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Lewis Hamilton

Pirelli respond to Hamilton criticism over rule change

Lewis Hamilton was critical of new tyre rules introduced in 2024 - but Pirelli has pointed out that the teams themselves voted for the change.

Hamilton Japan FP1
To news overview © XPBimages

Pirelli's motorsport boss Simone Berra has responded to Lewis Hamilton's criticism of the new tyre rules after Japanese Grand Prix practice.

Rain hit Suzuka during the second free practice session, with drivers completing a limited number of laps. Max Verstappen did not even leave the Red Bull garage.

With further rain a possibility for race day, teams elected to save their intermediate tyres on the back of a rule change for this year determined by F1's Sporting Advisory Committee.

The new rules state each driver is given five sets of intermediate and two sets of full wet tyres for the entire weekend, with no obligation to return a used set if they are used during Friday running.

Hamilton said the new rule "doesn't make sense" but Berra has explained the decision was not one made by Pirelli.

"This modification was discussed during the winter to have an extra set of intermediate tyres," Berra told media, including RacingNews365.

"It was started as a discussion for the sprint races, and then it was applied to the normal races and was voted for by the teams together with the FIA and F1, so everything was approved."

Open to further discussions

Previously, drivers were issued with four sets of the green-walled intermediate tyres, but given the reluctance to use them on Friday at Suzuka, Berra has hinted at fresh discussions with the FIA and F1 to come to a solution.

"Now, the teams don't have to return one set of intermediate tyres to us after free practice," added Berra.

"Like last year, and especially this year, where you have a high level of degradation, a high level of aggressiveness from the Tarmac, and considering we could have rain on Sunday, they decided to keep all five sets.

"It is something we will discuss with the FIA and the teams to try and find a way to make them run in practice, but it is not our decision in the end.

"We could keep the five sets from the start, and say that if the session is declared wet, you have to return one set of intermediates.

"In that case, they will use it and then return it, as it would make no sense to not use it and return a new set.

"That could be a way to encourage them to run but they could run one lap and say, 'Okay, we used it'. It is not up to us, but it is an open discussion."

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