Tyre strategy was central to one of the most closely fought grands prix in recent history, with a thrilling finale set up by a safety car when there were just ten laps left to go. After the restart, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton led on the medium tyre from his teammate Nico Rosberg, who used a different two-stop strategy to finish the race on the faster soft tyre. Despite having a tyre that was theoretically slower, Hamilton was able to hold off Rosberg – who set the fastest lap – to take back-to-back victories.
Pirelli characterised Malaysia as one of the toughest tests of the year for tyres thanks to its high track temperatures and an abrasive surface. Yet the reduced graining and lack of blistering illustrates the indisputable increase in durability over the much maligned original 2013 tyre allocation. Even so, the decision to provide the hardest compound […]
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.
Bridgestone’s soft tyre proved faster at Sepang on the first day of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen’s Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro set the day’s fastest lap time in the afternoon practice session held in hot but cloudy weather conditions, though AT&T Williams driver Nico Rosberg used the hard compound to go fastest in the morning. The hot and humid 5.54km Sepang circuit provided a challenge for competitors still mastering the 2009 specification cars and Bridgestone’s latest slick tyres and new tyre allocations. Today was the first time that Bridgestone’s hard compound tyre has been used by teams, and the first time a Bridgestone soft compound has been used at Malaysia.