Kubica: Pirelli tyre degradation 'quite big'
Robert Kubica has commented that the new Pirelli tyres will require a delicate touch as they degrade quicker than the Bridgestones did. Kubica was speaking after having his first run in the newly named Lotus Renault GP team's 2011 car, the R31, on Wednesday in Valencia. The Polish driver tried both soft and medium compound tyres and said his first impression was that degradation was quite high. "Let's say they have quite big degradation so it will be very important to manage them better and maybe change a bit of the set-up in order to make them last longer and extract more performance from them." Pirelli have specifically targeted a weaker tyre in the hope to make racing more exciting, as this should result in different strategies being used by the teams. Although, Kubica said that the Pirelli's had dictated the car's performance on the Valencia circuit and had concerns about the car's balance. Speaking about the R31's balance he said: "It is difficult to judge because in the end we have so many things and the tyres are dominating the car balance and car behaviour, so it is very difficult to make any comparisons. Feeling wise it's not perfect, actually feeling wise it's not so good. But on the other hand Valencia is a very different track to the others and often the cars are not behaving right here but they are behaving much better on the grand prix tracks. So I hope this will be the case and we won't have to worry too much about today's feeling." Kubica also backed up concerns other drivers have raised about the introduction of moveable rear wings, and the reintroduction of the KERS system. The Lotus Renault GP driver commented that all the changes would take some getting used to, but so far Renault's new systems had been reliable. "Another good thing from today was KERS and the rear wing, both were working very well and we did 100 laps operating it without any problems," Kubica said. "So that is something positive from today. The rear wing works good and is quite a powerful tool. [It's] a bit distracting because in many occasions you have to activate it at the same time [as KERS] and it takes a bit of concentration or attention away from the driving. So it's very difficult to combine perfect driving with perfect operation of those two things, at least on the first day."