Whitmarsh defends ‘challenging’ tyres

Date published: May 11 2012

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh reckons it is wrong to criticise Pirelli as their tyres have improved the Formula One spectacle…

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh reckons it is wrong to criticise Pirelli as their tyres have improved the Formula One spectacle.

Pirelli came in for some stick in the wake of the Bahrain GP with Michael Schumacher saying the tyres are “so peaky and so special.”

“I just think that they’re playing a much too big effect because they are so peaky and so special that they don’t put our cars or ourselves to the limit,” the seven-time World Champ told CNN.

“We drive like on raw eggs and I don’t want to stress the tires at all. Otherwise you just overdo it and you go nowhere.”

However, Whitmarsh, who has also seen the Pirelli rubber cause a few headaches for his team, says the criticism is wrong and that it requires skill to get the most out of the tyres.

“There’s no doubt the tyres are a definite challenge within Formula One and they have added to the spectacle,” he said.

“There’s also no doubt when a driver has had a bad race he will complain about them.

“But if they made tyres that were very robust and not challenging in terms of management from either the team or driver’s perspective then I’m sure the spectators will be critical of the tyres as they won’t create the right spectacle.

“In summary, they are challenging and there have been times when they have certainly given up.

“The last race in Bahrain was certainly one of those times, where we weren’t in the right window of operation and that affected our performance in the race quite dramatically.

“But I think it would be wrong to criticise the tyre. I think you’ve got to look at you as a team and what the drivers are doing and look at how to manage the situation.”

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