Pirelli F1 progress “fantastic”: Williams technical director
Following Jarno Trulli’s less than complimentary assessment of the current Pirelli Formula One tyre (see link below), Williams technical director Sam Michael has countered that “from a time period point of view, Pirelli have done a fantastic job.” Michael pointed out the continuing development Pirelli is completing and the fact that the inevitable differences in the tyre is a challenge the teams will need to engage with, since the change of supplier at the end of the 2010 season.
“We are comparing our tyre degradation and grip to a very high benchmark and to somebody that had been in the sport for many years. The progress Pirelli have made has been fantastic. To start with we had a lot of wear and degradation with the tyres. But even in the last test, you could already see that improving,” Michael said.
“…Drivers are learning how to drive around these tyres. They are very different. It is great when you have somebody like Rubens [Barrichello] in the car to identify these differences because he has driven so many different types of tyres over the course of his career… Teams are changing the set-ups and adding more downforce and all those things stop the car sliding so much and improve the degradation.”
Michael concluded that the first few races will see multiple stop strategies, though this may be a feature seen throughout the 2011 season, as Pirelli has previously said it aims to make tyre strategy more important, through providing tyres that degrade more quickly.