Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has suggested that both he and reigning world champion Fernando Alonso are suffering with the same problem in 2007.
The highly rated pair have been conspicuously outshone by their junior teammates in recent weeks, leading to the bolstered profiles of Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton.
But Finn Raikkonen, who is 27, said ahead of the Monaco grand prix that the switch to the single tyre formula with Bridgestone this year has been difficult, particularly for those drivers with notably aggressive styles.
Moreover, both Alonso and Raikkonen ran on Michelin boots last year, unlike Massa who was already at Ferrari, and the GP2 champion Hamilton.
“These tyres are very different to what I was used to,” Raikkonen told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.
“And from what I heard and read, Alonso’s comments have basically been the same as mine.”
The designer of Raikkonen’s car this year, Aldo Costa, backed the view by revealing that Kimi had to “soften” his aggressive style this year.
Robert Kubica (BMW), Heikki Kovalainen (Renault) and Christijan Albers (Spyker) have also struggled to adapt their styles to the new tyres.
Kovalainen told the specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport: “I used to drive the Renault in the same way as Alonso did.
“But I have had to change back and as a result I have got closer to the way Giancarlo (Fisichella) drives.”
Albers, meanwhile, said the situation has flattered rookies, like his rookie teammate Adrian Sutil.
“He didn’t have to adapt,” said the Dutchman, “and I think it’s been the same for Lewis.”