Date: 21st April 2011 at 9:55am
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One of the biggest talking points of the season to date has been the new Pirelli tyres.

The Italian manufacturer was given a brief when they entered the sport, replacing Bridgestone after the 2010 season, to create tyres that would spice up the racing, forcing teams to consider tyre strategy.

This brought the company a lot of criticism during the winter testing sessions, with teams complaining about the quality of the tyres.

The criticisms continued following the opening round of the season in Australia, while after the Malaysian Grand Prix, drivers complained about the marbles created by the degrading tyres.

However in China, everyone was unanimous that the tyres contributed to a memorable race, with drivers and teams opting for a mixture of two and three stop strategies which brought a fascinating conclusion to the third round of the 2011 Formula One World championship.

Drivers such as Lewis Hamilton were able to take advantage of having a new set of tyres to end the race with, as Hamilton was able to catch and pass Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel for the win, whilst others like Hamilton’s team-mate Jenson Button lost out on a podium position due to Vettel’s team-mate also being on fresh rubber, with Webber storming through from 18th on the grid to finish 3rd.

The fact that both McLaren and Red Bull directly gained decent results through their strategy for one driver, whilst also missing out with their other driver shows how unpredictable the new Pirelli tyres have proven to be.

‘I think all the teams are learning about this new style of racing in 2011. I think it’ll get more straightforward as we start to see more of a convergence of strategies and ideas over the next couple of races.’ Jenson Button said to McLaren’s Official Website.

‘Obviously, it’s the tyres that everyone needs to get a better handle on. I think all the teams will be looking closely at the most successful strategies and also at what didn’t particularly work. I had a really strong final stint on the Primes in Malaysia, but in China I just couldn’t get the rear-end to work. I’m sure we can start to understand why and that’s definitely something we’ll be looking into at next week’s technical review.

But while all the teams continue to learn the best strategies with the new Pirelli tyres, the teams will also continue to develop their cars.

‘We’ve still got more work to do to be able to match Red Bull. Don’t get me wrong, what we’ve done has been incredible, but we need to go into the Turkish Grand Prix with more upgrades and improvements if we’re to continue fighting at the front. And we know that other teams won’t be standing still either.

‘So although this win is the perfect way to head back to Europe and prepare for Istanbul, this is just the start of the fight.’
Hamilton said, as quoted by Autosport Magazine.

While Button added: ‘Hopefully, we can head into Turkey with an even stronger package and with some of our weak spots improved and our strengths increased.’.