x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Michael Schumacher lashes out on the Pirelli tyres in Formula One

The German critical of how quickly the tyres wear out in the races.

Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher of Germany goes wide on turn five during the first practice session of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, March 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher of Germany goes wide on turn five during the first practice session of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, March 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Michael Schumacher has criticised Pirelli's Formula One tyres by saying they make him feel like he is driving on raw eggs.

The seven times world champion, who has not stood on the podium since he began his comeback in 2010, told CNN in an interview that the Italian tyres were having too much of an effect on racing.

"They are so peaky and so special that we don't put the cars or ourselves to the limit," the Mercedes-GP driver said ahead of this week's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, the start of the European season after four long-haul races.

"We drive like on raw eggs and don't want to stress the tyres at all. Otherwise you just overdo it and then you go nowhere," said the 43-year-old German, who won his titles with Benetton and Ferrari between 1994 and 2004.

Pirelli replaced Japanese brand Bridgestone as sole supplier at the end of the 2010 season and have been credited for livening up the racing with tyres that are less hard-wearing.

Schumacher, whose teammate and compatriot Nico Rosberg won in China last month for the first victory by a Mercedes works team driver since 1955, had also criticised the tyres after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Formula One's most successful driver, who has only one point to his name this season, had complained then that drivers could not push their cars to the limit because of the need to save the tyres.

Pirelli responded to the criticism last month with disappointment and pointed out that the former Ferrari driver had seemed happy enough before the season started.

"Others were getting on with the job and getting their tyres to work. His comments during winter testing were that he was very happy with the tyres, and now he seems to have changed his tune," said Paul Hembery, the firm's motorsport director.

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