This year's Formula One (F1) championship is more even due to the use of Pirelli tyres, according to Kamui Kobayashi.
The Sauber driver has regularly been out-qualified by his Mexican team-mate Sergio Perez, with the rookie starting eight of the 13 races so far this season ahead of his more established colleague.
Although the Japanese star has accumulated 19 more points than Perez, Kobayashi now has to adjust to the demands of being the more experienced driver having started last year alongside veterans Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld.
He said: "This year is a completely different story to last season because of the tyres. Last year, it was much more difficult to out-pace experienced guys because they could fall back on their Bridgestone experience.
"This year, we all started on the same level of knowledge with the tyres, so it is easier for a rookie to match lap times. The Pirellis are a kind of 'equaliser' this season."
The two drivers both failed to finish last weekend's (11th September) Italian Grand Prix, with gearbox issues forcing the pair to retire early.
Posted by Danielle Barge