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Positive feedback for Pirelli's 2013 development tyres
Pirelli is happy with how its 2013 development tyres performed during Friday practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Pirelli was testing its finalised 2013 structure during first practice and gave the teams additional tyres to get used to the changes for next season. However, the compound was the same as this year's hard, with Pirelli set to go softer with the finalised product across its range.
Asked if he was pleased with the results, motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "Probably a little bit more [than expected] in some respects. Obviously this is a circuit with a lot of corners, so if you're going to improve corners then you're going to see it here. So from that point of view we are really pleased.
"The majority of the quickest times were with the new tyres. The comments back were that mid-corner traction was improved, which is what we set out to do. It depends on the car, some would do some optimisation work which get the tyres working even better.
"They didn't throw dramatically out of kilter the current cars, which is good for the teams and we didn't have any interference issues either. Warm-up was quicker, which caused some increased thermal degradation. Add the new compounds when we get them to the structure and we're as happy as we can be so far."
He added: "The structure is finalised, it's only the compounds [that are still to come]. We'll have four new compounds for next season. They will be quite different in terms of grip level and thermal working range.
"It will be similar to [the changes] last year, with the compounds moving down a level. So this year's medium will be, roughly speaking, the hard. But this time even the super-soft will be going down a level too."
McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said his team noticed improved performance but spent most of its time taking measurements from the new tyres.
"The new one looks a little bit higher performance," he said. "It's a faster tyre, not by a lot, but on our car it's definitely a bit quicker. But really our focus was on understanding different aspects of how it affects the rest of the car rather than just lap time. We put a lot of measuring equipment on board to take various displacement and pressure measurements with those tyres. I guess it was really about data collection rather than the time, but on time we did think it was a little bit quicker."
From a driver's point of view, Nico Rosberg said there was little change.
"They were very similar really. They are hopefully going to cure the issue of blistering on the front. That's one of the main goals and it will give a bit more grip. Setup wise you need to change a few things, but otherwise very similar."
Romain Grosjean agreed that the setup would be different but also reported no major issues.
"Balance is a bit different, warm-up is more or less the same and the grip felt a bit better. The feeling inside the car it was just a bit different, maybe a little bit more oversteery but then you have to balance it."