'Bullets' the buzzword in Shanghai

By on Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apr.14 (GMM) F1 drivers on Thursday were baffled when faced with the latest rumour from the Shanghai press room.

A correspondent for the respected Corriere dello Sport informed the assembled drivers in China that they may soon be able to choose from any of Pirelli's four compounds rather than just two per grand prix event.

"It's the first time I heard of this," admitted world champion Sebastian Vettel.

"We're all hearing about this for the first time, right now," added Michael Schumacher.

Closer to reality, Pirelli moved to play down fears about "rubber bullets" falling off the degrading tyres and either onto the racing line or into competitors faces.

"I think it's normal," Lewis Hamilton said, defusing the issue. "I don't see any danger whatsoever."

Added Vettel: "There's nothing we have to fear."

But others did not dismiss the topic to easily, with Felipe Massa admitting the marbles can "end your race" if a driver runs slightly wide.

"It's like driving on sand," said the Ferrari driver.

Vitaly Petrov said the marbles contributed to his spectacular airborne crash at Sepang a week ago, and revealed he was hit in the visor "three or four" times by the flying Pirelli bullets.

"Off the racing line it is a disaster. If it hit your hand it would definitely hurt," said the Russian.

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