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Formula 1 News - February, 2011
Hembery defends Pirelli after Valencia test

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Feb.4 (GMM) The Italian marque's F1 boss Paul Hembery has defended Pirelli after the first test of the 2011 pre-season at Valencia.

Several drivers have complained about the consistency but particularly the poor durability of the tyres supplied to teams at the first of four tests before the 2011 season opener.

Hembery said as the test began that the 2011 compounds are now in a "pretty definitive" specification for the first races.

But the subsequent feedback, at best, was mixed.

"Of the compounds available, some were more consistent than others," Michael Schumacher told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"I had some awkward moments on the track when I was on tyres that I had not been on for long. It was like driving on ice," admitted the seven time world champion.

Schumacher, who struggled with departed Bridgestone's tyres last year, hopes Pirelli is still willing to make changes.

"I think they are still in the testing phase and that they will deal with the situation well," he said.

Hembery responded to the driver feedback of this week by suggesting that the ambient conditions at Valencia were not ideal.

"The tyres don't like it too cold," he is quoted by Turun Sanomat, confirming that Pirelli will make some tweaks ahead of the next tests.

"Another thing we have to remember that all tyres wear out, which is something some people seem to have forgotten in the last few days," he insisted.

Yet another consideration is that, in the interests of the spectacle, Pirelli was specifically asked by Bernie Ecclestone to produce aggressive tyres for 2011 that force multiple pitstops.

"Some teams here have had a new car, some last year's car. It is very early to draw conclusions," Hembery said.

He added: "You can't make decisions based on one set of comments or data or because someone wants something different, you need to have a general understanding."

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