Pirelli test ends, compounds for 4 races selected

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At the end of the third and final pre-season test, held in Bahrain, Pirelli has announced the compounds that will be used for the first four races this year:

Australia           P ZERO WHITE MEDIUM and P ZERO YELLOW SOFT

Malaysia           P ZERO ORANGE HARD and P ZERO WHITE MEDIUM

Bahrain             P ZERO WHITE MEDIUM and P ZERO YELLOW SOFT

China                P ZERO WHITE MEDIUM and P ZERO YELLOW SOFT

These choices have been made to reflect the characteristics of each circuit and the all-new 2014 cars, bearing in mind all the data that has been obtained from the three pre-season tests.

The teams were able to complete their assessment of Pirelli’s new compounds over the last four days in Bahrain, with the final test finishing today exactly two weeks before the start of the opening grand prix of the season. Consequently, many teams focussed on qualifying and race simulations.

The results of the final test showed an increased performance gap between the hard and the medium compound, and the medium and the soft compound: the two combinations of tyres that will be used at the first four races. This will give plenty of scope for the teams to formulate interesting strategies to boost their race prospects.

The characteristics of the 2014 P Zero tyre range were in line with expectations in Bahrain, maintaining similar performance to last year but with less degradation. There was no blistering and very little graining, underlining the performance of the latest compounds so far in a wide range of conditions. There was also a reduction in tread wear levels.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director:

“The information gained over all three pre-season tests has helped us to come up with the tyre choices for the start of the season, having run with the new 2014 tyres in all conditions now: ranging from rain in Jerez to ambient temperatures exceeding 25 degrees centigrade in Bahrain. The conclusion we can draw so far is that the 2014 tyres are more consistent and wear less than their predecessors, without compromising performance. We’re also meeting another of our objectives with one more step towards the reduction of ‘marbles’ on the track. The medium and soft compounds are well matched to the expected race conditions in Australia, Bahrain and China, providing what we expect to be the right balance between performance and strategy with two to three pit stops per car. The more abrasive and hotter conditions of Malaysia have led us to nominate the hard and medium compounds there, as we did last year.”

Testing Facts:

As expected, the teams completed the biggest distances seen yet during the final pre-event test in Bahrain. In total, 762 laps were covered during day one, 868 laps during day two, 803 laps during day three, and 874 laps during day four. This makes a total of 3307 laps for four days, compared with 2322 at the previous Bahrain test.

Teams had a maximum of 30 sets of tyres per car to test in Bahrain. Pirelli chose 22 of those sets and the teams were then able to choose in advance the remaining eight sets, up to their maximum permitted total of 30. In total, 135 sets of tyres are allowed per team for testing purposes throughout 2014.

The performance differences seen in the second Bahrain test between the compounds are approximately as follows: the supersoft is around 0.7s per lap faster than the soft, the soft is around 1.3-1.5s per lap quicker than the medium, and the medium is around 1.3-1.5s per lap quicker than the hard. These gaps are expected to come down as the teams improve their understanding of the tyres during the season.

More Testing Facts:

The total testing distance completed so far this year, combining Jerez and both Bahrain tests is 7,099 laps and 36,974 kilometres. This time last year, the teams had completed 10,902 laps and 49,942 kilometres of pre-season testing (Jerez and two Barcelona tests 2013 combined).

Williams driver Felipe Massa set the fastest lap of this Bahrain test, with a time of 1m33.258s on Saturday with the P Zero Red supersoft. By way of comparison, the fastest lap in Bahrain at the previous test last week was 1m33.283s, set by Nico Rosberg (Mercedes). The fastest race lap at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year was 1m36.961s, set by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. Pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year was 1m32.330s, also set by Rosberg.

The highest number of total laps completed at this year’s Bahrain test by any one driver was 236 laps from Valtteri Bottas (Williams). Force India driver Sergio Perez set the second-highest total, 213 laps.

Testing numbers:

Total number of sets brought to Bahrain: 341 sets which equals 1,364 tyres
– of which supersoft tyres: 14 sets
– of which soft tyres: 61 sets
– of which medium tyres: 139 sets
– of which hard tyres: 94 sets
– of which ‘winter’ hard tyres: 28 sets
– of which intermediate tyres: 3 sets
– of which wet tyres: 2 sets

Total amount of sets used: 319
– of which supersoft tyres: 31 sets
– of which soft tyres: 83 sets
– of which medium tyres: 172 sets
– of which hard tyres: 30 sets
– of which ‘winter’ tyres: 3 sets
– of which intermediate tyres: 0 sets
– of which wet tyres: 0 sets

Longest run:
19 laps on the supersoft compound
22 laps of the soft compound
24 laps on the medium compound
18 laps on the hard compound
2 laps on the ‘winter’ compound
0 laps on the intermediate compound
0 laps on the wet compound

Highest / lowest ambient temperature over four days: 30 °C / 22 °C
Highest / lowest track temperature over four days: 39 °C / 25 °C

Testing Times:

Day 1

1.S Perez   Force India   1m35.290s  Soft New
2.V Bottas   Williams   1m36.184s  Medium New
3.K Raikkonen   Ferrari   1m36.432s  Soft Used
4.N Rosberg   Mercedes   1m36.624s  Soft Used
5.A Sutil   Sauber   1m37.700s  Soft New
6.K Magnussen   McLaren   1m37.825s  Soft Used
7.D Ricciardo   Red Bull   1m37.908s  Medium New
8.M Chilton   Marussia   1m38.610s  Soft New
9.D Kvyat   Toro Rosso   1m39.242s  Soft Used
10.P Maldonado   Lotus   1m40.599s  Medium New
11.K Kobayashi   Caterham   1m42.285s  Medium New

Day 2

1.S Perez  Force India   1m35.570s  Soft New
2.F Alonso  Ferrari   1m35.634s  Soft New
3.D Ricciardo  Red Bull   1m35.743s  Soft New
4.F Massa  Williams   1m36.507s  Medium New
5.J Button  McLaren   1m36.901s  Medium New
6.J Bianchi  Marussia   1m38.092s  Soft New
7.L Hamilton  Mercedes   1m39.041s  Medium New
8.J-E Vergne  Toro Rosso   1m39.636s  Medium New
9.E Gutierrez  Sauber   1m39.976s  Supersoft U
10.P Maldonado  Lotus   1m41.613s  Medium New
11.M Ericsson  Caterham   1m42.516s  Soft Used

Day 3

1.F Massa  Williams1m33.258s Supersoft New
2.N Rosberg  Mercedes1m33.484s Supersoft New
3.K Raikkonen  Ferrari1m35.426s Supersoft New
4.K Magnussen  McLaren1m35.894s Soft New
5.D Kvyat  Toro Rosso1m36.113s Supersoft New
6.N Hulkenberg  Force India1m36.205s Supersoft Used
7.J Bianchi  Marussia1m37.087s Supersoft New
8.M Ericsson  Caterham1m38.083s Supersoft New
9.R Grosjean  Lotus1m42.166s Medium New
10.A Sutil  Sauberno time 
11.S Vettel  Red Bullno time 

Day 4

1.L Hamilton  Mercedes  1m33.278s  Soft Used
2.V Bottas  Williams  1m33.987s  Soft New
3.F Alonso  Ferrari  1m34.280s  Supersoft New
4.N Hulkenberg  Force India  1m35.577s  Supersoft New
5.J-E Vergne  Toro Rosso  1m35.701s  Supersoft New
6.A Sutil  Sauber  1m36.467s  Supersoft New
7.M Chilton  Marussia  1m36.835s  Supersoft New
8.E Gutierrez  Sauber  1m37.303s  Supersoft New
9.S Vettel  Red Bull  1m37.468s  Soft Used
10.J Button  McLaren  1m38.111s  Medium New
11.K Kobayashi  Caterham  1m38.391s  Soft New
12.R Grosjean  Lotus  1m39.302s  Soft New
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