Mercedes' Paddy Lowe believes the decision to introduce more challenging tyre compounds since Pirelli entered the sport has provided 'far more exciting races'.

Having replaced Bridgestone as F1's control tyre supplier in 2011, the Italian firm was charged with creating tyres that offer more extreme degradation in an effort to improve the racing, offer variety and challenge drivers.

Though the construction of the tyres has evolved in recent years after teams became concerned over the regularity of their failures and differential in quality, they have nonetheless been credited for producing a more unpredictable element to the racing.

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However, some drivers have aired frustration that they are having to drive within themselves in order to extend the tyre life, rather than pushing to pass for risk of taking too much out of them.

It is a criticism that Lowe rejects, however, insisting it is impossible 'sprint' on each lap anyway, while steeply degrading tyres have the potential to hone a driver's skill.

"I think it has always been a factor in Formula 1 racing that you have to consider getting the most out of the tyre over a long distance. I don't think there have been many tyres over the years that one could sprint with on every single lap.

"I think with the current tyres we have an interesting situation which I think has improved the spectacle a great deal, where the nature of the tyre degradation is such that cars are obliged to stop at certain points, and it produces a lot more variety.

"I think we've seen far more exciting races as a result since Pirelli came into F1. So, there is the aspect around drivers having to manage and not necessarily drive as fast as we would like - but I think that's been an element in the past. It may be a slightly bigger element at the moment - but it also adds to the skill necessary from the driver. So, it's still all part of an exciting package."

F1's tyre tender comes up for renewal at the end of 2016, with rumours suggesting Michelin may consider a bid to return to the sport alongside its upcoming return to MotoGP. However, Michelin has previously told that it is unwilling to pursue an F1 bid if it will be required to develop degrading tyre constructions as Pirelli was requested to do.


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He's bound to trot out the corporate line - he's on the gravy train, after all.