• Tyres

New tyres will hamper top teams - Alonso

ESPNF1 Staff
March 1, 2011 « HRT still waits on 2011 car | »

Fernando Alonso believes this season's new Pirelli tyres will cause headaches for the leading teams by shaking up racing.

Pirelli has created an aggressive set of tyre compounds for its debut year with high levels of degradation. The result is that drivers, especially those using the softer compounds, will have to pit earlier and there will be more tyre changes over the course of a race.

As a result Alonso is expecting unpredictable grands prix, something he thinks will hamper the top teams and drivers.

"From what we have seen so far, degradation is very significant, which means we will have races with lots of pit stops," Alonso said in Madrid on Monday. "I'm not keen on that because I think this increased uncertainty does not favour the strongest teams: it's as if in football, it was decided to have a penalty per team each half hour in which case Barcelona and Real Madrid would not be jumping for joy. However, the situation is the same for everyone: it will be important to be fastest because I don't think we can make one stop less than our main rivals."

World champion Sebastian Vettel has also noted the high level of degradation.

"The problem is that they degrade too quickly," he told Austrian television Servus TV. "By lap 16 or 17 they're falling apart. The problem is that after a certain number of laps the tyre is finished, no matter what the driver does."

Force India's Adrian Sutil told Auto Motor und Sport that when the Pirelli tyres degrade, "It's like being in a touring car. [Or] like being on intermediates. I've tried to drive differently, say 20% slower at the beginning, and that gives you maybe on more lap. We will probably all be pitting at the same time, and quite often."

He predicted that the first impact on F1 is that, due to the limited supply of dry tyres per driver, there will be less action in free practice.

"After the tyres break down you can't really test anything," said Sutil.

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