During the second free practice of the Bahrain Grand Prix, the new tyres for next year were tested by the drivers. It was slipping and sliding in the desert and it often looked more like the World Driving Championship than Formula 1. After practice, the drivers complained that the new tyre was heavier, slower and had less grip than the tyres under the cars this year.
A lot of criticism
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel both said that they hoped that the new rubber would not be used next year. According to Mario Isola, Pirelli's top executive, these tyres are needed to prevent the various blowout incidents that we have seen several times this year.
"We are trying to improve the level of integrity with the new tyres", he says to BBC Sport. "The cars will be faster next year, so we need to focus on that rather than performance. That is the right way forward. I first need to understand what the main elements are that are being criticised by the drivers. I would like to talk to each of them to understand where we need to change the specification in order to make a tyre that is more in line with their wishes, but it is very late."
The deadline for Pirelli to declare the new tyres to the FIA was 1 November.