Martin Whitmarsh has accused some of F1's drivers and teams of being too hasty to judge and criticise Pirelli for the swift degradation of the 2011-spec super-soft rubber – contending that 'the job of tyre-supplier is a thankless one' and defending the Italian manufacturer for simply fulfilling its stipulated brief from the FIA.
Over the past few days, no fewer than four leading F1 stars – Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Jarno Trulli and Adrian Sutil – have lamented the lack of durability of Pirelli's super-soft compound, arguing that it will throw races into disarray and potentially even turn the established pecking order upside-down [see separate story – click here
]. But then, stresses McLaren-Mercedes team principal and Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) chairman Whitmarsh, it was just such a scenario that the governing body called for.
“We complain about high wear, but no-one talks about the good grip of the tyres when new,” the Englishman told Motor Sport
magazine. “The wear can only be high because the grip when new is high. The drivers and teams should perhaps be more careful in their expressions.
“It's easy to step into the car and complain, but we want more pit-stops and we want cars that at various stages of the race are fighting with their tyres – that's part of the show. Bridgestone were always a great partner, but from my position at FOTA I have heard several times in recent years pressure for tyres with more risk.
“Now we publicly criticise the degradation of these (Pirelli) tyres. The job of tyre-supplier is a thankless one, as the higher wear is a feature that was requested to make the show better.”