On the opening day of a Pirelli tyre test in Bahrain one thing is notable, the new rubber for 2014 is harder and therefore slower than in 2013.
With both Red Bull teams, Ferrari and Mercedes running at the Sakhir circuit the new rubber is getting it’s first proper test as plans to run in Friday practice in Brazil were washed out by rain.
The new rubber is a more conservative concept than before as Pirelli move away from the heavily degrading style of the past few years. The tyres have also been designed to cope with the different demands of the new V6 turbo engines which have much higher torque than the previous V8 units.
Data and laptimes from the test are not being disclosed however Italy’s Autosprint said: “The general indication is that they (the tyres) are slower.
“Even with the same (2013) cars, the laptimes are expected to rise, because the tyre supplier is taking a more prudent approach.”
The change comes after a difficult 2013 for Pirelli who were embroiled in a number of incidents, notably at the British Grand Prix where several drivers suffered tyre failures. Changes were made however more failures occurred throughout the remainder of the season.
The Italian publication claim Pirelli had brought “dozens” of compound and construction types to Bahrain but the most notable thing is they all keep the same kevlar belt.
“The experiment with steel belts, which gave so many problems at the beginning of 2013, is over,” the report added.
Some 2014 drivers are participating, Ferrari academy member and Marussia driver Jules Bianchi is driving the F138 while Toro Rosso’s new pairing Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne are also in Bahrain, Nico Rosberg is in the Mercedes with reserve Sebastien Buemi at the wheel of the RB9.
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