Not all drivers flustered by 2013 Pirelli tyres

25 February, 2013

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen happy with the first test in Jerez

Despite widespread reports of dissatisfaction about the current generation Pirelli F1 tyres, but not all drivers – including Esteban Gutierrez and Kimi Raikkonen – believe that the 2013 rubber situation is a drastic problem.

Last season dubbed ‘the tyre whisperer’ for his ability to restrain tyre wear, Sergio Perez has subsequently switched to McLaren, where last week at Barcelona he said the degradation of Pirelli’s new compounds is “extreme”.

Back at Sauber, however, fellow Mexican Gutierrez is less panicked and told Marca, “The tyre (situation) is obviously more dramatic than last year, but gradually the teams will adapt. It’s a matter of finding the right fit.”

“In testing we have already seen progress,” the 21-year-old rookie added.

Even Perez’s teammate Jenson Button is not overly worried, telling media after his final stint in Barcelona last week, “This year is more difficult in terms of graining, but it’s much easier now to understand the tyre.

“You put it in your window of operation and know that it will begin to grain from the third or fourth lap. Last year,” Button continued, “there were teams who could make the tyre work, but they didn’t know why. For the others it was a knife edge.”

Pirelli’s Paul Hembery, meanwhile, is adamant the cool weather in Barcelona – “freezing” last Friday according to Mark Webber – made the degradation of the 2013 tyres look much worse.

“We shouldn’t see anything like it (the Barcelona weather) in the whole season,” he said in a press release.

And some, like the famously phlegmatic Raikkonen, are not worried at all. Asked to compare the 2012 Pirellis with this year’s compounds, the Finn told Turun Sanomat newspaper in Russia on Saturday: “I don’t see much difference.” (GMM)


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