Bottas: Drivers forced to cruise because of tyres

Valtteri Bottas has called for changes to Pirelli’s tyres, saying at some tracks drivers have had to “cruise round” rather than race.

Blistering has proven to be a problem for some drivers this season, the most news-worthy being Lewis Hamilton’s blister on his rear-left tyre that resulted in team orders at the Russian Grand Prix.

However, even when it doesn’t have such a headline-causing impact on the race, it is problematic.

Bottas reckons it is forcing drivers to back off rather than give their all on grand prix Sundays.

“We had to do a lot of management at pretty much every race this season and especially at the last few there have been issues with the blistering,” the Mercedes driver told Autosport.

“Once we are getting to a certain temperature, we know it’s going to happen at some point, so then we’re just not pushing to go over those temperatures and trying to manage.

“At some places, when it’s hot, in a high energy track laterally, it’s pretty difficult and it does feel at times that you are completely cruising round, which is not ideal.

“You know there’s so much potential in these cars and my thinking is if you do one stop pushing flat out it would be more fun, but that’s the issue for everyone now.

“I was involved in some of the testing for next year’s tyres a couple of weeks ago and I’m sure they are pushing flat out and hopefully it’s going to be a bit better.”

Pirelli brought different tyres to the Spanish, French and British GPs as they looked to combat blistering.

Lewis Hamilton reckons those tyres should be used at all tracks.

“I think Pirelli have done a really good job this year,” he said. “The cars are faster than ever before, we have more downforce than ever before, so there’s more force going through the tyres.

“They do have the lower-gauged tyre which we used earlier in the year on which we didn’t see any blistering.

“I’m not really sure why they didn’t continue using that for the year but that’s probably something they will engage in next year.”

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