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Massa happy with new Pirelli tyres

Felipe Massa: Over the three days, no one had any problems and from the safety aspect, this is the most important thing
Felipe Massa has given the new Pirelli tyres the thumbs-up in the countdown to the 2013 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

Massa was one of a number of drivers that suffered a blow during the recent British Grand Prix and the Brazilian got the chance try out the revised rubber last week during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone.

Speaking afterwards his initial impressions were largely positive: “It seems to me these tyres work better, at least compared to what we saw in the race here,” said the Ferrari pilot. “Over the three days, no one had any problems and from the safety aspect, this is the most important thing.”

“The prototype Hard seemed maybe too hard to race on,” he added, “and I think that in the coming Grands Prix we could head towards a choice of the softer compounds, because they can work at lower temperatures and last longer. Temperature has a significant effect on our car and here for the race for example, it did not help us, but let's see what happens in Hungary, where we can expect hotter conditions. You need a lot of aerodynamic downforce there and let's hope we can find the right solutions to be competitive”.

Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Force India's Adrian Sutil were similarly pleased with the new tyres which now combine the 2012 construction with the 2013 compounds.

“The new Pirelli tyres behaved well over the three days, as indeed we had expected, with none of the problems myself and others experienced at this track, during the British Grand Prix,” said Vergne. “That is a positive thing for the rest of the season.”

“It was interesting to see how the new tyres react,” Sutil added. “They are a bit easier to handle so the drop-off won't be as dramatic as we saw in a few races. Silverstone is a good circuit for testing because it's tough on the tyres and we've been able to get all the information we needed.

“It was quite windy so very different from the conditions at the race a few weeks ago, but it was not a big problem. I am happy with the work and I think it has been beneficial for the engineers. We learnt a lot and hopefully we can translate it into a top ten performance in Hungary.”

Pirelli boss Paul Hembery meanwhile felt the test had been very useful with 'no big surprises': “From our point of view, we made the most of this opportunity to gather data that will help us best meet the needs of the F1 teams in the future. While modern-day simulation is extremely advanced, there are some things that you can still only find out from running on a track with a representative car, so we would like to thanks all the teams and the governing body for their cooperation in helping us to achieve this,” he continued.

“The tyres all ran reliably throughout the three days of the test, although of course you cannot compare the times to those seen in the British Grand Prix because the track conditions and other car parameters were different. The established performance of the 2012 structure, consolidated with the speed of the current compounds, is set to provide an interesting mix of strategies for the races ahead.

“The teams already have a lot of information about the shape and deformation of this tyre from the previous season, and the three days at Silverstone was useful to assess the effect that this will have on the 2013 cars, with positive results.”

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Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari
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