Formula one has shifted down a gear for the 2011 season, according to Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes

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The 2008 world champion says that although adjustable rear wings and KERS have upped the drivers' workload, the Pirelli tyres have made the cars slower.

"I did (a) run the other day and it was painfully slow, it really was. Just not exciting, to be honest," the Briton is quoted by the Guardian.

Hamilton, whose boss Martin Whitmarsh last week urged the sport to ease its critique of F1's new tyre supplier, is the latest voice to openly criticise Pirelli, revealing he was "down to the canvas" after a 9-lap run in testing.

But like Whitmarsh, there are other supportive figures.

"We want good and safe tyres, but with low durability for the races in the interests of the show," Spain's AS newspaper quotes Virgin technical director Nick Wirth as saying.