Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz reiterated his unhappiness with the current generation of tires after the Spanish Grand Prix.
Following the race, which saw most driver make four pit stops and a total of 77 take place, Mateschitz told Autosport: “Everyone knows what happens here. This has nothing to do with racing anymore. This is a competition in tire management.
“There is no more real qualifying and fighting for the pole, as everyone is just saving tires for the race,” he added.
“If we would make the best of our car we would have to stop eight or ten times during a race, depending on the track.”
Red Bull have been the most vocal critics of the current tire compounds. Mateschitz has complained about them before and team principal Christian Horner said after the race that four pit stops was too many.
“We’re not going the pace of the car, we’re going the pace of the tires,” said Sebastian Vettel after finishing fourth in yesterday’s race.
Following Red Bull’s earlier criticisms Pirelli revised the hard tire compound for yesterday race, bringing a more durable version closer to the kind used last year.
Formula One’s official tire supplier has already said it does not wish to see four pit stops per race and will revise its tires in time for the British Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”