Regular race drivers on duty at the Formula 1 Young Drivers Test, at Silverstone, are not quite sure how much better – or worse – the new Pirelli tyres will perform in real race conditions.
Speaking to the media after his run at the grand prix venue, Williams driver Pastor Maldonado said, “We don’t exactly have a clear idea because we don’t know, as always in the test, what the others are testing. But it seems to be quite normal.”
In the wake of the high profile blow outs at the recent British Grand Prix, Pirelli have undertaken to revert to last year’s tyre build, but using this year’s compounds with a Kevlar belt.
Maldonado explained, “I think there is an improvement in terms of reliability and performance as well. Maybe the tyres are not quite that what we had in the past, but they are very consistent, which is quite good.”
“Today (Thursday) the track was very, very stable. We need to see what is happening in a proper race weekend situation when the track is always changing from P1 until quali.”
“In terms of reliability and problems there is a step forward, clearly. We did a long run, no vibrations as in the past. In terms of performance we don’t know because we didn’t work with the tyres. Even [with] the pressures, they [Pirelli] put the pressures on the tyres. We didn’t touch the car,” added the Williams driver.
Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg was non-comittal when asked to assess the new offerings, “A lot of factors are different here. The conditions are quite a lot hotter to the race weekend, the tyres are different, we had an update on the car. So many things and it’s difficult to filter everything out. But the car still feels the same pretty much. I think we really have to start a race weekend and see how it develops.”
“Now everything should be sorted in terms of safety and these are the tyres provided by Pirelli and we have to adapt as quick as we can, just like everybody else,” added the German. (GP247)
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