• Bahrain Grand Prix

McLaren pair struggling with tyre wear

ESPNF1 Staff
March 12, 2010 « Driver reaction after opening day | »
The McLaren is suffering from heavy tyre wear © Getty Images

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McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are both hoping to revise their driving styles after they experienced excessive rear tyre wear during free practice.

The high temperatures in Bahrain combined with the heavy fuel loads needed to start the race are putting extra strain on the Bridgestone rubber. Hamilton said the problem was immediately obvious but is confident he will find a way to drive around the problem.

"Out on track, it's been very hot so tyre degradation of both compounds has been pretty high", he said. "But I think the degradation is something we can handle; you build it into your driving style and moderate the approach to each lap. Still, it's difficult to know what lap time to target when you're on a long run. The less you push at the beginning of a stint, the more there is left to push at the end. But it's difficult to know exactly, and we're still trying to understand that."

Button had similar complaints ahead of the first qualifying session on Saturday and said that the new section of the track, added for this year's grand prix, wasn't helping the problem.

"Today's shown us that looking after the rear tyres is very difficult here, especially on the softer compound," Button said. "So you find yourself driving with a lot of oversteer through most of the stint. The new section of track is very bumpy. Turns Six and Seven are particularly tough because you're trying to brake as late as you can, and, if you do that, the car hits the ground, you bounce all over the place and it's very difficult to see where you're going. So you have to brake earlier, and more gently, so the front doesn't dip through that part of the corner - and that positions you better for the next turn."