Michael Schumacher has criticised the latest generation of Pirelli tyres after experiencing high levels of degradation during last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

14384 - Schumacher criticises tyres, Pirelli responds

When Pirelli arrived in the sport it was specifically asked to produce tyres that degrade more quickly, and last year it was praised for doing just that and improving the spectacle of F1. But Schumacher is concerned that success in races is now too dependent on tyre management.

"I had to drive at a pace to manage the tyres to finish with tyres left over," he told the BBC after the race. "We should question whether that should be the case. It's unsatisfying and not what a Formula One event should be."

He also suggested that the tyres suit just a couple of teams, even though F1 has seen four different winners in four different cars in the first four races this year.

"If 80 or 90% complain, maybe Pirelli should think about it," he added. "I don't think it is right only one or two teams can handle it and the rest struggle so much."

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery responded to the criticism, saying Schumacher had not raised the issue during the three weeks of pre-season testing in February and March.

"I'm disappointed to hear those comments from someone of Michael's experience," he told Autosport. "Others were getting on with the job and getting their tyres to work. His comments during winter testing were that he was very happy with the tyres, and now he seems to have changed his tune."