Valsecchi: Tires slower, but last longer

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Lotus reserve driver Davide Valsecchi believes that there is a noticeable difference in the new Pirelli tires after testing them at Silverstone this week.

The verdict on the new tires has been largely split so far. Sebastian Vettel claims that he has not noticed much of a change, whilst Pastor Maldonado reckons there is a big difference. For Valsecchi though, his conclusions are only based on half a day of testing during pre-season.

“It wasn’t easy giving comparative feedback as I only ran for half a day in Barcelona using the original specification 2013 tyres,” Valsecchi explained on Lotus’ official website.

However, the Italian driver believes that the tires may be slower but longer-lasting.

“The data suggests that maybe the newer tyres are a little slower, but to be sure of that we would need one of the race drivers with the car in qualifying configuration. We weren’t in qualifying configuration and it was Davide Valsecchi and not Kimi or Romain today! My thoughts are that maybe they’re a little slower, but last a little longer; the engineers will be able to give you a better answer.”

Valsecchi will continue in the test driver role for Lotus for the foreseeable future, completing work on their simulator to aid Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean’s efforts on-track this season.

Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”