Pirelli report card from Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain

P Zero Red supersoft and Yellow soft tyres

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 Hember (right - Pirelli Motorsport Director) and Mario Isola (left - Pirelli Racing Manager)

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.”

A Pirelli technican takes the temperature in the pit lane

Testing Facts:

As expected, the teams completed the biggest distances seen yet during the final pre-event test in Bahrain. A total of 3307 laps was covered over the 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 Super-soft is around 0.7 seconds per lap faster than the Soft, the Soft is around 1.3 to 1.5 seconds per lap quicker than the Medium, which is around 1.3 to 1.5 seconds 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.

Formula One Testing, Day Three, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday 21 February 2014

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 Super-soft. 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, at 213 laps.

A Pirelli technician is checking the degradation level of a P Zero Yellow soft tyreTesting numbers:

Total number of sets brought to Bahrain: 341 sets which equals 1,364 tyres

  • of which Super=soft 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 Super-soft 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 Super-soft 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   Williams 1m33.258s  Supersoft New
2. N Rosberg   Mercedes 1m33.484s  Supersoft New
3. K Raikkonen   Ferrari 1m35.426s  Supersoft New
4. K Magnussen   McLaren 1m35.894s  Soft New
5. D Kvyat   Toro Rosso 1m36.113s  Supersoft New
6. N Hulkenberg   Force India 1m36.205s  Supersoft Used
7. J Bianchi   Marussia 1m37.087s  Supersoft New
8. M Ericsson   Caterham 1m38.083s  Supersoft New
9. R Grosjean   Lotus 1m42.166s  Medium New
10. A Sutil   Sauber no time
11. S Vettel   Red Bull no 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

Total laps in second Bahrain test by team:

  • Williams (Mercedes), 438
  • Force India (Mercedes), 402
  • Sauber (Ferrari), 373
  • Mercedes, 351
  • Ferrari, 337
  • Caterham (Renault), 297
  • Toro Rosso (Renault), 272
  • McLaren (Mercedes), 271
  • Marussia (Ferrari), 258
  • Red Bull (Renault), 182
  • Lotus (Renault), 127

Total laps in second Bahrain test by power unit:

  • Mercedes, 1462 (4 teams)
  • Ferrari, 968 (3 teams)
  • Renault, 878 (4 teams)

Total 2014 test distance by team:

  • Mercedes, 4972.644 km
  • Williams , 4893.432 km
  • Ferrari, 4488.516 km
  • McLaren, 4153.464 km
  • Sauber, 4039.32 km
  • Force India, 3974.868 km
  • Caterham, 3313.128 km
  • Toro Rosso, 2436.384 km
  • Red Bull, 1705.764 km
  • Marussia, 1686.084 km
  • Lotus, 1288.056 km (Lotus missed opening Jerez test)

Total 2014 test distance by power unit:

  • Mercedes (4 teams), 17994.408 km
  • Ferrari (3 teams), 10213.92 km
  • Renault (4 teams), 8743.332 km
  • TheDudeson

    The power unit debacle simply overshadowed the whole tire story this pre-season