres, and now he seems to have changed his tune.’