Just two races into the 2012 Formula One season and the talk is all about tyres.
The buzz is centred around how individual teams and drivers use the new generation of Pirelli tyres to secure victory.
“This is probably the most important area at the moment,” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was quoted as saying by DPA news agency.
“Different cars are fast at different times.”
Horner is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport: “If you are not in ‘the window’, you’re nowhere. And that’s different from tyre (compound) to tyre, and from driver to driver.
“I think the only good thing is that it will be a really good year for the fans.”
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso and Sauber racer Sergio Perez may have ended the race on different compounds, but it was agreed that both played the tyre game to perfection.
There may have been complaints about degradation, but managing tyre life and when to stop for replacements proved to be a key element of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Alonso used three of Pirelli’s four available tyre compounds – wet, intermediate and medium slick – to win race, while Perez secured a career-best second place after a great tactical call saw him change from inters to wets after just one lap.
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team