Pirelli says the outcome of today’s test of its 2021 tyres was “positive” despite criticism from several drivers including Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton said Pirelli’s revised compounds, which all drivers ran during today’s practice sessions, were “worse” than the previous tyres. Last year F1 teams decided against introducing new compounds Pirelli had designed for the coming season, and Hamilton believes the same should happen again this year.
In a statement supplied to RaceFans, Pirelli’s head of motorsport and F1 Mario Isola acknowledged the concerns expressed by some drivers. He believes their dissatisfaction with today’s test of the 2021 compounds arose because their cars are optimised for this year’s tyres.
“We can understand that not all drivers were positive about these tyres because this setting of the cars was the one expected for the normal 2020 tyres,” said Isola. “The 2021 tyres need a different kind of setting of the car which teams and engineers have now time enough to find out and develop.”
Isola said he was satisfied with the outcome of today’s running of the tyres, which are designed to cope better with the higher cornering forces generated by current F1 cars,
“For Pirelli the results we got from the tyres are positive because we bonded them to a better resistance, considering that the performance of the cars is increasing and increasing and these tyres – the actual tyres – are old by two years. Now it’s a question of setting the cars to exploit them the best and we are quite positive that the drivers can find them much more drive-able after that.”
The track conditions at Bahrain were also not ideal, Isola added. “The track was quite slippery today, as every driver has much underlined. So this was also the situation: Drivers found it particularly difficult to find the best way to develop them considering that the car setting was not the one that is necessary to have the best from these tyres.”
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