Date: 17th March 2011 at 12:26pm
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Throughout the final winter testing session in Barcelona, the teams and drivers were making far less noise over the state of the new Pirelli tyres.

During the previous tests, it appeared that everyone was grumbling and moaning about the degradation of the new Pirelli rubber.

Pirelli stood firm throughout all the criticism. Their brief was to create a tyre which wouldn?t last as long as the 2010 Bridgestone tyre, with the purpose of forcing teams to make more pit stops and put more of an emphasis on tyre strategy.

‘As far as we are concerned, we are delivering what we were asked to do – which was to try and create multiple pitstops.? Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery told Autosport Magazine.

In the colder weather, the degradation appeared severe, with some teams speculating that they would possibly need to make five stops to get to the end of the race!

Pirelli again, stood firm and stated that their simulations had shown that in the warmer weather the tyres would not see so much wear.

‘Two stops were what we were aiming for, and we are probably looking at an average of three at the moment. But that we will be verifying going forward.?

Last week the tyres appeared to perform better and teams were moving on from moaning about how the tyres lost lap times so quickly, to how they would manage their strategy to maximise their performance.

With the lack of really warm weather testing following the cancellation of the Bahrain test, all the teams head out into the unknown in Australia, not quite knowing how the tyres will perform, but that will just add to the excitement.

‘There have been many years where the sport has had multiple tyre and fuel stops, and many great races have been had when people have been a bit brighter with their strategy.?

He concluded: ‘from the fans’ point of view that will be exciting. And it will be very exciting if some teams are working on a two-stop and some are on a four-stop. Trying to work out how that will all pan out over the last few laps will be exciting as well.’

Pirelli have also stated that despite Pedro de la Rosa?s announcement that he had joined back up with McLaren as their reserve driver, the tyre manufacturer would like de la Rosa to complete their April test session in Istanbul.

Keeping Pedro de la Rosa behind the wheel of the Toyota which Pirelli are using would keep some continuity with the tests, however the Italian tyre maker did concede that moving forward they would have to look for a new full-time replacement to lead its development programme.