Whitmarsh urges Pirelli to stay aggressive

2013 F1 season

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Martin Whitmarsh hopes Pirelli make good on their plan to use more aggressive tyre compounds during 2013.

Speaking at the launch of the McLaren MP4-28 Whitmarsh admitted his desire for challenging tyres stemmed from more than just a wish to see exciting races.

“We’re heading into our third year with Pirelli and they’ve contributed to some exciting dilemmas for teams in the first few years,” said Whitmarsh.

“But in truth they probably got a little bit conservative at the end of the year. We became a bit more comfortable, we understood the tyres a little bit more, one stop was possible.

“So I think it’s a good thing they’ve changed the construction and the compound. I think they’ll be a little bit less conservative with the compounds they allocate to each race. So I think that’ll be good and I think it will be good for the sport.

“But I probably would say that given we’ve got two drivers who’ve got a reputation for being able to conserve their tyres. I’ve witnessed it first hand with Jenson [Button], obviously, he’s excellent at understanding what he’s doing to those tyres and preserving them.

“I don’t know how Checo [Sergio Perez] has done it in the past but I’ve certainly seen him run very long with tyres so I hope that was at least as much him as it was the Sauber car. But nonetheless I think he’s clearly been able to look after his tyres.

“So I think it’s an interesting element of racing. We’ve seen fragile tyres, drivers really having to use their skills to preserve them, I think it’s led to some great, exciting races so hopefully we’ll have some of those and hopefully we’ll take advantage of some of those.”

Whitmarsh said he hopes Pirelli keeps the teams on their toes: “I think for the show, people like me, the drivers and engineers complaining about the fragility of tyres, I think that’s good, I think it gives us some agony and I think people like to see us occasionally in agony so I think it’s quite good.”

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Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Whitmarsh urges Pirelli to stay aggressive”

  1. “We kept our tyre friendly driver and replaced our tyre shredding driver with a guy who we think is able to look after his tyres, and now we have the fastest pit stops we expect to be winning again.”

    1. Uh.. the data shows that Hamilton made his tyres last longer than Button in 2012… Just ask Keith.

      1. Data also shows that on based on raw pace, McLaren don’t need tyre gimmicks to win on merit alone.

        1. The same tyre shredding driver who went from 24th to 8th in Spain whilst overtaking his team mate (who started in 10th and finished 9th) while using one less set of tyres?

    2. :D Can’t help but laugh at the whole ‘tyre shredding driver’ thing!
      HoHam should be a comedian….

  2. I see desperation from Whitmarsh, hoping poor tyres will save the day.

  3. Whitmarsh is wounded! The departure of Hamilton, while not really tragic for the McLaren team, it is a factor in Whitmarsh’s profile and if Lewis outperforms both McLaren drivers even in the first few races then Martin Whitmarsh will have a ball and chain while floating in a sinking paper boat in the middle of the ocean. Mark my words, he will depart quite suddenly.

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