Formula 1 - Pirelli rejects Hamilton criticism

Pirelli has rejected Lewis Hamilton's accusation that its soft tyre is an inappropriate choice for the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

AutoSport

Second practice for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix was littered with radio complaints about tyre graining, with the soft option particularly lambasted.

Hamilton was one of several drivers to criticise the tyres in the aftermath of the session.

"The life of the [soft] tyre, it's the worst I've ever experienced with bits flying off all over the place," Hamilton said.

"The soft is hardcore. It doesn't feel like the right tyre for this circuit. I did a couple of laps and the tyres just disintegrated."

Hamilton's former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, who had to pit with a delaminated left-front tyre following a lock-up into the hairpin, was similarly critical.

"I think there was a lot of complaining about the tyres at the last race, but it is even more extreme here," Button said.

"The option tyre just transforms the car completely; on one lap there is just so much more grip. So it feels really good for one lap, and then it grains front and rear and you lose one second every lap.

"It's very tricky and I don't think you will see many quick laps in the race; I think we're all going to be given a time to go to and that's it."

But Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery said the soft tyre was doing exactly what it was supposed to.

"If the medium did the same then I'd be concerned, but it doesn't," he said.

"It's a qualifying tyre. It'll be a bit like Melbourne I guess where the top teams are going to be forced to qualify on the softer tyre because it's such a performance advantage and within the first 10 laps they are going to have to pit.

"Some of the Q2 teams might opt to start on the medium tyre and try and gain some track position whilst the first 10 cars drop in.

"It's looking like some can be looking at a two-stop race and worst case three so pretty much in line with what we are looking for."

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