Webber: Tyres are “old news” in 2012

2012 F1 season

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Mark Webber, 2012

Mark Webber says the teams expect few surprises from the changed tyre compounds in 2012.

Speaking following the launch of the Red Bull RB8, Webber said: “They’ve changed the tyres a little bit this year but I think it’s pretty much old news.

“The tyres have been around for a while now, the teams get on top of that stuff reasonably quickly, and the drivers. I’m talking in the space of a few months to half a year which is pretty quick. The teams know what we’re in for this year and we can get stuck into the races.”

Webber echoed team mate Sebastian Vettel’s view that the changes to the exhaust-blown diffuser rules will have a significant effect on the cars:

“The characteristics of the RB8, we’re looking for a car that’s very drive-able, which means not only from an engine side – Renault do a good job there – but also aerodynamically, we need to have a car that’s functional on all circuits in all temperatures.

“Clearly we need to get the most out of the tyres which was a huge thing last year for everybody. That’s pretty much done now, everyone knows how the tyres behave, that’s old news, we need to move on and develop the car as best we can.

“Without the exhaust effect into the blown diffuser, which was a very powerful thing the teams had last year, this year that’s changed, so that’s going to be a key area trying to understand the losses we’ve had there.”

He added that continuity was a key reason for the team’s strong performance in recent years:

“The success of the team in the last few years has been exceptional. So every time we launch a new car there is a lot of anticipation and excitement.

“But some nerves and also some expectations: the bar is very high, we have cleaned up in the last few years, the constructors’ championship was very dominant. So both drivers have been performing towards the front and the team has been very reliable.

“We know that we have to keep working very hard and continuity has been a key factor in that. All of our partners have been great for us. There’s no reason in 2012 we can’t be challenging for top results again.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Webber: Tyres are “old news” in 2012”

  1. I take MW’s point that the tires are now ‘old news’ and that will be to Pirelli’s detriment as without a competitor we will likely talk about tires less and less. Assuming MW is correct in saying that the teams pretty much have a handle on what to expect, we likely won’t be spending the first half of the season talking about how the different teams are adapting. They now have adapted, so Pirelli may soon wish to have a competing brand in F1 so that we start to talk about tires again. Oh I’m sure some teams will still have a little harder time than others making theirs last as long, or heat up in a timely manner etc. but it sounds like the gap in how each team’s cars treat the tires will be less, just as SV hints that the cars themselves will be closer in performance, which of course includes how the tires work for each one.

  2. From some of the Tweets from Paul Hembrey recently, it’s looking like the Pirelli factor that thrilled us all in the first half of 2011 is pretty much history. I think that’s a shame.

    1. Not sure what you (or he) are/is implying from his tweets, but shouldn’t the very fact that the Pirellis are soft and therefore provide mechanical grip still be a good thing for F1? To me the shame is that with said softies and a reduction in some aero aids they still have DRS.

  3. What a relief, be nice to not talk about tyres and talk about racing instead.

  4. We know for sure that Pirelli has been enhacing the durability of tyres, they must it was bad reputation still I think making them more durable faster will not save them from the punishement they’ll receive this season, cars should be quite slower in 2012.

  5. I hope so either.

  6. get rid of DRS now and we have racing. looking at races on youtube in the 80’s and 90’s is great when you see no DRS spoiling it.

    1. They were also not so aero dependent back then, which made it much easier for the car behind to follow through corners! If only the FIA could come up with rules to make the cars just like the early 90’s!

      1. I’d still rather see it be difficult to pass like itr was in the 2000s. The tense battles of Imola 05/06 definitely beat pushing the magic wing button and flying by.

        1. @David-A Really? I couldn’t disagree more. Imola 2005/6 were the prime examples of F1 at it’s worst for me. Artificial ‘battles’ that only existed because of dirty air. Neither car in 2nd had any actual opportunity to pass.

          1. @Magnificent-Geoffrey – I enjoyed those two battles because of the pressure on the leading driver not to make any errors and allow the pursuer an overtaking opportunity. While the issue of dirty air made the racing less than ideal, overtaking was still possible, like on the final lap of 2005’s Japanese race.

            The DRS often makes passing a bit too easy for my liking, which is why my favourite passes of 2011 consist of ones without DRS.

          2. Because it was so hard to pass there was less pressure on the driver in front. They knew they could drive at 95% and the driver behind wouldn’t be able to find a way through.

          3. @dvc – Regardless, the two of them were close throughout the closing stages of the races, which made it tense. If Schumacher hit a DRS button and flew by Alonso as soon as he came up to him a la Istanbul 2011, it wouldn’t have been a memorable race.

          4. I agree. I’m no fan of DRS. I would prefer an 80s or 90s level of passing to a 00s one though.

    2. Ah yes, the early 90s. What a competitive time that was… when the Williams would routinely be a clear second a lap faster than anything else, and the back of the grid would be ten seconds away per lap.

      Far better than, say, 2009 when a second would cover pretty much the whole grid…

  7. Renault to a good job there

    Hey @keithcollantine, is it meant to be do?

  8. Perhaps famous last words from Webber there, considering how he struggled to get the tyres up to temperature last year!

    I do think he has a point but what niggles me is the supposed performance-gap that will be reduced this year, 0.5-0.6s between compounds I heard. While the drivers may be able to manage the tyres better, I think the teams will have a few head-scratching moments on the pit wall when it comes to strategy.

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