Pirelli “disappointed” with teams that ignored advice about tires

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Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery has said that he is disappointed with the teams that chose to ignore the Italian tire supplier’s advice about the longevity of the compounds in India.

Before the race, Pirelli informed teams that they should not attempt to make the soft tires last any longer than fifteen laps and the medium compound any longer than thirty-five laps, believing that the tires could become unsafe. However, in the race, Romain Grosjean and Adrian Sutil both managed to utilize one-stop strategies to finish in the top ten, whilst Kimi Raikkonen also made his mediums last for fifty-one laps. However, Hembery has been dismissive about this after the race in India.

“We saw some very different approaches being taken all the way down the grid, which was roughly split between drivers starting on the soft and the medium tire,” Hembery said. “We also saw many teams split their strategies between both cars, in order to cover every possibility.

“However, we are disappointed to see that some teams went against our recommendations and used the compounds for longer than we advised them to do.”

Raikkonen’s stint on the prime tire was the longest of the race whilst Romain Grosjean also made his mediums last forty-four laps, allowing him to finish on the podium despite starting down in seventeenth place.

This is the latest incident in a turbulent season for Pirelli that has seen the Italian tire supplier have to redesign its tires, face criticism from the teams and, of course, ‘tiregate’ at the British Grand Prix back in June.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”