Pirelli believes too much has been made of tire degradation issues at Mercedes, saying deeper analysis of the Australian race shows its issues are not as bad as some believe.
Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg had delivered a strong performance in qualifying in Melbourne, but their race turned into a disappointment as a gearbox problem and tire issues hampered both men.
Although Mercedes itself is targeting a better setup to improve the tire degradation situation, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery actually thinks its problems looked worse than they are because of the way the Albert Park race panned out.
"I have read a lot of comments about that, and a few people have asked me about degradation in Melbourne, but you have to look at the context of the race," said Hembery. "I don't think Michael was in a situation that you could judge. He was going extremely well until he stopped. And Nico was either in a position where he was attacking cars in front or defending a position. That made him more aggressive than he ordinarily would be, because to try and overtake you have to be very aggressive.
"So you have to look at it under the context of how much pressure he was under. That probably was a major factor in that."