Michael Schumacher has said that the tyres are now playing a much to large role in a race, claiming that drivers are not able to drive to their abilities, because they have to consider the tyres first.
It was a test for Pirelli on Sunday, as the Italian tyre manufacturer delivered the tyres for the Bahrain GP for the first time. Pirelli entered F1 in 2011, after Bridgestone pulled out, but the race ni Bahrain last year was cancelled due to the civil uprising taking place. Pirelli brought the soft and the medium tyre to the race, and the majority of the drivers had to pit three times.
“The main thing I feel unhappy about is everyone has to drive well below a driver’s, and in particular, the car’s limits to maintain the tyres,” said Schumacher.
“I just question whether the tyres should play such a big importance, or whether they should last a bit longer, and that you can drive at normal racing car speed and not cruise around like we have a safety car.
“I’m not happy about the situation, let’s see what happens in future. If it was a one-off car issue, you could say it’s up to us to deal with it.
“But basically it is everybody, with maybe one or two exceptions, and if it is 80% of the field that has this problem, then maybe the tyre supplier should think about that.”
Paul Hembery, the director of motorsport for Pirelli, said he was very surprised by the comments from Schumacher, and disappointed even.
“I’m disappointed to hear those comments from someone of Michael’s experience. Others were getting on with the job and getting their tyres to work. His comments during winter testing were that he was very happy with the tyres, and now he seems to have changed his tune.”