McLaren test driver Gary Paffett reckons Pirelli's tyres have made great strides since the first group test on the new rubber last winter, the Briton having focused on tyre work during the opening 2011 session at Valencia today
The Woking team has chosen to wait until next week before hitting the track with its 2011 car, and is instead using this week's Valencia test to set benchmarks on Pirellis with the 2010 machine.
Paffett said there had been clear improvement in the Pirellis since the Abu Dhabi test in November.
"The car we ran today ought to allow us to get the right loadings on the Pirellis to understand how they behave," he said.
"The tyres have changed since we last ran them in Abu Dhabi last year, and they'll change again before the start of the season.
"Today was about trying to understand the tyres - we established a good baseline and then did some long runs. Happily, the wear issues we experienced in Abu Dhabi have definitely improved; we saw better wear patterns and fewer problems with the tyres.
He believes Pirelli is on course to succeed in its aim of encouraging better racing through a wider variation in tyre behaviour.
"It's useful to understand how the tyres go off, and how the balance changes once they do," Paffett said.
"The medium seems to last the longest and the super-soft the shortest, but that's exactly what you want from a tyre - and it should lead to different strategies once we start racing."
Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?
OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation
OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history
Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why
On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship