Forget adjustable rear wings and KERS, it is this year’s Pirelli tyres that will cause more overtaking in 2011.
That is the view of Fernando Alonso, who during the fourth group test with the sport’s new rubber at the weekend tipped Pirelli to have a major impact on the forthcoming season.
“Nothing else will contribute more to overtaking,” the Spaniard is quoted by Diario Sport, “because when you put on new tyres you can be up to six seconds faster than the ones who have not yet changed.”
Red Bull’s Mark Webber agrees, but questions whether it will automatically make grands prix more exciting.
“I think there will be more overtaking,” the Australian told Auto Motor und Sport.
“With different strategies there will be greater speed differentials between the cars.
“But sometimes it will be a car passing easily and disappearing, so I don’t know how spectacular that will be,” added Webber.
The Italian marque’s Paul Hembery dismissed speculation that the durability of the Pirelli tyres is so extreme that some drivers will need to make five pitstops per race.
“No, I think three will be the maximum,” he told El Pais newspaper, “and in most cases two.”
Hembery also said the degradation has been severe at the Spanish test tracks due to low temperatures and poor surface grip.
“When we go to circuits with higher temperatures and with more rubber on the track, the performance of both the hard and the soft compounds will improve dramatically,” he said.
Meanwhile, as far as the championship fight is concerned, Alonso warned observers not to expect more wheel-to-wheel racing in 2011.
“From what I’ve experienced,” he told EFE news agency, “I believe there will be a chance of more overtaking, but not at every corner.
“It may be easier to overtake slower cars, but between the four cars out in front the difficulty will be the same as before,” added the Spaniard.
© RIF | GMM