Marko: Serious differences in 2012 tyre quality

Dr Helmut Marko suspects there are “serious differences” in the quality of the sets of tyres being supplied this year by Pirelli.

Red Bull’s motor racing consultant also said the sole tyre supplier’s 2012 product works only within a ludicrously small performance ‘window’, and favours cars with simple designs. According to the German language, Marko said Italian marque Pirelli “received an order to make formula one more exciting”.

In 2011, for Pirelli’s first season on the grid, the tyres spiced up the show due to their heavily-degrading nature. And this year, experts have explained that the tyres are ‘mysterious’ in terms of how the engineers and drivers can make them work.

“Normally a tyre degrades steadily, but with the current Pirelli compounds they are working one lap and the next they’re gone,” said the outspoken Austrian.

And Marko said the Pirellis are also difficult to get working in the first place.

“I think it was in Malaysia with Mark Webber, we were on the hard compound and we put in two clicks more of front wing — a marginal different but ‘Bang!’ we were 1.2 seconds faster. We thought ‘Boom! Our car is now great’ but we put on the soft compound and were eight tenths slower,” he said.

Marko said he suspects there are “serious differences” in the quality of the sets of tyres being supplied by Pirelli this year.

“The result is that cars that are simple in design are easier to get to the windows in which the tyres work best.”

At Valencia recently, however, Red Bull’s latest developments appeared to be a breakthrough for the RB8, as Sebastian Vettel dominated qualifying and the race until his technical breakdown.

“It hurts (rivals) terribly when you’re so superior,” explained Marko. “In the race we had to tell Vettel ‘Go slower! Even slower! And now even slower!’ We know too well — if you are too far ahead you definitely lose more friends than you make.”


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