Mark Webber says the teams expect few surprises from the changed tyre compounds in 2012.
Speaking following the launch of the Red Bull RB8, Webber said: “They’ve changed the tyres a little bit this year but I think it’s pretty much old news.
“The tyres have been around for a while now, the teams get on top of that stuff reasonably quickly, and the drivers. I’m talking in the space of a few months to half a year which is pretty quick. The teams know what we’re in for this year and we can get stuck into the races.”
Webber echoed team mate Sebastian Vettel’s view that the changes to the exhaust-blown diffuser rules will have a significant effect on the cars:
“The characteristics of the RB8, we’re looking for a car that’s very drive-able, which means not only from an engine side – Renault do a good job there – but also aerodynamically, we need to have a car that’s functional on all circuits in all temperatures.
“Clearly we need to get the most out of the tyres which was a huge thing last year for everybody. That’s pretty much done now, everyone knows how the tyres behave, that’s old news, we need to move on and develop the car as best we can.
“Without the exhaust effect into the blown diffuser, which was a very powerful thing the teams had last year, this year that’s changed, so that’s going to be a key area trying to understand the losses we’ve had there.”
He added that continuity was a key reason for the team’s strong performance in recent years:
“The success of the team in the last few years has been exceptional. So every time we launch a new car there is a lot of anticipation and excitement.
“But some nerves and also some expectations: the bar is very high, we have cleaned up in the last few years, the constructors’ championship was very dominant. So both drivers have been performing towards the front and the team has been very reliable.
“We know that we have to keep working very hard and continuity has been a key factor in that. All of our partners have been great for us. There’s no reason in 2012 we can’t be challenging for top results again.”
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