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Former team owner Gian Carlo Minardi gives his opinion on the seventh race of the 2012 season, a season seemingly to be decided by tyres and who best manages them.
"Welcome to the Pirelli World Championship," says the Italian in his latest media briefing. "This Championship is deeply conditioned by tyres and, only the driver who has the best understanding of them will succeed.
"Once more we have the seventh different winner inside seven different Grand Prix and running races is getting more and more difficult. What catches our eyes are the big differences inside the same team.
"Let's take Hamilton and Button as an example," he continues. "The difference between them is huge. We almost cannot explain it. There is something unusual, so it's getting more and more difficult to judge. There could be either technical problems or mental ones. Surely Jenson is not having a good period. From a technical point of view, in the last three Grands Prix, soft tyres have been used. On the contrary, he made a good race using hard tyres which usually are the hardest to reach a right temperature.
"The Montreal GP's standing is a good example of that. In the first five positions we have five different cars. As the Championship goes by, the differences between the performances of two drivers belonging to the same team are getting bigger and bigger. Unlike Hamilton and Button, Felipe Massa's performance level is getting higher and higher, it's almost as good as Alonso's.
"Lewis Hamilton's weekend was super," admits the Italian. "McLaren has improved setup and tyres, which didn't bear weather changes. Lotus also had a very good performance. As far as the relationship between chassis and tyres is concerned, the car is the most uniform amongst others. They optimized the result. Grosjean committed heavy mistakes in the previous Grand Prix but, in a difficult race such as the Canadian one, he succeeded in getting such a good result. He is almost the only driver who hasn't won a race yet.
"Perez made some mistakes as well, but he showed everybody to be a very fast driver. Together with the team, the driver, supported by a good car, decided to implement a solid strategy. In qualifying they're not so fast yet, but their steadfastness allow them to obtain good results. The championship they're running is interesting and engaging. Perez is an outsider whose performances are going to get better and better.
"In my opinion, the Ferrari made a good race," he concludes. "The team tried to win, but unfortunately it could only get a fifth position. Maybe the second range teams had been undervalued. They stoke their all on Sebastian Vettel, but Grosjean and Sergio Perez stood out. Fernando says it right when he affirms that he "was only able to get a position over Vettel". We must take a wide look at all teams. We have eight cars within few seconds and the first fourteen drivers crossed the line in full swing. It takes next to nothing to change the standing. This will be useful also for the next strategies. Nowadays many things can change a race result. In qualifying Maldonado was handling a good race; this would have led him to the pole position. If this happened, the race would have been different.
"With the next race we'll be back to Europe and, after Valencia, races will take place in historical tracks, where weather and tyres will undergo minor changes. Teams will have to implement new strategies and we will see who will be the first driver to mark a double win."
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