F1 tyre supplier Pirelli has called for “pragmatism” from the drivers following recent criticism about their tyre pressures.
World Champions, such as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, along with Williams’ Felipe Massa have openly criticised the rise in minimum pressures for last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix to 2.5psi, branding them as “ridiculous”, “as a joke” and “crazy”.
The combination of an improvement in aerodynamics this year and unusually hot weather at Spa-Francorchamps meant that the drivers struggled to make their tyres last as long as they wanted.
“I can sometimes understand the comments, but there needs to be a little more pragmatism now and again,” Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director spoke.
“Take a step back because the product we have at the moment, we’ve had one day of testing in three years.
“Even if we’d had ideas on what could have been done to find changes in the product to lower pressures, we weren’t able to test to prove them, so there is a reason why we are in this situation.
“Last year when we did all the analysis post-Spa, the simulation data underestimated the loads we were seeing, notably through the compression in Eau Rouge.
“Even during the weekend, if you looked at the tyre deformation going through Eau Rouge, it was very, very substantial.
“We’ve no other elements we can employ at this moment in time, so it is unfortunate we have to increase pressure. Having said that, it is the same for everybody, which I know is not ideal.
“For these drivers, when it comes to tyres, they are either advantaged or disadvantaged in the same way.”