Pirelli, the 11 Formula One teams and the FIA have agreed the schedule of the new dedicated tyre testing days (one per team) that each team will undertake within the existing 2014 in-season test calendar. Caterham, Mercedes and Williams will test in Bahrain; Sauber, Toro Rosso, McLaren and Force India in Barcelona; and Ferrari, Lotus, Red Bull and Marussia at Silverstone.
Following the conclusion of Formula Ones three preseason tests in Bahrain, Pirelli has stated that the characteristics of the 2014 P Zero tyre range were in line with expectations, maintaining similar performance to last year but with less degradation. Pirelli said there had been no blistering and very little graining, while also claiming a reduction in tread wear levels. The results of the final test also showed an increased performance gap between both the hard and the medium compound, and the medium and the soft compound: the two combinations of tyres that will be used at the first four races. Pirelli said this would give plenty of scope for the teams to formulate interesting strategies to boost their race prospects.
Entering the final preseason test at Bahrain, commentary from Formula One drivers about the 2014 range of Pirelli tyres has been most noticeable for its comparative scarcity. When drivers have spoken up, their verdicts have been generally indecisive or cautious. Sauber driver Adrian Sutil praised Pirelli’s 2014 Formula One tyres for showing “greater consistency” on the first day of the final test, but has previously been quoted by motorsport news sources bemoaning the tyres’ harder compounds and stiffer constructions.
Exclusive tyre supplier to Formula One, Pirelli has issued a response to a deleted tweet by the Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg following a high-speed tyre failure in Bahrain. The manufacturer explained that there were “a number of prototypes, which were completely innovative in terms of structure and compounds” as part of its development plans for the 2014 tyre range.
Mercedes-Benz reports that its UK retailers now have stocks of cold weather tyres for the coming winter. Apart from the obvious benefits winter tyres offer – better grip and shorter braking distances at temperatures below seven degrees Celsius – the cold weather tyres supplied by Mercedes-Benz dealers are supplied with the ‘MO’ sidewall designation, confirming their approval an a Mercedes-Benz original equipment fitment.
A supply deal finalised with Mercedes-Benz in October will see some S-Class models fitted with 19-inch versions of Bridgestone’s Potenza S001 as original equipment. Bridgestone says the Potenza-equipped S-Class will be sold globally.
Bridgestone has entered into a deal to supply tyres for Mercedes-Benz’s Driving Events, the outfit in charge of all driver training and driving experiences at the German car maker. A range of tyres from the Potenza, Turanza, Dueler and Blizzak ranges will be fitted to the full range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles used during all 36 Mercedes-Benz driving events.
South Wales company Hicks Logistics settled on Hankook tyres as its preferred choice over ten years ago, using the Korean manufacturer’s AH22+ and DH05 tyres on its Scania, Volvo and Mercedes tractor units and the TH22 wide singles, and TH10 for the low loaders, on its trailers. Hankook's new Alphatread retread tyres are set to be tested on the fleet and Hankook expects to be able to deliver increased value for money as a result. Hankook’s service has also been key to the continued association with Hicks; the company has its own dedicated tyre fitter at the head office, and is able to manage its own tyres in the local area. However, when working throughout the UK Hankook Truck Masters are relied on to service the fleet.
Continental’s ContiSportContact 5 P sports tyre has received further approvals from Mercedes AMG, and as such both the A-Class and C-Class will now be fitted with Continental's current top model. As with other products approved by Mercedes, they are marked with "MO" (Mercedes Original part) on the sidewall, alongside the size specification. The tyres are factory fitted and available from Mercedes car dealerships and specialist tyre dealerships. For the A-Class, AMG has approved a size 235/35 ZR 19 fitment, while size 235/35 ZR 19 and 255/30 ZR 19 tyres have been selected for the C-Class.
Bilstein, the Ennepetal-based shock absorber, suspension and spring specialist, has added roughly 220 new part numbers to its B1, B3 and B4 universal spare parts product lines. The company added more than 70 applications to its Bilstein B1 range of accessories in the latter half of 2012; 90 parts numbers were added to the Bilstein B3; and an extra 50 new applications were also added to the Bilstein B4 range.
McLaren Electronic Systems Limited has announced that it will provide the electric engine, transmission and electronics for cars that will participate in the FIA’s exciting new Formula E race series.
McLaren will be a key partner of Spark Racing Technology, which is led by Frédéric Vasseur and is dedicated to the creation and assembly of the electric cars participating in the FIA World Championship Formula E.
At 2012’s final meeting, Lincolnshire’s Jack Harvey became the first British winner of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship since Mike Conway in 2006. Harvey took two victories from pole at Donington Park’s season finale. The Carlin racing driver arrived at the Derby venue on the back foot after a disappointing weekend at Silverstone in early September, when he picked up three penalties. Entering the final rounds of the championship, Harvey trailed team-mate and erstwhile championship leader, Jazeman Jaafar, by six points.
Sell premium quality batteries, they Cost less than a tank of fuel. That’s the view put forward by Banner, the battery maker, which suggests it is prudent to supply and fit the best battery you can: “Budget batteries are fine for older cars without any electrical consumers but there are less of those on the roads today.”
HiQ has presented the owner of four fast fit centres in Cornwall with the network’s internal “excellence in customer service” award, an annual accolade presented at the HiQ’s annual franchise conference. Justin Roberton Ltd, owner of HiQ centres in Helston, Truro, Bodmin and St Austell, with wife and business partner Kim, received the award for delivering the highest levels in customer satisfaction at HiQ’s conference at Mercedes Benz World.