Michael Schumacher declared himself happy with the initial feeling of the Pirelli tires after his first test of the new rubber, but warned he could not judge whether the change of tires would improve his fortunes until he knew if the 2011 Mercedes was well-suited to the Pirellis.
Discomfort with the 2010 Bridgestones – and particularly the relative lack of front grip they offered – was cited as the biggest factor in Schumacher's underwhelming form during his comeback season. That led to suggestions that his first experience of the new-for-2011 Pirellis would be a crucial indicator of whether his return to Formula 1 with Mercedes could eventually blossom into a success. Schumacher, however, said it was too soon to make a definite judgment.
"They have a very different combination," he said when asked if the Pirellis seemed more suited to his style. "Whether [or not] you can say the front tire is now stronger and that's going to suit my style, what is very important is how next year's car is going to suit these tires. That's very important. But for the first step, from what we have seen here, I feel positive about the tires."
He emphasized that the adaptation to the new tires was still at a very early stage and that fine-tuning was required on both sides.
"I was quite happy with the first test. A lot of positive feedback so we can now start to do the detailed work on the car," said Schumacher. "The tires performed reasonably consistently and were good. I'm sure they're making some small adjustments for the future, but all in all I'm quite happy."