Heikki Kovalainen was positive with Pirelli’s revised tyres, after the Finn made his first on-track appearance with Caterham since Barcelona during practice one for the Spanish Grand Prix. During his 90-minute session, the former McLaren and Renault driver explained how the revised tyres felt much more durable and stable.
After the on-track shenanigans of the British Grand Prix, Pirelli finally elected to make minor alterations to the construction of their P Zero and Cinturato branded tyres. This saw the introduction of a kevlar belt on the tyre, as well as the combination of the 2012 and 2013 compounds in a bid to prevent a recurrence of the British Grand prix delaminations. With Heikki Kovalainen finally getting his first taste of the revised tyres earlier today during the latter stages of practice one as the conditions improved, his opinion on the changes were extremely positive.
“Yeah they did feel quite different, more like last year’s tyre.” Explained Heikki Kovalainen, when queried about the revised tyres. “In fact the tyre we had today was almost the same as last year. It felt straight away more durable, a more stable tyre. I didn’t have to conserve the tyre at all. I could lean on it straight away, I prefer it that way. As a race driver you want to have a tyre that you can lean on straight away. I have a feeling the tyre issues are behind us now, and everybody can focus on racing.”
In stark contrast to Heikki Kovalainen’s positive remarks with regards to Pirelli’s tyre revisions, both title contenders Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso suffered from tyre failures with the former in particular being forced to limp back to the pits. Although the cause of the tyre failures were allegedly due to debris on the track in the third sector, the drivers have understandably been unimpressed and have demanded that safety for the remainder of the weekend is guaranteed, especially with the fast and flowing nature of Spa-Francorchamps.
“We need answers and ‘debris’ is not the answer,” explained Mark Webber to AutoSport after the second practice session.
Naturally the entire Formula 1 paddock will be hoping that a repeat of Sebastian Vettel’s tyre failure does not reoccur, with the all-important qualifying hour and 44-lap race eagerly anticipated by many. After the controversial proceedings at the British Grand Prix, the drivers threatened to boycott the next race in Germany, something that Pirelli and the FIA will be eager to prevent at all costs.
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