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Verstappen: Pirelli 'take it easy' with F1 tyres

The World Champion is sympathetic but believes Pirelli do not have the motivation to push their tyre development.

Max Verstappen says Pirelli "take it easy" with their Formula 1 tyres as lack of a tyre war means they don't need to find extra performance from them. Since 2011, Italian firm Pirelli has been the sole supplier of tyres to all F1 teams, with Bridgestone before them also having exclusive rights from '07 to their withdrawal at the end of '10. Before the exit of the Japanese company, they were involved in a fierce battle with French counterpart Michelin via their Ferrari and Renault teams, respectively, with tyre wars not uncommon throughout the history of F1 with the likes of Goodyear also involved. These tyre wars were costly, as each manufacturer sought to improve performance and durability of their rubber, before Pirelli took over with orders to create more degradable tyres to increase pitstops and entertainment. Various drivers, including the likes of Lewis Hamilton and the now retired Sebastian Vettel, have criticised the offering from Pirelli in the past, and while Verstappen is sympathetic towards Pirelli, he agrees with his fellow World Champions.

Pirelli "take it easy" - Verstappen

"Naturally, when you have a tyre war, people will go to the extremes and really push everything they have in terms of resources," Red Bull driver Verstappen explained to Viaplay. "When you don't have a tyre war, you just take it easy. It still costs a lots a lot of money don't get me wrong, but you don't need to find another two or three-tenths." The two-time World Champion also feels that the extreme wet weather tyres from Pirelli need major work, but that he is willing to help them overcome the problems, such as those seen in the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix where the field stayed away from the full wet and ran the intermediate tyres despite heavy standing water. "I'm pretty sure it is possible, but I guess we just need more discussions with them," added Verstappen on whether better wet weather tyres were a possibility. "I'm not trying to be negative because I'm very happy to work with them to just find better tyres and I think that will really create even better wet weather racing. "I might talk to them very soon, who knows? I just want to help out because they are around for a long time and that's great as they have invested a lot into [F1] and they are a great brand, but we can do better. "The aim is there, so I always want to do better, the teams wants to do better and I hope they also want to."

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