Drivers Say 2-Pit Stop Races Impossible in 2011

There is at least one significant group in Formula 1 that is not at all happy with how Pirelli has developed its tires for the 2011 season, and this is the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA). The majority of the competitors in the upcoming season agree that the Pirelli tires will be decisive in the running this year, as their level of degradation is much higher than the one presented by Bridgestone last year.

It has been reported several times this winter that the softer compounds provided by Pirelli wear out after only a few laps, leading to a significant drop in grip levels lap after lap.

Asked to explain their tire development strategy, the Italian company argued that the new tires were designed in such a way to ensure multiple pit stop races in 2011. Although the initial predictions on the number of pit stops for this season was 2 or 3 maximum, Sebastien Buemi's race simulation in Barcelona a couple of days back indicated a 4-pit stop prospect.

We tried to do a two stop strategy,” added Force India's Adrian Sutil, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, “but it's impossible.” Additionally, he lamented on the high degradation level of the Pirelli tires, arguing that the only good news about it is that all teams will have to use the same tires in 2011.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa also admitted that the most likely prospect – pit stop related – for the upcoming season would be to see 3 or 4 pit stops per driver each weekend, but stopped short from criticizing the new compounds provided by Pirelli.

With a fresh set of tires I can immediately feel the grip, which was different for me with Bridgestone,” he was quoted as saying by the O Estado de S.Paulo. However, he did suggest that Pirelli should work some more on their wet-spec tires.

Most drivers agree that we have to improve the grip,” added the Brazilian driver in a recent interview with El Mundo. “Because if we have a grand prix like last year in Korea, it would be difficult to do the race,” he continued.
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