F1 drivers slam Pirelli’s proposed 2021 tire

(GMM) Top Formula 1 drivers have slammed Pirelli’s proposed new tires for 2021.

F1’s official supplier actually tried to introduce a new specification this year, only for it to be similarly rubbished by the drivers after early testing.

Now, the teams are rejecting Pirelli’s 2021 design after getting their first taste of it in Bahrain.

“They’ve had two years to design a better tire and what we get is something that is three kilos heavier – about a second a lap,” seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton said late on Friday.

“I know it doesn’t make a big difference to the fans, but we work with brands and partners who are leaders in technology, driving things forward. So when you then step backwards after two years of development, I don’t know what’s going on,” he added.

When asked how the new tire felt to drive on, Hamilton said it was “not good”.

“I would prefer to keep the current tires again if that’s the best they can do.”

Quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel agreed that the new Pirelli tire is “definitely not a step forward – quite the opposite”.

Vettel on the test tire Friday credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“I hope we don’t see them again,” said the Ferrari driver. “They are much worse than what we have now.

“Until we have something with better characteristics than what we have now – with less tendency to overheat, with a better ability to fight – nothing should be changed,” he insisted.

“The tires that we tested today have only worsened the problems we already have.”

Fellow Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc admitted he also “didn’t like” the new tires, while a diplomatic Valtteri Bottas said he “wasn’t convinced” by them after Friday’s running.

Pirelli boss Mario Isola told Sky Italia: “We have made changes that aim to increase the level of integrity of the tire, because we are expecting super-fast times next year.

“We have tried to design a construction close to the current one to avoid having a major impact on the design of the cars,” he added.