By Alex Kapadia
Formula One drivers have been criticised for voicing their concerns about the new Pirelli tyres by the McLaren team boss.
However, Martin Whitmarsh’s comments have coincided with his driver Lewis Hamilton joining the long list of racers who have voiced their disapproval of the new tyres.
During the last few days four top F1 stars, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Jarno Trulli and Adrian Sutil, have complained about the lack of durability of the super-soft compound.
Most recently Hamilton said after a test session with the Pirelli rubber: “I did run the other day and it was painfully slow, it really was.
“Just not exciting, to be honest.”
The drivers fear that the new rubber will slow down the action on the track and lead to up to four pit-stops in a race.
However Whitmarsh, the McLaren team principal and Formula One Team’s Association (FOTA) Chairman, said Pirelli have simply delivered the swift-degradation the governing body called for.
He told Motor Sport magazine: “We complain about high wear, but no-one talks about the good grip of the tyres when new.
“The wear can only be high because the grip when new is high. The drivers and teams should perhaps be more careful in their expressions.
“It’s easy to step into the car and complain, but we want more pit-stops and we want cars that at various stages of the race are fighting with their tyres – that’s part of the show. Bridgestone were always a great partner, but from my position at FOTA I have heard several times in recent years pressure for tyres with more risk.
“Now we publicly criticise the degradation of these (Pirelli) tyres. The job of tyre-supplier is a thankless one, as the higher wear is a feature that was requested to make the show better.”