Formula One is back in action after a short winter break of just over two months and the teams are set to put Pirelli’s brand new range of tyres to the test at Jerez in Spain this week.
This will be the first of three four-day pre-season tests and the first appearance for many of the 2014 cars, so we will get a glimpse of the heralded technical revolution. The cars, with 1.6-litre turbocharged engines and multiple energy recovery systems powering the 2014 challengers, will now have to operate within a drastically reduced fuel allocation and revised aerodynamic rules.
Pirelli has developed its new range of 2014 tyres to cater for the unique demands these changes present. All the 2014 slick tyres have a new construction and new compounds, with slightly increased weight, while the wet tyres have a new tread pattern and a different compound.
This will be the first opportunity for the teams to start integrating their new cars with the 2014 tyres and the final day will be devoted to testing the wet weather tyres on an artificially-watered track (unless it rains at any of the previous test days, in which case this will become the dedicated wet-weather test day).
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, said: “The Jerez test will be very interesting as we see the 2014 cars and engines on track for the first time and how they interact with our tyres.
“In particular, this first test is an opportunity to see how the new cars interact with our latest tyres, considering the differences between all the 2014 cars. Jerez will be an official test but also a learning experience for everyone.
“The 2014 tyres are just as different to their predecessors as the 2014 cars, with the majority of our preparation work having been carried out by using advanced data simulation, as well as real on-track testing. Last year, the teams lost some pre-season running due to excessively cold conditions in Spain: we even saw some ice on the track at one point. In order to combat this, we have developed a special ‘winter’ version of the hard compound. This will be used for the Jerez test only and it is designed to work effectively even in cold conditions. Finally, the new regulations stipulate that one of the pre-season test days will be dedicated to wet weather testing of our new Cinturato intermediate and wet tyres. This is scheduled for the final day at Jerez, in order to give the teams experience of a wide range of conditions as soon as possible as they refine their 2014 cars.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team