The Pirelli tyres used in Formula One this year are hugely different to those previously supplied by Bridgestone, and the result is a different type of racing in 2011. The new tyres are pushing rival teams onto different strategies, and are also helping to generate overtaking by forcing drivers to race on fatigued rubber. However, there has been some criticism from those who claim Pirelli's tyres are wearing too quickly and will end up detracting from the racing.
Two of the three races so far this year have been packed full of wheel-to-wheel action, and it’s significant to note the racing is taking place throughout the entire Grand Prix (as opposed to finishing after the final round of pitstops). In Shanghai there was also a notable difference between the prime and option tyres which created scope for different strategies, and further excitement. Pirelli’s degradation is just right as it ensures teams can create viable strategies from either two or three pitstops.
Formula One should be all about fast driving and hard racing, not having to take it easy in order to conserve tyres. Pirelli’s tyres are wearing out so quickly that drivers are no longer able to push as they could in the past, and are even having to sacrifice laps in qualifying to take a competitive strategy into the Grand Prix. The battle for victory in Shanghai was very exciting, but that was because Red Bull got Vettel’s strategy wrong, and we won’t see a race like that again once all the teams work out the optimum strategy. The Malaysian Grand Prix had 59 pitstops, which was simply too chaotic, and the extra marbles on the track are actually making it harder to overtake offline.
What do you think? Have you say below and join the debate. Has Pirelli got the mix right in 2011?
This page was written by Martin Porter and posted by James Wilson