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Ferrari has plenty to learn about 2012 tyres - Hamashima
Ferrari's head tyre engineer Hirohide Hamashima says his team still has plenty to learn about how to get the best from this year's Pirelli tyres.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is currently leading the championship by 40 points in a season in which understanding the tyres has been crucial. At the start of the year the team recruited Hamashima, who had previously headed up Bridgestone's involvement in F1, to help understand the Pirellis. But despite the impressive results, Hamashima said the team still has a lot to learn.
"Still we are studying very hard how the tyres behave and the process for preparing the tyres to find out which way is the best," he said.
He said the characteristics of the tyres were quite different to the Bridgestones and that conditioning the tyres over their life is crucial to maximising their performance.
"My understanding so far is that the previous company's tyres had a flat working range and the current tyres have more of a peak. So it is important to prepare the tyre properly and also the driver has to make an effort to use it for the best behaviour and those factors will be very important for the future."
Hamashima also praised Alonso's understanding of the tyres, saying: "I think the main reason why Fernando is leading the championship is Fernando himself."
He added: "In Malaysia Ferrari used the tyres very well and Fernando won and also I think in Valencia he understood how the tyre behaved very well and that was how he could win a very difficult race."