Drivers credited the introduction of new tyres and DRS, plus the reintroduction of KERS, with improving racing in 2011.
Speaking in today’s press conference Michael Schumacher said: “To me, I think it is very obvious that we have improved big time. We have had incredible races this year.
“I take one particular example and I think it’s pretty fresh still, and that’s Korea. If you think about the fight that Mark Webber and Lewis [Hamilton] had together over there; without DRS, it would have been nowhere close, we wouldn’t have seen anything.
“It would have just been a normal kind of old traditional kind of race and in that respect, it may not always work out perfectly, there’s a little room to improve the situation but in general it has contributed a lot to some great racing.”
Jenson Button said: “I think DRS on its own is good but personally I feel that having KERS has really helped us this year.
“I think we can really use it to our advantage, to overtake and obviously to try and block a position, so that, for me, has been as big as DRS.”
Button added the new tyres supplied by Pirelli have also contributed to better racing this year: “I think that at the start of the season, especially, when we were trying to work out what the tyres were like and how many laps they would run and what the degradation was like, I think there was a lot of overtaking.
“Some of it came from looking after the tyres but also a lot of it came from people pitting, coming back out onto the circuit and being two or three seconds quicker than other cars.”
But he admitted the tyres are now making less of a difference: “It seems a little bit different now, the degradation of the tyre doesn’t seem to be as high, it doesn’t seem to drop off a cliff like it did earlier this year. Maybe that’s just our car, I don’t know, but that’s the way it seems.
“It seems that they are more conservative with the choice of tyres towards the end of the season, meaning that the degradation is lower and I think that that will be the case here also. I personally liked it at the start of the year when we had a lot of degradation, I thought that was more fun but personally I feel that Pirelli’s done a great job this year.
“To come into Formula One… you know you can’t hide coming into Formula One. I think that they’ve done a great job, they’ve definitely been a part of the action this year. There’s been a lot of great overtaking and some of it does come down to tyres. So yeah, I think KERS, DRS and the Pirelli tyres have all worked very well together. We’ve just got to hope that it doesn’t change too much next year.”
Rubens Barrichello said racing is “fun the way it is” this year.
“Obviously when you give a tyre to a driver you’re talking about more or less grip, you’re always trying to go for more grip and the faster you go, the more pleasure you have, so at the beginning of the year, I think everyone had to adapt a little bit, not that the Pirelli was worse than the Bridgestone, it was just different and you had to treat the tyres differently.
“That was the special feeling about it and when we talked about grip, in testing it seemed that it was not enough with the temperature that we had there, but then when we went racing, there was a lot of overtaking and I think Pirelli had done a really good job to actually help that. So together with the DRS and the KERS, I think the show has improved and let’s hope that’s the way Formula One’s going to be for the long term.”
2011 F1 season
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