They have been described as ‘marbles and ‘toffee like’, but now Pirelli has acknowledged that it has to solve the problem of the crumbs of rubber that are falling from its new F1 tyres, flicking up off the track and hitting the drivers.
Several drivers have already complained about the hazards of the flying rubber, which are a result of the new tyres Pirelli has designed to degrade quickly.
Force India driver Paul di Resta said he was struck on the hand during the Malaysian Grand Prix and Red Bull racer Sebastian Vettel, along with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso have also expressed their concern.
Paul Hembery, director of motorsport at Pirelli, said that situation has always been a feature of the sport, but he recognised the need to reduce the waste rubber.
He said: “We’re looking forward to another thrilling race in China, although we don’t want to disappoint anybody who says that we’ve made the races too exciting: it’s true that if you get up in the middle of the grand prix now, the chances are that you’ll miss something important!
“Once all the different strategies had played out, the last 10 laps in Sepang were absolutely thrilling – but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, or, in the case of Malaysia, rubber.
“The rubber ‘marbles’ on the track are a natural consequence of the increased degradation that has led to more exciting races: all that rubber has to go somewhere, just as it has always done in the past.
“Having said that, we’re here to serve the teams’ best interests and we’re looking at ways of reducing some of the deposits in the future. But that’s not going to change our fundamental philosophy: we want to give racing back to the racers.”