All 11 teams must devote one of the available days to tyre testing with Pirelli. Mercedes and Williams completed work with the Italian supplier on the second and final day of the Bahrain test, with Lewis Hamilton topping the timesheets from Jean-Eric Vergne and Kevin Magnussen. Here is a round-up of the driver’s reactions:
“We had a few issues this morning which limited our running, but the afternoon was a lot better. This afternoon was about gathering a lot of data for the aero guys, so there were no real performance runs, just pure testing.
At the end of the day we got a few medium-length runs in and a few balance changes, like we did yesterday. So, not really a day for the timesheets, but one for the people at the factory and the guys behind the laptops.”
“It’s been a long day, running lap after lap to analyse the tyres but driving a Formula One car is never boring. Of course, the nature of a tyre test means we haven’t learnt anything in particular in terms of improving the car but it’s useful for Pirelli and therefore useful to us in the long term. They just gave me different sets and I told them how each felt.
“The plan was just to get in as many laps as we could. The times mean nothing as everyone had their own programmes to run. It’s been a fantastic few weeks for the team but also a long stint away, so I’m sure everyone is looking forward to heading back home for a well-deserved rest. Of course, it’s a short turnaround before China so I’ll be in the factory to work on ways we can improve.”
“We were hoping for a good day’s testing today with a programme based on aerodynamic work. Unfortunately, we struggled with power unit issues from the beginning, even when the car was able to run.
“Fortunately, we did manage some aero work so we did collect some useful data, however we fell far short of what we wanted to achieve. We will analyse the data collected to help us get a better understanding of the car so we can move forwards in China.”
“All in all, it was a positive day. Unfortunately, we could only run a few laps before the lunch break. However, in the afternoon we could start our test programme, and I think we did a lot of work today. For me, it was good to be back in the car. I had the chance to drive the car all day in comparison to the 20 laps I did in FP1 last Friday. I am satisfied with where we are right now.
“We found something interesting during the long runs in the end. Besides that, I think the performance run was also quite good as it was during the hottest part of the day, so the time was pretty good. All in all, I am happy that I got the chance to drive the C33 again and I am looking forward to being back behind the wheel for FP1 in China.”
“It was not a completely trouble free day, but that’s what testing is about. That aside, we got some serious work done today that can inform us on the way to move
forward for the next part of the season.
“From that point of view, today was very productive and important. We got some good answers about which direction to work in. Another plus point is that I feel the car itself has a good performance potential and will work really well, once we have everything under control, which is very encouraging.”
“Today was our allocated day for work on next season’s Pirelli tyres. We worked on many new compounds and it was another productive day for me to learn the processes and feeling of driving a Formula One car, and I did quite a few miles. Doing a tyre test means you can test the tyres to the extreme which was a good experience.
“I also got to experience the differences between different compounds and how they affect the car and the balance. Running a Formula One tyre when it hasn’t been in a blanket was one of the most interesting things as it’s very difficult to get them up to temperature, even in the Bahrain heat, it will be even more of a challenge at tracks such as Silverstone or Spa.”
“It has been a really positive day today and I am pleased that we achieved so much mileage – the second highest lap tally of the teams. What we have learned will be useful for the short and long-term, but I am hopeful that we will see the benefit as soon as China, because we are making small but important steps and we need to keep moving forward like this.”
“It was a good morning session for us, running through a plan that started with aero work with a front wheel wake rake fitted for aero evaluation, and then some work on the braking system that gave us a lot of interesting information. We didn’t really have any issues so we were able to get through most of the morning runplan and then broke for lunch just before the morning session ended.
“In the afternoon session we started with a number of runs with a rear wing rake on, carrying out more aero work and then removed it to start the final planned runs of the test, but on my 13th run of the day we had an issue that stopped the car at turn eight. We got the car back and identified the problem as an ERS electrical issue but didn’t have enough time to fix it and go back out so that was the end of the test. Even with the problem in the afternoon we got through a lot of work today and everyone’s reasonably pleased with what we’ve achieved.”
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director
“The opportunity to test with the current cars is something that we have always wished for and it was vital to have this written into the regulations this year. We made useful progress throughout both days of the prototype tyre test, trying out a number of solutions with 2015 in mind, in demanding conditions.
“Having accumulated this valuable data over two days, we will now analyse it carefully to assess the best development direction for the next in-season test in Barcelona, where we expect to see further evolutions in car performance.”
Images courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas, Sauber F1 Team and Marussia F1 Team