Fernando Alonso has criticised Pirelli’s tyres following qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.
Alonso will start the race from fifth place but believes that it is not pleasant to drive at ’95% all the lap.’
“We have to be honest; the quality of the tyres is very on the limit,” he said. “If all the cars push 100% from the start of the lap, the tyres will not do 5km. It is not very helpful and not very nice to drive at 95% all the lap.”
Alonso was quick to emphasise that he did not view the tyres as the reason for Ferrari’s pace limitation.
“If we put a tyre that can do more than 5km, they will be even faster as well.”
“It is not normal. If you push, you finish the tyres. We are getting used to these tyres that cannot last one lap. We are getting used to marbles that [mean] we have two metres racing line.”
“I’m sure with a better tyre the others can push more as well. The deficit we have is the same with any tyre, but at least you could drive.”
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery defended the company and pointed Alonso towards the fate of Sebastian Vettel.
“Of course Alonso is one of the great F1 drivers, so to hear such comments is disappointing and below the standards you would expect from such a champion,” he told BBC Sport.
“I can only suggest he goes to ask the soon-to-be four-times champion how to get the best from the same tyres.”
Regarding his prospects for the Korean Grand Prix, Alonso says that wet weather will provide him with the best chance of taking points from championship leader Vettel.
“We have a few problems with the tyres which we are unable to manage as well as the others: there’s a lot of graining and if you push very hard in the first sector you almost risk being unable to finish the lap,” he said.
“We will have to find the right compromise to get them to survive the number of laps proposed by our engineers, because the ideal strategy is still a two stop. Given how we look in the dry, the rain could mix things up and in fact we have nothing to lose and even if there will be little time to adapt to it, we must be ready for this eventuality.”