F1 teams put Pirelli’s 2015 tyres through their paces
The tyres Pirelli will supply to Formula One teams in 2015 were given their first official airing at the final in-season F1 test of the year, which was held straight after the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Although there were no dedicated Pirelli test days and each team concentrated on its own independent programme, all teams tested the new tyres during the two-day test period, having each received ten sets of the new 2015 tyres in place of the existing 2014 allocation. Pirelli, which brought its definitive specification medium, soft and supersoft 2015 tyres to Abu Dhabi, views the new rubber as an evolution of the existing tyre rather than a new departure.
While air and track temperatures during the test session differed from that seen during the closing race of this year’s season, and thus the lap times set in testing could not be usefully compared to those in the race, Pirelli says that the drivers who tested the new tyres nonetheless gave positive feedback about their first taste of the 2015 P Zero specification.
“We’ve been very pleased to hear the initial impressions from the drivers of our new tyres, which suggest that the improvements we have aimed for are already taking effect,” commented Pirelli’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery. “We’ve made a few small alterations: in particular to the belt area of the rear tyre that sits in the footprint. This new construction optimises the temperature distribution through the tyre in order to distribute heat more evenly, which should lead to more consistent performance and better traction. We’ve also got a new supersoft compound on the rear, which is designed to improve mechanical resistance. Our objectives with the 2015 tyres remain the same as they have always been: to provide between two and three pit stops per race. One of the biggest factors of course will be the way that the cars improve: we’re expecting to see cars that are a second per lap or more faster than the 2014 cars next year, and this obviously will impact on tyre behaviour.”
Both days of testing were held in warm and dry conditions, with track temperatures that peaked at 44 degrees (33 degrees ambient) on Tuesday and 43 degrees (32 degrees ambient) on Wednesday.
The fastest time set during the two days of the test was a 1m42.624s set by Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein on the supersoft tyres, in the closing stages of day two.
The highest number of laps run on day one was 114 laps from Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes, while the highest number of laps run on day two was 112 from Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber.
The 2015 tyres were available in medium, soft and supersoft specification, with all four tyres in the 2014 range also available for the teams to test. In total, 454 laps were completed on the new 2015 tyres and 903 laps on the current 2014 tyres.
The next test will take place at the first official pre-season session of the year, between and 1 and 4 February at Jerez in southern Spain. Following that, there will be just two more sessions in Barcelona between 19 and 22 February and 26 February and 1 March before the season starts.