Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says he expects teams to work hard on gaining more information on the 2014 spec F1 tyres when the final pre-season test of the year kicks off in Bahrain this week.
Teams have now spent eight days on track with the new rubber in Spain and then in the first of two tests in Bahrain last week.
With the new regulations coming into force for the 2014 season, much of the running to date has focused on ironing out any issues with the 1.6 litre turbo-powered engines now in place.
Race simulation work is set to be key part of the final test with only weeks to go until the season opener in Australia, and Hembery said he expected tyre work to be ramped up in the final session before racing gets underway.
“We saw more work on tyres at the recent Bahrain test than there had been at the very first test in Jerez, and with teams likely to be attempting more qualifying and race simulations this week in preparation for the opening grand prix, we would expect this upward curve of tyre work to continue over the final four days in Bahrain,” he said.
“It's still early days, but so far we've seen both performance and durability from our latest P Zero tyres, which all feature new compounds and structures to maximise the unique power characteristics of the latest-generation cars. The contact patch is greater, to help put down the extra torque, and the working ranges are wider to reduce degradation.
“As the lap times in Bahrain have shown, we're already very close to 2013 levels of performance, despite much smaller capacity engines and a completely fresh set of technical challenges.”