Adrian Sutil says the super-soft tyres is only good for one lap – and starts to go off before the end:
“Yeah it was no problem. It’s a good tyre for one lap.
“Sometimes you probably lose a little bit in the last sector, already, so you have a very good first and second sector, the last one drops away, but it’s still a lap time improvement.
“It will be interesting how it lasts during a race distance, they’re going to be really, really critical.”
Sutil also tried the revised medium tyre with surprising results:
“Yeah the medium we have is different. It’s very hard, quite a lot harder, and it doesn’t last longer, for some reason.
“So it’s just very slow in the first few laps and the degradation starts very early, still, even with the hard compound. I was not so confident on that tyre and not so happy. it’s just the difference you have between the tyres. It’s pretty big.”
Despite that he says he’s happy with how the VJM04 is handling on the new rubber and had found some set-up solutions to make them last longer:
“In general I liked it. Our car is handling quite well with the tyres.
“You try always – every circuit has its own characteristics where you can try several things. But at the end of the day the tyre just doesn’t last so long.
“Sometimes, probably, you have some warm-up problem in the front, it takes one or two laps, so this is what you van concentrate on.
“But you’ll never make the tyre last ten or twenty laps’ longer just in changing set-up. We’ve tried already several things and it’s about one or two laps of a difference. But even those two laps can make a difference in the race.”
However he believes the team still have ground to make up on the front-runners in car development:
“The general balance is very good, it’s an evolution from last year so it feels similar but I think just combined with the tyres, the drive-ability’s a bit different, it’s very pointy, very positive, very smooth to drive. And very reliable, first of all, that was our strength from last year.
“I think it’s going to be, again, all about the downforce this year. We have to make up, for sure, to the big teams, but I think the starting point where we are at the moment is very promising. Certainly it’s a good step in the right direction but you always want to be absolutely in the front row and there we have a long way to go.
“There will be a few others teams who have more downforce, we will try to catch up, to improve our car as best as possible, but it will be hard during the season, of course, it’s a big battle.”
He said the drag reduction system will have an effect on how teams set their cars up this year:
“Last year there were circuits where we had to run very low downforce because of the long straights.
“So that’s going to be different this year, we can run higher downforce and just stall the wing on the straight and have much more downforce for braking.”
2011 F1 testing
- Young Drivers Test Day 3 in pictures
- Vergne completes third day on top in Abu Dhabi
- Young Drivers Test Day 2 in pictures
- Vergne stays quickest on second day of test
- Italian F3 pair complete Ferrari test
- Jean-Eric Vergne leads first day of young drivers test
- McLaren cover least test distance with new car
- Rosberg: Mercedes are “on the up”
- Second Barcelona test day 5 in pictures
- Hamilton: reliability and pace concerns for McLaren
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