Mark Webber is confident that there will be no repeat of the troubles that he suffered adapting to Pirelli's Formula 1 tires next year.
The Australian struggled with tire degradation during the first part of the year in particular. But he has declared himself to be comfortable with the 2012 development rubber, after sampling the tires in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
"When I ran those tires in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, I felt completely at home on them," said Webber. "Pirelli did a good job to take a lot of the tires that they were looking at for 2012 to do some development. It was encouraging for me and for the team."
Webber is hopeful to make a strong start to next season by carrying the momentum that he built in the second half of the year into 2012. He pointed to his getting on top of the rubber as one of the reasons behind his improvement along with fewer reliability problems.
"We had smoother weekends, were competitive in most practice sessions and started to get KERS working. And I was having to make fewer pit stops. Before, I was having to do a lot of racing [because of making more stops], which is not without risks. But, as the season went on, I was on the same strategy as everyone else.
"It was a good learning curve for me and the team in terms of what we can do to address those small details that make a big difference on Saturday, in particular."
Webber also credited teams' improving understanding of the tires for the calmer races that prevailed in the closing stages of the season. In the first half of the year, drivers regularly hit trouble with tire degradation, but as the season went on, strategies tended to converge.
"The biggest thing was that the teams and the drivers got on top of the tires," said Webber. "It was such a big learning curve for everybody and you saw that with the racing. It softened off at the end of the year because everyone got their heads around the tires."