Sebastian Vettel believes the reason blistering was seen on some tyres during testing last week was because rival teams were trying to influence Pirelli’s choice of compounds for this year’s races.
“I think it’s quite normal that, after the first days of testing, every team tries to get the tyre supplier in the direction that suits their car best,” said Vettel when asked if blistering might be a real issue in the upcoming season.
“We think Pirelli has done a good job with their compound selection,” he added.
Vettel also dismissed concerns over the race pace shown by Ferrari’s rivals in testing, pointing out they weren’t conducted in circumstances which were representative of a real race. Some teams used only the medium compound tyres for conducting race simulations, whereas in a real race they are required by the rules to use more than one type of compound.
“Our competitors – Mercedes and Red Bull – used one type of tyres for their race distance simulation,” pointed out Vettel, “which is something you can’t do in a grand prix.”
“This has an impact on the strategies and ultimately on the result.”
Pirelli’s Mario Isola said on Friday that although some teams had only used medium tyres during their race simulation they had conducted long runs on softer tyres separately.
“They were making long runs with many different compounds because they knew the selection only yesterday, last night. Obviously they had a draft but they didn’t know if we were going to confirm the selection or not.
“So they tested medium more than last year but they also tested soft, super-soft. We found long runs on more or less all the compounds, not the hyper-soft.”
2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year