Paul Hembery, the Pirelli Motorsport Director, has defended the new hard compound tyre that the Formula 1 teams are using this weekend in Barcelona.
Lewis Hamilton labelled the tyre ‘a disaster’ when speaking to Autosport after today’s practice sessions, but Hembery explains the merits of the new compound, conceding that it may not be popular amongst the teams.
“One of the main objectives that we have outlined for the new PZero Silver tyre is to provide a bigger contrast to our existing PZero Yellow soft tyre and the initial information that we have from the free practice sessions seems to confirm that this is the case, as we expected,” he said.
“We're getting about 10 laps more out of the new harder tyre compared to the previous version and while this obviously comes at the expense of some performance, which will not be to the liking of all the teams, it emphasizes the crossover point between the hard and the soft tyres.
“The bigger step provides the teams with more opportunities to maximise their strategies, but we have seen so far this year that strategy does not just come into place on race day but also from Saturday, so it's going to be very interesting to see which tactics the teams adopt tomorrow based on what they have learned today. We're expecting warm and dry weather conditions once more, so this should provide a level playing field that is free of any complications.”