Pirelli’s tyres are back in the spotlight at Spa.
Many drivers complained about tyres that are blistering within a single practice lap of the Belgian layout, including veteran Felipe Massa who described the pressures prescribed by Pirelli this weekend as “ridiculous”.
“The (high) pressures are a joke,” the Williams driver told Brazil’s UOL.
“I’ve never had a car like it here at Spa or pressures like this in my life,” he said. “Maybe it helps them with failing or cuts, but this is ridiculous.”
Not only that, teams were asked to test unmarked prototype tyres in practice – a new construction – that Pirelli wants to debut in Malaysia in October.
But Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein told Auto Motor und Sport: “We found that the prototype soft tyre was a fair bit slower than the normal tyres.”
And Sebastian Vettel, having tried Pirelli’s all-new and much bigger and wider 2017 tyres recently at Fiorano, has put his hand up to keep helping with the Pirelli test programme.
“As you can imagine, the first day was a bit complicated,” the Ferrari driver told Brazil’s Globo.
“But the next one will be in Barcelona, a more representative track, and by then the car will be in a more realistic window of what we expect for next year.
“Red Bull did a test in the same week and had the same problems but it was interesting anyway. The cornering speeds should be very different” in 2017, Vettel added.
“I haven’t driven a lot at Fiorano so I’m waiting for Barcelona to see how different it really is. I like to drive, so any opportunity I have, I’ll take it.”