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Tyres will provide some 'shocks' in Australia - Fry

ESPN Staff
March 4, 2013 « Mercedes will surprise - Raikkonen | Caterham appoints new head of aerodynamics »
Ferrari technical director Pat Fry says tyre management will be the key to the early races © Getty Images
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Ferrari technical director Pat Fry says the F1 paddock will have to brace itself for a few shocks from the tyres when it arrives in Melbourne next week for the first practice sessions of the season.

Pirelli has engineered this year's tyres to degrade more quickly with the intention of keeping racing interesting this season by inducing pit stops. However, the tyres have been designed to work in hot temperatures and at the pre-season tests in Spain they suffered from severe graining due to the cool conditions.

Fry said teams' understanding of the new tyres has been limited as a result and he thinks that could make for some unpredictable racing in Australia.

"I think the race pace is going to be down to how you use the tyres," he said. "I think there's still going to be a lot of people learning things in Melbourne to be honest. The tyres here have been graining massively so what we learn here won't necessarily carry over to Melbourne. There will be a few surprised people and a few shocked people, but it will be the same for everyone.

"I think it's going to be fairly mixed up to be honest. I wouldn't like to predict where we are going to be. It'll be interesting to run on a very hot track, so if Melbourne is 33C like it was a few days ago it will certainly be a different story to here [in Barcelona]. We'll see and we are all going to learn as we go."

Fry also thinks it could be interesting if one of the races, such as the Belgian Grand Prix in the Ardennes Mountains, experiences cool temperatures similar to those in Barcleona last week.

"Here it is a little bit dominated by the graining and in the morning it's quite bad - you can't run the hard tyre in the morning because it's got no grip and by the time you've warmed it up it has grained. It will be interesting at a cold Spa to see what happens as well."