• European Grand Prix

'Medium like hard compound' - Massa

ESPNF1 Staff
June 23, 2011 « Bahrain confident 2012 race will be a success | »
Ferrari has struggled to get the F150th to work on hard compound tyres © Getty Images
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Felipe Massa says that the new medium compound tyre that Pirelli is supplying at the European Grand Prix is like the old-specification hard tyre used earlier in the season.

Pirelli has been tweaking tyre compounds throughout the season so far in reaction to feedback, and it introduced a revised hard tyre in Barcelona five weeks ago. With the medium tyre having been tested by the teams in practice in Montreal it will make its race debut in Valencia, and Massa said in his Ferrari blog that it performed like the original hard tyre.

"I drove with the Medium in winter testing," Massa said. "But it was much colder then, which means it behaved very differently and a couple of weeks ago, in Montreal, we were given the opportunity to evaluate it quickly during free practice, but the Canadian track surface is very different to the one in Valencia.

"If I had to sum up the new tyre, I would say it is very much like the original Hard tyre we had from Pirelli earlier this season. After a few races, they changed it, making it harder still and this Medium feels like the original Hard. The Ferrari engineers have been working intensely on adapting the car to suit the tyres, as we have struggled more with the harder end of the compound range and we will test again a modified suspension to try and make it more suited to them."

Massa also said that the DRS would play an important role in Valencia, as the track has been notoriously difficult to overtake at since joining the calendar in 2008.

"One of the criticisms of this street circuit was that it turned out to be very difficult to overtake other cars, but this year we have the Downforce Reduction System and, like in Canada, we have two DRS zones where we can operate it. For sure, this will change the characteristics of the race, making it much easier to overtake.

"However, you have to do everything you can to ensure your car is competitive throughout the whole race, because this is the direction we have seen things go this year, in that if you are not competitive then it is very easy to lose places to other cars. In the past, before DRS, even if your car was slower than the one behind, you could defend your position more easily, keeping the car behind and not getting passed."