Kimi Raikkonen says that too much has been made of the impact of tire performance on the racing in F1 this year, saying that it is the ban on refueling is an equally significant factor.
The competitiveness of the F1 field this year has meant elements like tires are playing a bigger role in the outcome of races, with Pirelli having faced criticism that its products have now become too important in defining results. However, Raikkonen is not convinced that Pirelli should have been singled out as the key element, because he reckons that the ban on refuelling is a big contributing factor, too.
"I don't think the nature [of F1] is different because of that," Raikkonen told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat about the impact of Pirelli's latest-spec tires. "It's because of the amount of the fuel on board. I don't think there would be that much problem with these tires, if we would race with 50 or 60 kilos, when we start.
"Previously, the pit stops were made usually after every 20 laps, so we had less fuel. I think it would have been the same situation with Michelins and Bridgestones if we would have this much fuel as we have now. These tires are good in qualifying; they have a good grip and all in all they are good tires."
Refueling was banned at the start of the 2010 season that witnessed four different winners in the first five races, and produced a four-way championship finale in Abu Dhabi.