Teams have so far had eight days to trial the new 2014 Pirelli tyre range, which all feature new compounds and constructions. So far, much of the running at the first two tests has focused on solving any reliability issues with the new cars.
As this week’s test will be the final chance for the F1 grid to run on the new compounds before the first round in Australia, Hembery is expecting tyre work to increase.
“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.”
Teams are each allowed 135 sets of tyres for testing this year, with 30 being taken to Bahrain for the final four-day event. 22 compounds have been selected by Pirelli, with the remaining eight being chosen by the teams.
Image courtesy of Pirelli