Sebastian Vettel has expressed his intense displeasure towards the new 2021 tyre compounds that Pirelli is planning for next year. Having tested the new compounds during the practice sessions of the Bahrain GP, Vettel didn't mince words and said they were a step backwards.
"They were not a step forward. The opposite pretty much. [It was] probably worth a shot, but I hope we don't see these tyres again. They are quite a lot worse compared to the tyres that we currently run," he told reporters.
"I think as long as we don't have a tyre that gives us anything that the current one doesn't give, such as less overheating, or a better chance to fight each other, we shouldn't get onto a different tyre. This one is worse for sure, and it will make all the problems that we struggle with already only worse," the German added.
The 33-year-old wasn't alone as he was joined by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo.
"They're OK. They were a little slow. But yeah, to be honest, I'm not completely sure at the moment what we're trying to get from them. I know I think structurally they're trying to make it a bit safer I guess, with what happened in Silverstone perhaps. But yeah, the front tyre felt a bit weaker so there is a bit less grip," said Ricciardo.
Hamilton also said that he didn't know what could be done to improve the tyres. Hamilton had tried to work with Pirelli to improve the tyres. The Briton also revealed that the recommendations of the drivers haven't resulted in an improvement of performance.
"I flew to Paris to be a representative of the GPDA, and sat with the FIA, all the teams, and Pirelli," he said. "The previous target letter, we weren't involved in that, and they haven't listened to a single word we've said in previous years. So going there we delivered [what we wanted], and lots of emails have gone back and forth to help them. And it's still no better, so I wouldn't say that we can do any more. Ultimately it's technology. I don't know if we are at the limit of technology or it's just their limit," said the seven-time world champion.
The 35-year-old also expressed some worry for the planned switch towards 18-inch wheel rims for 2022. "So I think what we actually really need in F1 is slightly less downforce and more mechanical grip, and a lot of that comes from the tyres - so that we can follow closer. But it doesn't seem that we're going in that direction. Naturally, I think in the sport we don't want to go backwards. So I think there's much more to do," he added.