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Ferrari now understands hard tyre issues

ESPNF1 Staff
June 7, 2011 « India wants clarity over date change | »
Pat Fry: "We had a few issues that we were working on last week and we now understand" © Getty Images
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Ferrari insists it is on top of the tyre warm-up problems that plagued its performance on Pirelli's hard tyres at Spanish Grand Prix last month.

Fernando Alonso finished a lap down on race winner Sebastian Vettel at Barcelona despite leading the race for the first 20 laps. Both Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa struggled to get enough heat into the new hard compound tyres and as a result the performance deficit to the leading Red Bulls and McLarens was exaggerated.

Speaking in a video interview on Ferrari's official website, technical director Pat Fry said the team was working on a solution ahead of the hard tyre's next appearance at Silverstone.

"Trying to makes the hard tyres work is quite difficult and, if you look at some of the smaller teams they could not get the hard tyre working at all," Fry said. "So you have quite a large spread of the speed of various cars and that grows as the tyres get harder. We had a few issues that we were working on last week and we now understand. They were giving us some particular issues that exaggerated the problems that people have on the hard tyre. Hopefully we have an understanding of it now, and we've been working on fixing it."

Looking ahead to this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, Fry reckons that Pirelli's soft and super-soft compounds will hold up better than last year's Bridgestones, which suffered severe degradation on the slippery street circuit.

"The traction and how car uses tyres at corner exit will be very key for how the rear tyres wear out," he added. "It is the same two compounds as it has been in the past but, if anything, I think it will be slightly less trouble than last year because the compounds are a bit harder."

He said Ferrari would have some minor upgrades to the car and a Canada-specific rear wing for the low-downforce and high-speed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"It's a normal constant stream of updates really, there are a few different parts coming through - a few little bits on the diffuser and a few bits on the rear wing," Fry said. "A reasonable performance step hopefully, if everything works to plan.

"Hopefully we are still closing the gap to the other teams. There has not been a lot of time between Monaco and Canada, but the nature of the tracks are relatively different in terms of what you need for aero. So we've got specific rear wings for those circuits and it is the normal push to get downforce on the car. Everyone else is pushing hard as well though, so it's a race."