MARUSSIA Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock feels the onus will be on Formula One drivers to choose the right tactics more than ever before this season.
Italian manufacturer Pirelli has replaced Bridgestone as the sole supplier of tyres for the 2011 campaign and will provide all teams with rubber for the next three years.
It is a radical shake-up, with the tyres designed to wear out quicker. In some races, drivers may have to make up to four pitstops, depending on the level of tyre degradation. It is also thought the cars could slide around a lot more on the track.
Glock, who recently had his appendix removed, forcing him to miss the final pre-season test in Barcelona, reckons the Pirelli tyres places greater pressure on the drivers, not the teams, to select the correct strategy.
“In places like Malaysia, it is going to be over 30 degrees so the drivers will have to work hard to keep the tyres alive,” he told The Star. “Drivers are going to have to think carefully about strategies.
“Drivers will have to push it for the first part of the race and then think about saving them later on. You have to have a good car to stop the tyres from degrading. On the other hand, you need to have a driver who understands the tyres and gets a feel for when they start to degrade. It will be up to the drivers to know how hard to push the tyres and when to save them.”
Glock has acknowledged the team are a “bit behind” schedule as they prepare for the first grand prix of the season in Australia this weekend.