Virgin technical director Nick Wirth says he hopes Pirelli don’t get bad publicity for providing F1 tyres that wear out quickly.
Speaking at the launch of the Virgin MVR-02, Wirth said Pirelli had been encouraged to produce tyres that degrade quickly to produce more exciting races:
“The single biggest thing that’s going to be a factor this year is tyres. They went to Pirelli, everybody watched Canada and went ‘ooh – this is what we want! Can we have some tyres that fall apart please?’
“Bridgestone tried a little bit towards the end of the year to repeat frankly what was a cock-up in Canada. And Pirelli have listened.
“I hope they don’t get blamed. I fear they will. but they have listened.
“I’ve been involved, as the other teams have been, with technical discussions, and they have tried to engineer some tyres that degrade, because that’s what people want.
“It’ll be a real shame if the drivers get out of the cars and say ‘these Pirellis…’ and they get bad publicity, because they’ve been asked to do it.”
He added that the onus will be on the drivers to look after their tyres during the races:
“Timo [Glock] didn’t cover himself in glory in Canada last year with tyres falling apart.
“I hope to give him a far, far better car this year than I did in Canada. He’s a great drivers and he’s very intelligent and he’ll figure it out. But it’s going to be hard for everyone.”
Wirth expects an exciting season as the changes to the technical rules close up the front of the field:
“I think it could be absolutely fantastic. We had a great year last year, I think the regulations are tighter this year.
“So, guess what, Red Bull’s going to be very quick, well, there’s a surprise. But who knows what McLaren are going to come up with?
“I think it could be an absolutely vintage year. And then you’ve got the noise of the tyres going haywire, plus the movable rear wing, it could be absolutely fantastic.”
Image ?é?® Julien Leroy / firstlap.be