Pirelli has confirmed the tires that will be on offer for teams in the first four grands prix of the 2014 F1 season.
The Italian tire manufacturer endured a difficult 2013 season after it was firstly lynched for producing a tire that degraded too quickly, but the problem then escalated into a safety concern after a series of tire failures at the British Grand Prix. Nevertheless, Pirelli has remained in the sport, and has unsurprisingly elected for a more conservative allocation for the first four races.
Tire allocation for the first four grands prix
Australia: Soft (option); Medium (prime).
Malaysia: Medium (option); Hard (prime).
Bahrain: Soft (option); Medium (prime).
China: Soft (option); Medium (prime).
“The information gained over all three pre-season tests has helped us to come up with the tire choices for the start of the season, having run with the new 2014 tires in all conditions now, ranging from rain in Jerez to ambient temperatures exceeding 25 degrees centigrade in Bahrain,” Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery explained. “The conclusion we can draw so far is that the 2014 tres are more consistent and wear less than their predecessors, without compromising performance.”
For Hembery, altering the tire allocations from 2013 for the Australian and Bahrain Grands Prix should alleviate some of the problems that we saw last year, with the race in Melbourne being particularly problematic in terms of tire management.
“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.”
As per 2013, Pirelli has the choice of super-soft, soft, medium and hard dry tire compounds to give to teams in 2014, whilst the intermediate and wet compounds will be used for rain-affected races.