Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton
has joined a chorus of drivers in criticising Pirelli's 2013 F1 tyres.
Hamilton has started the new season well, and finished third in Malaysia last weekend, albeit with a little help from some team orders.
However, speaking after his latest podium – his first with his new team and his 50th at the pinnacle of the sport – the 28-year-old revealed he is not a fan of the way the sport has now become so strategic, and he also added that he misses the 'pure speed racing' of the past.
“These tyres make it very hard [for all the drivers],” he said. “It very difficult to make them last and particularly for me in Malaysia, I wasn't really able to make my tyres last as much as I wanted. I was fuel saving from an early point in the race which lost me a lot of time but generally these tyres make it... it's not fun, I didn't enjoy the race.
“It's not the same as back in the day when you had stints where you are pushing to the maximum the whole time, you had tyres that would last.
“Now you're just... it's like you have a hundred dollars and you have to spend it wisely over a period of time. It makes racing a lot different.
"It's more strategic rather than pure speed racing.”
Pirelli motorsport director, Paul Hembery meanwhile reiterated after Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix
that he expects the teams to adapt as the year goes on – just like they all did in 2012.
“We experienced high degradation here, but we knew this would be the case due to the extreme nature of this circuit, and the extra performance offered by our softer tyres this year. But we're only at the second grand prix of the year, and past experience has shown that the teams quickly get on top of the tyres as the season goes on and the cars are developed further. We've no doubt that this will be case again this year,” he said.
“The rain that fell immediately before the start of the race put a new complexion on the strategies, with the teams forced to react to the changing conditions by anticipating the varying levels of grip during the first stint," he continued.
“Once the track had dried, we saw different approaches with the teams using the hard and the medium tyre in different ways.
"Nonetheless, the leaders ran in extremely close formation, despite adopting diverse tactics, with Mercedes using strategy to initially split the Red Bulls.”