Michael Schumacher was less than complimentary about Pirelli's tyres following testing this week at Valencia.
Schumacher, who concluded the three-day test for Mercedes on Thursday, ending proceedings just ninth quickest, told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
that at times it was like 'driving on ice'.
“Of the compounds available, some were more consistent than others,” explained the seven-time F1 world champion, who returned to the sport last year following three years on the sidelines. "I had some awkward moments on the track when I was on tyres that I had not been on for long. It was like driving on ice.
"[But] they are still in the testing phase and trying things out. I believe they will deal with the situation well.”
Fernando Alonso, who was quickest on day two, was similarly less than happy: “The tyres degrade a lot, they are not very consistent at the moment and we are very limited in terms of the number of tyres as well,” he told ESPNF1
“You have to keep one set of tyres for the whole morning, and then maybe put one [set] for half of the afternoon and one at the end. It's difficult to make set-up changes and to really get an answer at the moment on those.”
Despite that though, not everyone was negative, and Felipe Massa
reported he was 'pleased' with how the new Pirelli tyres behaved.
“I think that the fact there is a definite level of degradation is a positive thing in terms of the spectacle,” he continued. “In my opinion, there is not that much that needs changing and I think Pirelli is working in the right direction.”
Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery also maintained things had gone okay and he actually insisted the feedback had been 'very positive'.
“First and foremost, we've enjoyed perfect reliability over the three days, which has enabled the teams to get on with their test programmes at a crucial time of year as they launch their new cars,” he stated.
“Naturally, they've all been running a very wide range of different configurations and set-ups here, so there's no point looking too closely at the times. What's more important is that the feedback we've received from the drivers and teams so far has been very positive, and it's been a great pleasure to work with them all.
“It's early days, but we believe that the teams have started to see now that our tyres are quite different to what they had before. In line with our brief, it's no longer going to be possible to run virtually an entire race on one set of tyres, so I think everyone will appreciate how our PZeros can help to provide even more exciting races in the future.”