15 Mar 2011

Pit crews in for busier Formula One season

6:19 pm on 15 March 2011

Formula One pit crews will be busier than ever this season with the arrival of new sole tyre supplier Pirelli forcing drivers to make many more stops.

Gone are the days when a driver could complete most of a race on a single set of tyres, before a late dash into the pits for the mandatory change.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says his company's PZero tyres wear out faster than the previous Bridgestone rubber, which is all part of a plan drawn up with team bosses and racing officialdom to make races more exciting.

Hembery dismisses complaints from drivers who have complained in pre-season testing about tyre degradation saying they're Pirelli's delivering what it was asked for.

A slower pace at the start of a stint means tyres will last longer, but a driver who pushes harder, and wears out the tyres quicker, may gain enough time to stay ahead despite having to make an extra stop.

The season opening race in Melbourne could see each driver make three or four pitstops.