Alonso gains better understanding of tyres
21 February 2013 – Fernando Alonso was encouraged by the progress Ferrari made in terms of understanding Pirelli's 2013 tyre compounds in Barcelona on Thursday, with the Spaniard extensively testing both the Soft and Hard compound rubber.
After setting the pace with a 1:21.875 on Soft tyres in the morning session, Alonso went on to complete a total of 97 laps. To top off an encouraging day, the double World Champion explained that 'the car reacted as I expected' after each set-up change.
"Today we concentrated on a comparison of the compounds, starting with the Soft and moving on to the Hard," said Alonso. "The track was colder than yesterday, especially in the morning, which made it harder to adapt the car and find the right grip level.
"We tried various aerodynamic configurations and for the first time, we made some set-up changes to get a good understanding of tyre behaviour and degradation. With every change we made, the car reacted as I expected and it was useful to try out the different settings, especially to understand which direction we need to go in next week, when there will be a greater emphasis on performance."
Alonso says the biggest change with Pirelli's new tyre compounds is consistency, explaining that degradation is not only rapid, but it is also difficult to predict.
"The tyres will be one of the crucial aspects," he said. "They are softer and quicker, but also less consistent and they degrade rapidly with every lap. We will have a lot of work to do to understand how best to balance the car, but that applies to all the teams."
Alonso will make way for team-mate Felipe Massa at the Circuit de Catalunya on Friday, with the Brazilian set to complete his first laps since the opening Jerez test.