Ferrari man Felipe Massa believes Pirelli's arrival will make things a lot more challenging this season.

Massa set the pace on the final day of testing at Barcelona on Monday, the penultimate pre-season test for F1 2011, but despite his pace, he conceded afterwards that everyone is still very much adapting to the new rubber.

Indeed he reckons the switch from Bridgestone tyres to Pirelli will result in a definite shake-up in terms of race strategies.

"It's easy to predict there will be more pit stops compared to recent years," he told Ferrari's official website. "Degradation is higher and it's definitely not easy to look after the tyres.

"It's true they give good grip, especially on the softer tyres, while the medium and hard are not so good in this respect, although their degradation is similar to the others.

"From what we have seen so far, it means the race strategies could be very different to previous seasons."

Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery meanwhile was pretty pleased with how things went at the Circuit de Catalunya, although he admitted that lower than average temperatures wasn't ideal.

"After 11 days of official tests so far this year, the teams have understood a bit more about the characteristics of our tyres and we have been able to gather an increased amount of data across the board," he added. "We've seen quite a few of the teams heading out for long runs here in Barcelona, which has allowed them to assess our tyres over a race distance and formulate a few ideas about strategy.

"Ambient temperatures were once again not what we hoped to see: we started off with six degrees centigrade in the morning here, whereas nearly all of the races we are going to this year start off with temperatures of at least 15 degrees.

"That has resulted in some characteristics that have not matched up with what we previously found when we tested in Barcelona with much warmer conditions.

"One thing that everybody seems to agree on is that tyres will be central to the action this year, offering new opportunities for overtaking - which I think everybody wants to see. Barcelona is a circuit that puts a lot of stress on the front-left tyre in particular, so I'm very pleased with the integrity of the tyre construction."



Loading Comments...