Tyres more consistent and durable, says Hembery

Paul Hembery says that the teams made good progress with Pirelli’s latest tyres in Bahrain this week, and the conclusion is that they are more consistent and durable than last year.

Pirelli admits that it has taken a conservative route, but Hembery repeated that the company is willing to make changes if necessary.

“The teams were able to learn more about tyres over the four days in Bahrain than they could in Jerez two weeks ago, thanks to increased running time and optimal weather conditions,” said Hembery. “Although the teams are still at a comparatively early point on the development curve with their new cars, testing data so far indicates that the 2014 tyres are more consistent and durable than their predecessors. As a result, we are also seeing fewer ‘marbles’ on the circuit: one of our objectives at the start of this season.

“However, teams are likely to improve their performance and understanding of the car-tyre package still further in the test to come, which means that the lap time differences we have been seeing between the compounds are likely to come down, especially when the teams discover more downforce as the season goes on. We’ve collected plenty of useful data from this test, but of course we are still ready and able to change the specification of the tyres for the start of the season if this is shown to be necessary.”

Pirelli also made an interesting comparison between the performance of the four available tyres, noting: “The performance differences in Bahrain between the compounds so far are approximately as follows: the supersoft is around 0.7s per lap faster than the soft, the soft is around 1.2s per lap quicker than the medium, and the medium is around 1.3s per lap quicker than the hard. These gaps should come down considerably as the cars evolve.”

The quickest times of each day were recorded as follows:

Day 1
1. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
 1m36.880s 
 on Soft New
2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
 1m37.879s
 on Medium New  
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
 1m37.908s
 on Hard New

Day 2
1. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren)
 1m34.910s 
 on Supersoft New
2. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
 1m36.445s
 on Soft New
3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
 1m36.516s
 on Soft Used

Day 3
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)     
 1m34.263s 
 on Soft New
2. Jenson Button (McLaren)
 1m34.976s
 on Supersoft New
3. Felipe Massa (Williams)
 1m37.066s
 on Soft New

Day 4
1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)       
 1m33.283s  
 on Soft New       
2. Jenson Button (McLaren)
 1m34.957s
 on Soft New
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
 1m36.718s
 on Soft New

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