18 February 2014
Pirelli add prototype tyres to Bahrain F1 test mix
'Winter hard' and additional medium compounds for 2015 preparation add to teams' options for four-day F1 pre-season session in Bahrain.
F1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed that it will be bringing additional rubber to this week's group test in Bahrain.
The second official four-day session of the year takes place in the desert between Wednesday and Saturday this week [19-22 February], and the Bahrain International Circuit will also host the third and final test later this month. The warm ambient conditions of around 20 degrees or more are set to provide a marked contrast to the first test of the year in Jerez, which featured low temperatures and rain, and all eleven F1 teams are expected to be present, after Lotus opted not to travel to Spain.
As they continue to optimise the interaction between their radical new cars – with 1.6-litre turbocharged engines and advanced energy recuperation systems – and the latest generation of Pirelli tyres, which feature new compounds and constructions this year, the squads will look to improve both reliability and performance, with the BIC providing a wide variety of speeds and corners with high longitudinal demands that address most aspects of a tyre's behaviour.
“The first test of the year in Jerez was all about the teams getting their first taste of a very different set of technical regulations so, as expected, running was limited and evaluating tyres was not a priority,” Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery confirmed, “On top of that, winter conditions in Europe – even in southern Spain – are not representative of the race conditions we will generally encounter throughout the rest of the season. In Bahrain, we're expecting better weather and more running, which will allow ourselves and the teams to assimilate more data and knowledge of the tyres.”
While teams will be allowed 30 sets of tyres apiece for the Bahrain test - from an overall maximum of 135 sets for all testing this year – they will have to split these between the various slick compounds on offer. Three types of slick will be available at BIC - hard, medium and soft – although, on top of this, the drivers will also be able to test the 'winter hard' compound, which Pirelli created to ensure a rapid warm-up even at low temperatures.
The teams have asked to try this tyre, originally designed for use at Jerez, in Bahrain in order to assess how it performs in higher ambient temperatures. The 'winter' version will be recognisable by having no sidewall markings, whereas the 'standard' 2014 hard carries orange colouring.
Pirelli is also bringing an extra set of medium tyres per team to Bahrain. While these will have the usual 2014 construction and compound, they are actually considered to be 'prototypes' as their purpose is to test tyre behaviour without warming blankets, which will be banned from 2015 onwards.
Of the 30 sets at each team's disposal this week, 22 sets of the four slick options - hard, winter hard, medium and soft – have been selected by Pirelli in accordance with the teams. The remaining eight sets are chosen by the teams themselves, in order to suit their individual run plans.
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