Bernie Ecclestone: Pirelli tyres make Formula 1 drivers use brains

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes Pirelli's high-degradation tyres mean drivers once again have to 'use their brains' to win grands prix

Bernie Ecclestone: Pirelli tyres make Formula 1 drivers use brains

Pirelli has been accused of preventing drivers from racing flat-out with its aggressive 2013 compounds, with Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz saying F1 was now "nothing to do with racing" as tyre conservation took precedence.

But Ecclestone said taking care of tyres now was no different to looking after fragile machinery in previous eras, and that rather than deserving censure, Pirelli has improved the show by reintroducing a strategical element into modern F1.

"The easiest thing for Pirelli would be to produce tyres that you put on at the first race of the season and take off at the last. That would be easy, easy," Ecclestone told F1's official website.

"I asked Pirelli to make tyres that would not complete 50 per cent of a race - and that's what they did.

"In the times when Niki [Lauda] was racing his biggest concern was looking after the gearbox and the brakes - not the tyres.

"Then we got away from that and the drivers didn't have to think about anything.

"Now they have to use their brains and start thinking about how to win races.

Lauda, part of Mercedes's F1 management, said that Pirelli's aggressive compounds stop being beneficial to F1 once more than three stops are required to complete a race.

"As an ex-driver I can say three pitstops maximum works. That's it," he said.

"If you have four stops - and some tyres only lasting four laps - that's the wrong direction."

Pirelli will alter its tyre compounds from the Canadian Grand Prix, but the changes will be more limited than was first mooted. AUTOSPORT revealed last week that the FIA had prohibited changes for any reason other than safety.

While some drivers have expressed frustration with the tyre situation, Force India's Paul di Resta told AUTOSPORT this week that the style of racing was far from boring.

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