If the top teams are to be believed, engineers up and down pitlane are groping in the dark to solve the mysteries of Pirelli’s 2012 tyre. But the sport’s Italian supplier has hinted that is just an excuse, as midfield teams like Sauber have become regular podium contenders so far this year.
Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko admits: “Sauber seems to understand them (the tyres) almost all of the time.”
Peter Sauber, the modest Swiss team’s founder and boss, insists it has not been a case of unravelling a Pirelli mystery.
“Put is this way,” he told Blick newspaper. “We understand the car. Basically, we know how to use the tyres. Except in Bahrain, where it was very hot, we’ve had no big problems.”
The sun is also out in Valencia, but Sauber insists it is presumptuous in any conditions to say his team is in a position to push for wins.
But Mexican Sergio Perez, who has been on the podium twice so far in 2012, has another plan.
“I want more,” he answered when asked about his second taste of 2012 champagne in Canada recently. “If you can finish second and third, the next goal must be victory.”