Looks like Pirelli’s new Formula One tyres are proving a hit with British racing aces Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
After completing three days of days of running on the new tyres in Valencia, Button said the McLaren team is ‘moving in the right direction’ when it comes to getting to grips with the Italian rubber.
The two drivers were focusing on gaining an understandings of how the Pirelli tyres will work on differing set-ups, with Lewis Hamilton running similar programmes to Button earlier in the week.
Button, the 2009 champion, admitted it had been an interesting experience to try the new tyre and said he was now looking forward to getting his hands on the car he hopes will be a challenger for the 2011 title.
“Today was mostly about tyre work,” he said. “It was an interesting day and a new experience for me to try the Pirellis. They obviously work in a different way to last year’s tyres – but most of my runs were reasonably good. I was quite happy with the way the car was working; we did a lot of good work on set-up. We’re moving in the right direction.
“There’s degradation – but you’ll find that on any tyre – particularly on the Super-soft tyre, but that’s to be expected. Now I’m looking forward to seeing the new car tomorrow and starting to test it properly next week.”
Meanwhile, his team mate and a fellow former world champion said the fact that the tyres were degrading so fast, and there generally was a bigger performance difference between the various compounds, meant teams were probably going to have to go back to making more than one pit stop in races this year.
Hamilton told reporters: “[The test programme was] really just to get an idea of how the tyres behave and how you pin the car and them and make them work.
“It was quite easy to get into them, but they’re not easy to drive. They fall off quite quick over a long run…so it’s interesting.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team