Pirelli is adamant that Red Bull will gain no headstart in its preparations for 2014, despite taking part in a development tire test at Barcelona next week.
Red Bull is providing a 2011 chassis so Pirelli can conduct some preliminary work for next year’s rubber. The test will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, with Sebastien Buemi and Daniel Ricciardo participating.
Although getting an early idea of the 2014 tires could prove to be an advantage for any team, Pirelli says that Red Bull will not benefit because it will not get any access to data, or even know what tires are being run.
“There won’t be anything for them to gain,” Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said. “They won’t know what they are testing and they won’t have a clue what tires they are running.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also made it clear that the test was being run for and by Pirelli, although it would be a help for Ricciardo to get some more mileage with his future team.
“Pirelli approached all of the teams to see if they would be prepared to supply a 2011 car to conduct some 2014 tire testing, so we have made a car available to Pirelli,” he said. “I am not sure if any other teams will be testing there as well. Sebastien Buemi, our test driver, will be driving on Monday and Daniel Ricciardo will probably drive on another.
“It will be an opportunity for him to familiarize himself more with the team, but it is very much a Pirelli test. We have provided a car that we use for the running show car events that we do around the world, and the run plan will be dictated by Pirelli.”
When asked about the color of the helmets that will be used, after Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ran with plain black helmets in their now infamous secret test, Horner said: “There will be no black helmets! The helmets will be in the drivers’ colors.”
Pirelli’s last 1000km tire test with Mercedes ended up at the FIA’s International Tribunal, with the German car manufacturer punished for breaking F1’s in-season testing ban. In the wake of that matter, Pirelli has sought assurances from the FIA that Red Bull’s use of a 2011 car is OK.
“It was something that we offered to all the teams,” said Hembery. “It went to the FIA and we have got a letter saying it is OK, as we obviously wanted to make sure that everything was done correctly to avoid any other misunderstandings.”