Sergio Perez is embracing Pirelli's 2012 generation of tires, which will be closer in performance between the compounds. He admitted, however, that it is too early to tell whether they will allow him to manage them better than his rivals in the way he could with last year's Sauber.
Perez was one of a few drivers who was able to exploit the degradation of the Italian rubber to his advantage last year, by pitting later or sometimes not as many times as his rivals during races. Speaking at the launch of the Swiss team's new challenger, the C31, at Jerez on Monday, the 22-year-old Mexican said that he believes Pirelli's decision to close the laptimes between its hard and soft tires was good for Formula 1.
"I think it will make the races more interesting because you have a more open window to work with, with strategies – which is important," he said. "Definitely the races will be more exciting."
Perez also believes the new rules could even play to the advantage of Sauber, if the new car proves to be as soft on its tires as its predecessor.
"If you look at some races like Nurburgring last year, where it was quite cold and we had the hard compound, there was a very big difference and it affected our team a little bit more because we could not warm up the tires," he said. "My style and also the car helped to make the tires last longer. We don't know how this year's car will work with my style and how it will perform in the races, so we will have to wait and see.
"And even though we are starting testing now the conditions will change a lot once we get to the first race, so it is something we will see during the season. We will learn during the season how the tires work and what the driver can do to save tires without losing time."
Perez said that his focus for 2012 was to build on his strong rookie season and maintain momentum, which meant scoring points regularly this year.
"I think our team has done a very good job over the winter and also last year developing our car," he said. "I'm confident we have a good car and a strong package. Our target is definitely to improve from last year."
Perez remains a member of Ferrari's young driver program, but said that while he would continue to work for the Scuderia through 2012, his focus was on delivering as strong a season as possible for Sauber.
"Of course, I will be going there sometimes to work with the simulator, but the main objective now if for me here because this is a very important season," said Perez. "I am very focused on that."