Mark Webber says it isn’t clear whether the 2013 generation of Pirelli tyres have produced the gains in speed that were expected.
Pirelli said the new tyres would be around half a second per lap quicker than the 2012 compounds. But Webber thinks the improvements in car design over the last 12 months accounts for the gain.
“I don’t know if it’s faster,” Webber told media after the first day of running. “Obviously the lap times are quick but the regulations haven’t changed too much.”
“We now have a Brazil car in Jerez which, last time we were here, we had not even a Melbourne car. Basically this is the 21st Grand Prix, at Jerez. So it’s of course going to be a good step in performance from the last time we were at Jerez.”
The new 2013 tyres are also designed to give more pronounced degradation which he has already experienced:
“The car was really understeering so we need to try and improve that tonight and get the car a little bit more responsive. Also the tyres are going away.
“If you see a car on fresh tyres you see the performance is quite nice. If you look at a car on older tyres it doesn’t look very nice. The tyres are struggling to do quite a few laps, you see lap times in 22s, 23s. The naked eye can even see the problems.”
Webber ended the session second fastest but over eight tenths of a second slower than Jenson Button:
“Yes it’s strong, it’s a strong lap time,” he said of Button’s effort. “I don’t know what compound tyres he was on, I don’t know what’s going on but it’s definitely not a slow lap. A 18.8 around Jerez, on Pirellis, is a pretty handy time.”
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