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GP Week : Issue 136
F1 NEWS >> Virgin not expecting big jump in early 2012 Red Bull’S Mark Webber and Sebastian vettel are the only drivers to have secured pole position this season. But where the young German has converted eight of his 11 poles into race victories, the Australian has yet to see the top step of the podium this season. Webber’s best finish from a pole start was P3, which he managed at both Silverstone and the Nurburgring. Pundits have long bemoaned the Red Bull driver’s poor starts, but Webber – who has previously acknowledged that there is work to be done – this week blamed the new Pirelli tyres for his loss of position off the line. “ This year, we have seen the biggest fluctuation in starts for years, which is purely down to the new Pirelli tyres and how they perform off the line,” Webber wrote in his column for the BBC Sport website. “It is harder to manage the grip away from the start but if you get it right – as Fernando Alonso did in Monza – it makes a big difference. For all that, my starts have been poor this year.” According to Webber, the ever- tightening technical regulations also complicate matters off the start line. “ The rules make it pretty challenging for engineers to get the starts right as launch control and other electronic aids that limit wheel-spin are not allowed,” he added. “ There is a lot of work for the drivers to do as well. I cannot give too much away, but there are a number of procedures to go through before we get going. “When the lights go out, we quickly release one clutch paddle on the steering wheel and feed in a second gradually – that’s the one the driver uses to modulate the grip of the rear wheels.” Webber blames Pirelli for his poor starts For your daily dose of Formula 1 news ... 11