15 Apr 2011

Pirelli defends tyres but will try and reduce debris

5:56 am on 15 April 2011

Formula One's new sole supplier Pirelli has says it will seek to reduce the amount of toffee-like debris shed by its tyres during races after some drivers expressed concern.

Ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, the Italian company has also claimed that the slippery 'marbles' left behind on the track posed no danger for competitors or spectators.

Pirelli has replaced Bridgestone as sole supplier this season with tyres that degrade far quicker than the previous Japanese rubber.

The company says this is by design, leading to increased overtaking opportunities and many more pitstops.

The downside has been much more residue deposited on the circuit, with the marbles catching out some drivers -- Renault's Russian Vitaly Petrov suggesting in particular that they might have triggered his crash in Malaysia last weekend.

Pirelli said the marbling phenomenon was most pronounced at circuits with high tyre wear like Malaysia.

According to their calculations a new F1 tyre, weighing about 8.5 kilos, will lose about 1.5 kilos over the course of a racing stint.