• First Barcelona Test, Day Two

Tyre degradation not a concern - di Resta

ESPN Staff
February 20, 2013 « Live Barcelona testing | Reliability issues hit Vettel's race run »
Paul di Resta: "So far there is proof that degradation is a bit higher" © Sutton Images

Paul di Resta has played down concerns about high levels of degradation at the recent pre-season tests, saying the conditions in Spain are too cold to draw conclusions about the new Pirellis.

Since pre-season testing began the tyres have been graining in the cold temperatures, which has resulted in degradation and made long-runs difficult. Wednesday's pacesetter Sergio Perez said he had been surprised by the extent of the performance drop-off after just one lap and that he hoped it is not the same at the first race in Australia.

But di Resta said he trusts Pirelli has designed a tyre that will work in the higher temperatures expected throughout the season.

"They certainly look like they are wearing out quite quick, but the temperatures are not [at the same level as] where we are we are going to be racing them, so we should probably give them a bit of a break," he said. "It puts the emphasis on the strengths of the car and makes you work a bit harder to see where they are going to degrade. We are seeing some signs and we are trying to do a bit of a scan to see how the different compounds are reacting and how the car is moving forward.

"But Melbourne is when it counts and that's when we've got to be prepared knowing where we are. We haven't run the super-soft yet and essentially that is the tyre that we are going to run probably in qualifying in Melbourne. I think everybody is a bit in the unknown at the moment, and the combination of trying to learn the car and the tyres is quite difficult at the moment."

He added: "So far there is proof that degradation is a bit higher [than this time last year]. You can look at the numbers and see the slight increase and they want more pit stops for the show and I think they'll get that. But until we reach Melbourne with the compounds we are going to race it's hard to judge. The temperatures are going to be different and when Pirelli did all their testing it was in the warm weather. I'm looking forward to it and it makes us focus on the strengths of the car and equally sort the weaknesses out."