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.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”