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Whitmarsh defends Pirelli

NEWS STORY
23/05/2012

As the debate over Pirelli's 2012 tyres continues, McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has defended the Italian manufacturer.

For some, 2012 is shaping up to be the best season ever, what with five different winners and five different teams. However, others feel the sport has become too much of a lottery, that the need to conserve tyres - especially in qualifying - is damaging the sport.

Asked if he feels the 2012 tyres are a step too far - though Pirelli is only acting on the instructions it was given - and are too much of an influence this season, Whitmarsh, speaking in the latest Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in, admitted: "A little bit, yes.

"But I don't want to be critical of Pirelli," he quickly added. "If they'd made a benign and easy-to-use tyre then all of the teams, drivers, engineers would be much more comfortable in what they do really, but the fans and the show would have been detrimentally affected.

"As a team principal I can see some of the frustrations about how significant tyre performance has become and how challenging that is," he continued. "But standing back from it, I think we've put on an extraordinary start to this season. We're 25 percent of the way through with every single race having a different constructor and a different driver winning. It's extraordinary.

"It will be very tough on us if it carries on over the next 15 races but it's all there to play for. Giving predictions in Formula One is normally quite difficult but I've never known over my 20 years in the sport it to be quite as challenging to know when you go to an event whether you're going to be competitive or not.

"So it causes some internal frustrations," he concluded, "but I think it's great for the sport overall."

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