Pirelli hoping for “no more than three” pit stops in Spain
Last year’s race saw Fernando Alonso cruise to victory on a four-stop strategy, with Kimi Raikkonen rising to second place after pitting three times.
Hembery admitted after the 2013 round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which is notoriously tough on tyres, that there were too many trips to the pit lane.
With the new compounds for this season and Pirelli bringing the hard and medium tyres to Barcelona, he says the race should be a good test of how well they have done and is hoping for a maximum of three pit stops per driver.
“It’s often said that Barcelona provides the most accurate representation of the form a season will take, because a car that performs well in Barcelona should perform well everywhere,” Hembery said.
“The same is true of the tyres, because the Spanish circuit is one of the most demanding circuits we race on all year. Long and fast corners such as Turn Three put a huge amount of energy into the tyres, as a result of which degradation is high.
“The track surface is also quite abrasive, and ambient temperatures can be high, which increase the workload on the tyres further. In the past we’ve seen up to four pit stops in Spain. With the changes we have made to the tyres this year, we would now hope to see no more than three for the majority of drivers.”
The second two-day in-season test will take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the event. The first took place in Bahrain after round three of the 2014 season, with Caterham, Williams and Mercedes working with F1’s supplier to test prototype 2015 tyres.
In Spain, Sauber and Toro Rosso will dedicated the first day of running to testing next year’s rubber, before McLaren and Force India take over on day two.
“We made a solid start to our preparations for next year with the first dedicated in-season tyre tests in Bahrain,” Hembery added. “We’re looking forward to building on that work with four teams in Spain after the grand prix.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.