In 2014, Formula entered new era but not without some teething pains and strong critiques of its hybrid turbo V6 engine, lack of sound and wonky front wing noses. Another element in the debate was the lack of speed with the cars well off the pace from the previous year when V8 normally aspirated engines were the specification.
Not every big leap resolves itself with comprehensive success and sometimes changes need to be made. In particular, the speed issue may be addressed if Pirelli’s Paul Hembery is right. Hembery told AUTOSPORT he expects much more in 2015:
“Our initial data is suggesting there are going to be some big jumps,” Hembery told AUTOSPORT.
“The teams have had the ability to change things over the winter, particularly on the powertrain front, and we anticipate by the time we are in Melbourne, or at the latest China, we will see some pretty significant jumps compared to last season.
“We know we are always chasing a moving target – and I think we are talking about maybe being two to three seconds per lap quicker than last season. That is a massive difference.
“It means for our tyres that what was last year a conservative choice might actually be quite aggressive this season.”
An increase of two to three seconds per lap will get the cars closer to the type of pace the series had in 2013 and if this is the case, you can begin to understand Hembery’s comments about an unchanged tire spec from 2014 could be an aggressive tire spec in 2015. I must mention that I have really appreciated Pirelli’s open and transparent approach to their role in F1 and the metrics they develop in predicting its results.
With particular close attention to tire degradation, an increase in pure power from the Power Unit and perhaps a lack of downforce that will, in time, be overcome—it could mean the Pirelli’s might get a real flogging in 2015 and no doubt the Italian tire maker will be watching very closely at the first test on February 1st.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT