Schu happy to start tyre debate
Michael Schumacher is hopeful his gripe with Pirelli will start a wider debate on the role being played by the tyre manufacturer in F1.
The seven-times champion is adamant his comments in recent weeks since the Bahrain Grand Prix were not borne from frustration at his disappointing start to his third season with Mercedes.
Schumacher initially voiced concerns 18 days ago following a relatively strong performance in which he climbed from 22nd on the grid to 10th at the Sakhir circuit.
However, he claimed after the race that due to the degradation of the Pirelli rubber he was unable to push neither himself nor his car to the limit.
Earlier this week Schumacher further suggested that in races it was like driving "on raw eggs".
If nothing else, Schumacher's comments have certainly sparked a wide-sweeping debate ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix where last year a four pit-stop strategy was required due to high tyre wear.
Schumacher said: "We have touched on something you guys (the media) have kept on talking about. But that's the principle of how Formula One should be, so I am happy we have initiated a discussion about how much influence one part should have in Formula One.
"I have stated myself I think one part has too much, it should be equalised for everybody, the majority rather than the minority.
"We had a good meeting in Mugello (at last week's test) to talk about this subject, so I just hope we continue to go in the right direction.
"But what I have said is certainly nothing to do with me being frustrated because I haven't really been frustrated.
"I had a good race (in Bahrain), coming from 22nd to finish 10th which was a positive result."
Schumacher, however, would appear to be in the minority as many of the drivers airing their views on Thursday feel Pirelli have been good for the show.
One driver, though, of a similar opinion to Schumacher is Lewis Hamilton who has so far struggled this season to find the right balance between when to push his car and tyre degradation.
"I like that you have to control yourself - sometimes balance and sometimes not," said McLaren driver Hamilton.
"But I also liked in the past the fact we could attack for 20-odd laps after making fuel stops without having too worry about too much degradation.
"Now you can't push for 20 laps, you have to spend your allowance (with the rubber) over a set period of time, and it's a much, much trickier situation which affects racing.
"But from what I've heard and seen, it looks like we've had some of the best racing so far, which must be good."
Mercedes, meanwhile, will be without team principal Ross Brawn this weekend due to illness, with technical director Bob Bell taking temporary charge.
Brawn's absence will be a big loss for Mercedes, with Schumacher adding: "Naturally we will miss him, be sure about this.
"We had to deal with his absence during some of the Ferrari days and will have to deal with it here this weekend.
"As you can imagine, with all his experience and knowledge, it is certainly going to be a challenge for us.
"But he will be in contact with us and support us in his maximum way."