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Pirelli won't be rushed into change of approach

ESPN Staff
April 16, 2013 « Ecclestone willing to meet with Bahrain's opposition | Reliability a concern for Mercedes - Brawn »

Pirelli will not be rushed into changing its tyre compounds this year until it has analysed its data from the first four races of the season.

The Italian tyre supplier has attracted criticism from some corners of the paddock as teams have struggled to get to grips with the new 2013 compounds. The Australian and Chinese Grands Prix both saw some drivers struggling to make the softer compound last much more than five or six laps in their opening stint and tyre strategy has played a role in the outcome of each race.

In China Lewis Hamilton said he thought the soft compound was the wrong choice for last weekend's race, while Red Bull has complained that its drivers are "cruising around at 70%" during the race in order to preserve tyres.

"Our car performs very well and it's a quick car but a quick car abuses the tyre more and the tyres can't cope with that," team principal Christian Horner said. "Obviously we then have to adapt our approach and set-up and the way that we operate the car to make sure we get more out of the tyres."

He added: "I don't think it's great for all the drivers to be cruising around at 70% for large proportions of the race. They want to push, they want to drive as hard as they can and they don't want to drive percentages. Pirelli is a very capable company and I'm sure it will get that resolved quite quickly."

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda said Pirelli would make changes ahead of the start of the European season in Spain, but Pirelli motor sport boss Paul Hembery denied that any decision had been made beyond this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

"There were comments from Niki Lauda saying we are already going to be changing tyres for Barcelona," he said. "All we can say is that we have to review Bahrain; we need those four races [to analyse the tyres] and if we do make changes we will announce them after Bahrain and before Barcelona."

Not all teams are critical of Pirelli's approach this year, with Lotus backing the more aggressive approach to compound choices. What's more Pirelli has stuck to its pre-season pledge to provide two- to three-stop races with the only exception being Malaysia where an extra stop was needed due to wet weather.

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