McLaren’s Roberts says team “learning” about Pirelli tyres

22nd June 2012

McLaren operations director Simon Roberts has backed the Formula One team to master the Pirelli tyres used so far this season.

His comments come as the drivers begin Friday practice for the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain with the team's pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button enjoying contrasting fortunes so far this season.

Hamilton won last time out in Canada, to go to the top of the World Championship standings after seven action-packed races.

In contrast Button, who had enjoyed previous success in Montreal, finished a disappointing 16th and now stands some 33 points off the leader in the title standings.

Speaking to ESPN earlier this week though, Mr Roberts was keen to stress that the McLaren team had learnt "a huge amount" about the Pirelli tyres following their Canadian experience.

"I think every race that goes by and every set of data we get – certainly for the big teams who have got enough analysis going on in the background – we're always making steps forward," he said during a recent Vodafone fan phone in.

Despite the ongoing tribulations related to the compounds, he remained positive and focused on the task in hand.

"It is a challenge and everyone does focus on the tyres but all the cars are very close, it's very competitive so you have to push all the time," he said.

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Posted by Written by Danielle Barge