Pirelli fears tyres 'too conservative'

Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli may be bracing itself for a multi-stop Malaysian Grand Prix, but it has admitted that it is actually worried its rubber could be too conservative

Pirelli fears tyres 'too conservative'

With the season-opener in Australia having been judged a widespread success for Pirelli, as fears of tyre chaos proved unfounded, the Italian company expects a more challenging time this weekend thanks to the warmer temperature and higher speeds at Sepang.

However, with Sergio Perez having successfully delivered a one-stop race in Melbourne, Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery believes that improved tyres currently being tested may actually not be aggressive enough.

"One of our worries is that the new range we are working on may well be too conservative," admitted Hembery. "While it was quite fun seeing Perez do a one-stop in Australia, when you actually think about it, you know that the people who are trying to do a two-stop are now trying to work out how he did a one-stop.

"Then, before we know it, we are suddenly back to a one-stop in F1. F1 people are so good at making developments and understanding how to maximise the performance - so we do need to watch that, otherwise we will be back to square one.

"Despite all the hoo-ha about five stops in a soft race, like Melbourne, I am sure if we went to Melbourne again then most of them will be working out how to do a one-stop."

Hembery believes that Perez's amazing one-stop performance in Australia owed much to the Mexican's smooth driving style - and the way he had been able to start on new tyres rather than rubber that had been used aggressively in qualifying.

"Driving style was certainly an element of that, definitely," he said when asked about the lessons of Perez's performance. "The tyres were still alright, as we looked at them when they came off.

"The degradation level, it is linear with wear rates. So, like a road car, you don't want to be doing donuts. It is trying to preserve that, not getting down too aggressively on corner exit, not locking up under braking, that is the style.

"We have also seen that if you don't go maximum attack for the first few laps, that has a very good effect on durability and the time you can use the tyres for. I think that is something that a few drivers know now."

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