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McLaren says Pirelli still challenge for F1 teams



Simon Roberts says that Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery’s evaluation was most likely early.

McLaren operations director Simon Roberts speaking in Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in that the Pirelli’s assessment was almost certainly premature. He added that F1 front runners almost handle the Pirelli behavior, but some mid-runners and back-runners still struggling with Italian rubber.

But the spectators are really pleased with Pirelli performance, in first seven races five teams win the podium and seven different winners and still continue unpredictable races.

“I saw his comments and thought ‘maybe he knows something…'” said Roberts of Hembery’s thoughts.

“I think all the teams are learning, without a shadow of a doubt. Whether anybody has actually solved the conundrum, I don’t know. I think with every race that goes by and all the data we get, certainly the big teams who have got enough analysis going on in the background will make those steps forward.

“I think we did learn a huge amount in Canada and that does stand us in good stead. Whether we’ve cracked it or not, I wouldn’t like to say. If we get a one-two in Valencia then I’d say we’ve done a pretty good job… It is a challenge.”

“We’re very conscious when we make changes to the way we do things that you can inadvertently increase the level of risk or just get people slightly out of position,” he said.

“The guys on the race team did a huge amount of work on trying to refine the pitstop strategy and even the way we approach qualifying.

“I think we were fairly pleased in Canada and hopefully we’ve turned a corner. We’re not planning anything different going forward. We think it’s now pretty stable, so no big changes and hopefully we’ll just consolidate what we’ve been doing and keep it in the sweet spot.”

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