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Pirelli aims to cut number of pit stops by British GP

May 12, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT

A mechanic arranges Pirelli tyres in the paddock ahead of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix in Montmelo Reuters

In the wake of a Spanish Grand Prix that saw many competitors — including race winner Fernando Alonso — take to a four-stop strategy, Pirelli has indicated that it’s going to make changes to their tires by next month’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone in an attempt to reduce the number of pit stops.

Today’s event at the Circuit de Catalunya featured a whopping 79 stops, with 12 of the drivers doing a four-stop race.

“Our aim is to have [each car make] between two and three stops at every race, so it’s clear that four is too many,” Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery told Formula One’s official website. “In fact, it’s only happened once before, in Turkey during our first year in the sport. We’ll be looking to make some changes, in time for Silverstone, to make sure that we maintain our target and solve any issues rapidly.”

Pirelli made tweaks to its hard compound tire for this weekend’s event, but the Italian manufacturer was once again criticized for their tires’ degradation over the course of the afternoon. Especially vocal about it was former World Champion and eighth-place finisher Jenson Button from McLaren, who called the situation “a right mess” according to Paul Weaver of Britain’s The Guardian.

“When I see a car behind [me], I let it past because I’m doing a different strategy and I don’t want to damage my tires,” Button continued. “If I block, I might destroy my tires. It’s the same thing we had in China — waving each other past so we don’t destroy our rubber while hoping that the guy who’s overtaking will.”

Hembery had hinted at an overhaul earlier in the weekend following a high-speed medium tire failure involving Force India’s Paul di Resta during FP2. Pirelli later said that it believed debris caused a small cut in the tread, which then overheated and caused the failure.

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