Formula 1 criticism is too extreme says McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh

Formula 1 should not be too hard on itself over criticisms that its push for softer tyres has gone too far, says McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh

Formula 1 criticism is too extreme says McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh

Although the Chinese Grand Prix featured a host of race leaders and numerous overtaking moves, the sport has come in for some criticism that the bid to create a spectacle has robbed F1 of some of its purity.

Pirelli has also changed its 'option' tyre allocation for this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, replacing the soft compound with the more durable medium.

AUTOSPORT opinion: it's not the end of the F1 world

Whitmarsh believes that although Pirelli could do with tweaking its current products, he thinks it is wrong to suggest that F1 needs a wholesale rethink.

"We can always make it better, and I hate it when drivers are out there and you know they are driving at nine tenths," he said. "That is not how I like F1.

"But the overall fact is that if you had done a straw poll around here [on who would win, before the race] we would have got six or seven answers. So that is good for the sport.

"Please, because I love F1, let's not write how bad F1 is. In F1, we do it for ourselves, we start saying 'this is terrible', and actually the show is not bad.

"I would rather have more durable tyres, but the show we have had for the last two or three years has been better than anything I have seen in 25 years of the sport.

"So all I ask is not get into complaining about F1. Complain about the tyres if you want, but not F1."

Have your say on the AUTOSPORT Facebook page

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, whose outfit has been outspoken about the nature of the current tyres, again questioned whether durability runs were best for F1.

"We get accused of making a lot of noise about these things, but I don't think it is great for all the drivers to be cruising around at 70 per cent for large percentages of the race," he said.

"They want to push and they want to drive as hard as they can. They don't want to drive percentages."

Mark Hughes' GP analysis: it's racing, but not as we knew it

Horner did admit, however, that it was hard to come up with tyres that would be good for both qualifying and the race.

"It is about finding the compromise between having an exciting qualifying and a good race," he said. "Sometimes it is difficult to achieve both."

PIRELLI NOT CONCERNED

Pirelli itself had no complaints about the spectacle of the Chinese GP, and its motorsport boss Paul Hembery expects similar races in the future.

"It was very good, particularly when you saw the coming together of second to fourth place which was a great result," he said.

"Ferrari really called all the pitstops perfectly. Fernando [Alonso] pushed in old Michael Schumacher style; getting the quick lap in when he needed and was able to build a 10-second cushion.

"But the others are very close. You had eight or nine seconds covering four cars, which is very interesting. And we had different strategies converging at the end.

"We're very close to having a lot of races like that and I'm quite sure we will see a lot more of that over the coming events."

shares
comments
Bahrain preview quotes: McLaren
Previous article

Bahrain preview quotes: McLaren

Next article

Mercedes reckons Bahrain is key test for its F1 2013 title bid

Mercedes reckons Bahrain is key test for its F1 2013 title bid
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022