The FIA’s shock announcement regarding double-points wasn’t the only edict handed down yesterday. Additional initiatives were determined and one of those is a Pirelli tire test that starts on December 17th in Bahrain. The test accommodates Pirelli’s request to work with current car chassis and teams in helping the Italian tire maker develop the new tire compounds for the 2014 season.
Pirelli said they are focused on reducing the “marbles” or rolled up, spent rubber that accumulates off-line on the racing circuit making passing very difficult. They also have the challenge of making a high degradation tire that won’t last the entire race but also withstands the additional weight in 2014 as well as the additional torque from the Energy Recovery System and new turbo V6 engine.
The fact is Pirelli have a lot of work to do in order to avoid the 2013 tire blowout issues the series experienced at the British Grand Prix. Pirelli was caught up in an illegal test with Mercedes in 2013 and this has prompted to tire maker to get forceful in its demand for a meaningful test with current chassis and teams willing to pound out mileage to help produce the right tire for 2014.
Pirelli invited all of the teams but Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso are the only ones who will show up at the test on the 17th. There could be many reasons for Williams, Marussia, Caterham, Sauber and Lotus are not attending but perhaps the more surprising absence would be that of Lotus F1.
Lotus F1 has been a team that has been achieving success above their station (financial capacity) and many feel 2014 could be a return to earth for the orbiting team having lost their lead engineer and driver. their lack of attendance at this test could signal continued financial challenges or something else but suffice to say that dismissing the test as non-essential isn’t a very believable position for a team fighting for 3rd or 4th int eh constructor’s championship.