By Alex Kapadia
Reigning Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel is the latest driver to criticise the new Pirelli tyres which have come under fire for degrading too fast.
Pirelli has replaced Bridgestone as the sole supplier of tyres to F1, and the Italian company has complied with the FIA’s brief to create a range of tyres which degrade far more rapidly than any in the past.
The aim is to spice up the racing action by forcing cars to make more pit stops. However, in pre-season testing, some drivers found that the Pirelli tyres lost four seconds a lap over just ten laps.
Vettel, who will start the defence of his title at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 27, told German television channel ServusTV: “The problem is the tyres wear down too fast.
“They are only good for 16 or 17 laps, then they start to break up and are ruined, then the driver doesn’t have a chance.
“The feeling when driving is different and that is a pity for us.”
The Red Bull racer estimates the new tyres could cost a driver up to ten seconds of extra time per lap during a race.