• Tyres

Pirelli hits back at degradation critics

ESPNF1 Staff
March 2, 2011 « HRT still waits on 2011 car | »

Pirelli has hit back at the ongoing criticism from some drivers over the severe degradation of its tyres during pre-season testing.

"The increased degradation is a feature specifically requested by the teams and the organisers to improve the show," a statement by the manufacturer said. "This is an opportunity for the sport, not a problem.

"What must be said is that we have not run with optimum conditions in the official winter testing, both in terms of temperatures too low and the track conditions.

"We hope that in Barcelona for next week's test there are the conditions to allow everyone to verify the real performance of our tyres. We will continue to work closely with the teams and pay great attention to their feedback."

The announcement came shortly after Fernando Alonso added his voice to those expressing unease. "From what we have seen so far, degradation is very significant, which means we will have races with lots of pit stops," he said. "I'm not keen on that because I think this increased uncertainty does not favour the strongest teams."

World champion Sebastian Vettel has also said the problem remains "they degrade too quickly … by lap 16 or 17 they're falling apart. The problem is that after a certain number of laps the tyre is finished, no matter what the driver does."