Schumi’s tyre tirade continues

2012-05-11 08:44

BARCELONA, Spain - Michael Schumacher has denied that frustration lay behind his criticism of Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli and said he was happy to have opened a wider debate about where the sport was heading.

The seven-times World champion claimed the characteristics of the tyres had forced drivers to be more strategic and manage the rubber rather than being able to race flat-out every lap.

"They are so peaky and so special that we don't put the cars or ourselves to the limit," he asserted. "We drive like on raw eggs and don't want to stress the tyres at all.


The Mercedes driver told reporters ahead of this weekend's 2012 Spanish F1 GP that he wanted to open a broader debate about "the principle of how Formula 1 should be".

Schumacher said: "I am quite happy that we have initiated a discussion about how much influence one or another part should have in F1. It is certainly nothing to do with me being 'frustrated' because I haven't really been frustrated.

"I did a good race (in Bahrain) coming from 22nd and finishing 10th which I think was a positive result."

Schumacher, winner of 91 races and the most successful driver in the history of the sport, has not been on the podium since he started his comeback with Mercedes in 2010 but said: "It's nothing to me, it's a general discussion that I wanted clearly to start to happen."


Schumacher won his last five titles at Ferrari with Bridgestone, a company particularly close to the Italian team, at a time when races were more like a series of flat-out sprints between pit stops. The Japanese manufacturer quit the sport at the end of 2010 and Pirelli returned as sole supplier.

The Italian tyres are very different, Pirelli saying it was asked to make sure the rubber degraded more quickly to liven up racing and add another strategic element to the mix.

With drivers having to use two compounds for each race, and their pace slowed by wear at different stages of that race, there is now a premium on tyre management.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2012 Spanish Formula 1 weekend.

  • Justin - 2012-05-12 20:03

    This year has seen the closest performance between teams ( each race has produced a winner from a different constructor). that alone is good for racing. The tyre being a deciding factor on the outcome of a race is not right ( look what happened to Lotus a few races back - losing a number of positions in a single lap ( a pitstop would have lost the same amount of time).If there would be a safe and reliable way to re-introduce fuel stops to factor a race strategy , that would be the answer. MS is right by saying that the drivers cannot push themselves or their cars to the limit anymore which is a fundamental factor of racing. F1 is always looking at cost saving issues ( how much was spent developing these crap tyres?) Cars need to be more basic ( but safe) to enjoy pure racing.I,m sure other drivers feel the same , at least MS has the balls to step forward and speak his mind ( he has lived racing through various changes , so therefore should have authority and more experience than most to raise these issues and improve on the sport, not be criticized for his opinions.)

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