ERJ staff report (BC)
Bahrain – At the end of its third and final Formula 1 pre-season test, held in Bahrain, Pirelli has announced the compounds from its P Zero range that will be used for the first four races this year. These are as follows:
· Australia, Bahrain and China: White Medium and Yellow Soft
· Malaysia: Orange Hard and White Medium.
These choices have been made to reflect the characteristics of each circuit and the all-new 2014 cars, according to Pirelli, taking into account all the data obtained from the three pre-season tests.
The teams were able to complete their assessment of Pirelli’s new compounds over the last four days in Bahrain, with the final test finishing on 2 March, two weeks before the start of the opening grand prix of the season. Consequently, many teams focussed on qualifying and race simulations.
The results of the final test showed an increased performance gap between the hard and medium compounds on the one hand, and the medium and soft compounds on the other; the two combinations of tires that will be used at the first four races. According to Pirelli, this will give plenty of scope for the teams to formulate interesting strategies to boost their race prospects.
The company reported that the characteristics of the 2014 P Zero tire range were in line with expectations in Bahrain, maintaining similar performance to last year but with less degradation. There was no blistering and very little graining, underlining the performance of the latest compounds so far in a wide range of conditions. Tread wear was also reduced.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director, said: “The information gained over all three pre-season tests has helped us to come up with the tire choices for the start of the season, having run with the new 2014 tires in all conditions now: ranging from rain in Jerez to ambient temperatures exceeding 25 degrees celsius n Bahrain. The conclusion we can draw so far is that the 2014 tires are more consistent and wear less than their predecessors, without compromising performance. We’re also meeting another of our objectives with one more step towards the reduction of ‘marbles’ on the track. The medium and soft compounds are well matched to the expected race conditions in Australia, Bahrain and China, providing what we expect to be the right balance between performance and strategy with two to three pit stops per car. The more abrasive and hotter conditions of Malaysia have led us to nominate the hard and medium compounds there, as we did last year.”