Formula 1 teams are set to get a first proper taste of Pirelli’s 2014 tires at the season-closing Brazilian Grand Prix.
In a bid to try to help teams get better prepared for next season’s new rubber, Pirelli is planning to hand each driver two extra sets of prototype 2014 tires at Interlagos. The tires will be available for use in either first or second free practice on the Friday.
The idea has received teams’ support, and Pirelli is now awaiting official approval from motor racing’s governing body, the FIA.
McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said that although 2014’s new 1.6-liter V6 turbo cars will be very different in characteristics to the current F1 models, the test in Brazil should still be useful.
“They [Pirelli] did the same thing last year [with the 2013 tires] and it was pretty useful information,” said Michael. “Even though it will be on a V8 car with different downforce, at least you will be able to see some aspects of what the tires will be like.”
Beyond the Brazilian GP, Pirelli has been pushing for extra tests to take place in the Middle East to help its preparations for next year. The manufacturer has warned that if it does not get any additional running it will not be able to supply tires.
Pirelli sources say that progress has been made in terms of getting some winter development done, in the wake of teams accepting they need to do something, but plans have yet to be finalized. Michael said that any extra movement to assist Pirelli would be of value to everybody ahead of the dramatic 2014 rule changes.
“More testing is always beneficial,” he said. “Pirelli have said that they want to test, and it is always helpful to track run.”