Find out more about our subscriptions

Martin Whitmarsh tells Pirelli to give Formula 1 teams 'more headaches' next season

Pirelli tyresMcLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh wants Pirelli to give Formula 1 teams "more headaches" with its tyres next year in order to continue improving the show.

Although the Italian tyre manufacturer, which returned to Formula 1 this year after an absence of 20 years, has been praised for its contribution to make racing more exciting, Whitmarsh suggested the company became too conservative towards the end of the year.

That meant that the teams and their drivers had it easier when managing the rubber than at the start of the season, when they were still figuring out the best way to use it.

Whitmarsh reckons Pirelli needs to get back to producing tyres that degrade faster in order to bring back that uncertainty next year.

"I think they unwittingly or otherwise made a great contribution to the show at the beginning," said Whitmarsh. "It gave us a lot of headaches.

"I think the tyres in terms of durability and degradation they got disturbingly better as the year has gone on, and I think we would like to give them the challenge of making high degradation tyres and give us a bit more headache.

"While drivers will always feel uncomfortable in those situations, I think they made quite a big contribution to the season, so I think KERS and DRS made an impact but you have to keep working to make sure we have a spectacle and show."

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes the Italian company has done a very good job this season, at the same time agreeing with Whitmarsh that there are still way to improve the situation.

"I think that we need to congratulate Pirelli because it was not an easy job to take over from Bridgestone," said Domenicali. "And there were a lot of comments at the beginning of the season about pitstops or difficult handling of the tyres.

"It was the first year and everything went well and I am sure next year there will be other possibilities to improve the situation for the race."

Pirelli has stated that it plans to be more aggressive with its tyre choices next year, reducing the performance gap between different compounds in order to offer more strategic options for teams.

"I think next season you will not get the whole season run on the soft," said Pirelli's Paul Hembery. "We will close down the gap between the compounds and you will see races where hard and medium is used. The data is showing a big improvement in performance.

"We will have to reset all the compounds for next season. We want to close down the gaps of performance between the compounds, from 1.2 seconds to about 0.8 seconds."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed