Pirelli to consider changing their tyres following criticism

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Spanish Grand Prix Highlights

Pirelli is considering changing the tyres it supplies to Formula 1 as a result of criticism of the style of racing this season.

Most teams made four pit stops in the Spanish Grand Prix and there are complaints that drivers have to drive too cautiously on fast-wearing tyres.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "We aim for two to three pit stops. Today was too many.

"We got it wrong. We will make changes, probably from Silverstone."

Hembery told BBC Sport that Pirelli would decide this week on what action to take.

They could decide to make a more conservative tyre choice for grands prix from now on, or re-design the tyres to make them more durable.

Either way, Pirelli are not expected to divert too far from their current strategy.

Hembery said Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya "was very demanding on the tyres because of the unique characteristics of this circuit.

"This is why we saw high levels of degradation, which should not be seen again to this extent for the rest of the year.

"It's rather bizarre," Hembery added: "We're only doing what we've done for the last two years and we don't understand why you're [the press] so excited.

"Unless you all want us to give Red Bull the tyres to win the championship. It's pretty clear. If we did that, there would be one team that would benefit and it would be them.

"You have to bear in mind, if we make a change, we have a lot of teams who would be against it and one maybe for," he added.

"I know if we make a change, I am going to have the podium people today in Spain aren't going to be happy and then you're going to be at Silverstone telling me we have given the championship to Red Bull. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that the tyres were too fragile and playing too big a role in deciding the outcome of races.

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Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton bemoans 'tough' race for Mercedes

"I think it's too confusing for the fans," Horner said.

"When we're saying to Sebastian Vettel, you're racing Kimi Raikkonen for position, but you're not and don't fight him, that's not great.

"Pirelli are a capable company and they can get on top of it, but it's a bit too much at the moment."

Vettel dropped from third on the grid in Spain to finish fourth behind winner Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, Raikkonen's Lotus and the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa.

Red Bull believe the ultimate performance of their car is being held back in races by the fragility of the tyres.

Vettel, world champion for the last three years, said: "There is a little bit more - not pace - but a little bit more we need to do in looking after the tyres.

"Our car is quick enough to match them any day but if you talk about a race distance looking after these tyres it is a different game.

"The car is quick enough but there is something we probably do to the tyres that makes them wear more.

"The best example is probably the Mercedes - quite quick in qualifying but then no good in the race because it's simply too aggressive to the tyres.

"From a car point of view the car is quick enough, for us and probably for them but there are a couple of teams that keep doing a better job when it is about the tyres."

Mercedes have the biggest disparity between qualifying and race pace - Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton qualified first and second but finished sixth and 12th.

But asked if F1 was too much like a game of chess, Rosberg said: "For me it was exactly like that, but look at Fernando Alonso, who was 70 seconds quicker than me, not even including the first stint because he was still behind me. He is not going to be doing too much tyre saving.

"I'm sure he can have some fun and push a little bit. So maybe it's wrong to blame the tyres and we just need to sort out the car in some way."

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier, whose cars are considered more kind on tyres, said: "People should ask the right questions. The question is not the tyres. If our car can do it, it is because we did something to our car to enable it to do it."

Asked if he felt it would be fair if Pirelli made changes to the tyres, Boullier said: "In some ways it's not fair, but we have to deal with it. Everyone has the same tyres."

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