Malaysian GP: Long-run pace Red Bull's main concern
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, March 22nd 2013, 11:18 GMT|
Red Bull says its long-run pace, rather than the pure performance of its RB9, is its biggest concern ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Team principal Christian Horner says the outfit still does not have a clear explanation for what happened in Australia, when Sebastian Vettel led from pole position but lost out in the end to Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso because of tyre management reasons.
Although there have been suggestions that Red Bull simply needs to shift its set-up priority from single lap form to race durability, Horner is not convinced the situation is that simple.
"I don't think anybody up and down this pitlane fully understands these tyres, to be quite honest," he said.
"I don't think you can explain the different performances at different parts of the [Australia] race; whether it is Force India that was incredibly soft on hard tyres, or killed its soft tyres.
"Or the opposite for the Mercedes or Toro Rosso that set purple sectors. Or Kimi setting fastest lap two laps from the end on a tyre that had done 20 laps.
"There are so many anomalies that a key aspect of this season is getting on top of those tyre issues and understanding them."
Horner is mindful of the impressive form of Lotus in Malaysia, which appears to have single-lap pace to match its long-run promise.
"Kimi looks in good shape," he said. "The car seems to work the tyre pretty well, so we will see on Sunday.
"We have focused more on long runs, to try and better understand the tyres. We had a reasonable run in P1, and session two was interrupted by rain, so we have got a large amount of data to go through tonight to work out the best direction to go forward.
"I don't think outright performance is an issue for us - it is about understanding what is best for the tyre under race conditions."
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