Mark Webber has said that the new Pirelli tyres have played a major role in his poor starts throughout the 2011 season.
The Red Bull driver has struggled to get his car off the line in a number of races this year, with the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend being another prime example when – having qualified on the front row – he plummeted backwards at the start.
Speaking in his BBC
column, Webber insisted that the new Pirelli tyres had played a part in his disappointing starts this year, with the difference in performance making it more difficult to get away from the line.
“The rules make it pretty challenging for engineers to get the starts right as launch control and other electronic aids that limit wheel-spin are not allowed,” he wrote. “There is a lot of work for the drivers to do as well. I cannot give too much away but there are a number of procedures to go through before we get going.
“When the lights go out, we quickly release one clutch paddle on the steering wheel and feed in a second gradually - that's the one the driver uses to modulate the grip of the rear wheels.
“This year, we have seen the biggest fluctuation in starts for years, which is purely down to the new Pirelli tyres and how they perform off the line. It is harder to manage the grip away from the start but if you get it right – as Fernando Alonso did in Monza - it makes a big difference. For all that, my starts have been poor this year.”