Hembery expects tyre criticism will soon calmas teams get to grips with high wear

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29 April 2012 by Ryan Wood

Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery has responded to recent criticism that their tyres are wearing too quickly and playing a pivotal role in the race outcome.

It comes after an outburst from Michael Schumacher following the Bahrain GP where he struggled with high tyre wear and described the racing like 'driving behind a safety car.'

Hembery though compared the start of 2012 to that of last season when the teams took several races to come to terms with the personality of the tyres.

When speaking to The F1 Times earlier this year, Hembery said: "It's ironic that at the start of last year some people thought our tyres were too radical, but the teams got to grips with them so quickly, that by the end of the year some people were saying we were too conservative."

Hembery expects the situation to be the same this year, and once the teams have got to grips with the tyres, the criticism will die down.

"We are at the start of the season. At the start last year there was a lot of discussion and you will find that two or three races from now we won't be having this discussion," he told James Allen. 

"The engineers will work out how to maximise the performance on the car, they will find a balance and a relative level of normality will occur."

Pirelli are doing exactly what was asked of them, according to Hembery, who says the Italian tyre supplier has helped to reverse falling viewing figures and re-ignited interest in the sport.

"You have to bear in mind what we were asked to do. We were asked to create these challenges. If the sport wants us to go to a one change, zero degradation tyre we can do that as well. But maybe people have short memories, the sport was in huge decline no-one was watching it. There was no overtaking. We know that the majority of fans like to see overtaking," he added.

"For example Bahrain, the last time it was run there were 15 overtaking manoeuvres, this time we had 73. To give you a barometer of where things have changed. We were only trying to what we've been asked."