Sebastian Vettel has echoed Lewis Hamilton’s criticism of Pirelli’s new 2021-spec Formula 1 tyres following Friday practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Following a ‘blind’ prototype test in Portugal last month, all the teams and drivers were handed sets of the revised construction for next season to test across both practice sessions in Bahrain on Friday.

But the tyres were not well received by the drivers, with Hamilton once again questioning Pirelli’s development of its tyres after labelling the 2021 compounds “worse” than before despite having two years to work on them.

“They were not a step forward, the opposite pretty much,” Vettel summarised when asked for his own review of the 2021 tyres.

“Probably worth a shot but I hope we don’t see these tyres again. They’re probably quite a lot worse compared to the tyres we currently run.”

Hamilton, who said back in February that Pirelli needed to produce better tyres for 2021, believes that F1 would be better off sticking with the 2019 tyres for a third straight season.

Asked if he agreed with Hamilton’s suggestion, Vettel replied: “If that one is the only option for ’21, then absolutely, I would love to stick with the ’19 tyres.

“I think as long as we don’t have a tyre that gives us anything that the current one doesn’t give, such as less overheating, better chance to fight each other, we shouldn’t get onto a different tyre.

“This one is worse, for sure, and it will make all the problems that we struggle with already only worse.”

Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc was equally unimpressed with the new rubber.

“We struggled quite a bit, so I don’t know how it’s like for the other guys in the paddock, but we struggled, and balance-wise it was even more difficult for us so not great,” Leclerc added.

"We always want more things with these tyres, but with the speeds we are going, it’s not an easy task to do. But considering the new tyres, I would rather stay on the old ones.”

 

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