Vettel admits confusion over Pirelli tyre switch
Pirelli decided to re-evaluate their allocated compounds for this weekends race and opted to switch the less durable soft tyre with the medium compound rubber. This was after complaints from both fans and teams that the tyres were degrading too fast.
However Vettel has been quoted by Autosport, saying that the move was perhaps the wrong one. He said “I’m a bit surprised because historically Bahrain has been a circuit where the tyres could be more aggressive,”
Vettel pitted three times on route to victory in Bahrain 12 months earlier, adding “Obviously this year, it has been a different story and they have gone for the same choice as in Malaysia. We will see how long the tyres last and how good they are.”
Jenson Button spoke to Sky Sports News and said he too was shocked by the decision, saying “It is a bit disappointing – the soft would have been nice. Where we are at the minute, we try to do different things with the strategy and that is what is getting us points at the minute – perhaps more points than the car deserves. We will make the best of it, it is still so hot here, so it is still not going to be easy on the tyres and that is good for us.” He also added that he is “bored with discussing the tyres and that Pirelli have so far matched the brief they were set.
Moving back to Vettel, the Red Bull driver cited Ferrari as the team to beat on Sunday’s, one of their strong points being tyre wear and preservation. “Certainly, they [Ferrari] do a good job on Sunday, It was pretty clear in Australia that it worked well with the tyres and therefore had a very strong pace on Sunday.
“I don’t expect any difference here and expect them to be strong again. But first of all we will look at ourselves and there are a couple of things we can do better working with the tyres, trying to get more range and more pace out of them.”
The German held of the challenge from Kimi Raikkonen to take victory last year in Bahrain and he can’t see any reason why both he and Red Bull can not be fighting at the front yet again.
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive, we have a good car, we proved that in Malaysia.
“China is a very specific track, it’s more front-limited than most of the other circuits, whereas this is a normal track. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to see how we do.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.