While Pirelli brought a 2014 prototype tyre to Brazil, the weather prevented any serious running on that. Even though it's 'a pity' according to Paul Hembery, it really isn't a worry at all for the Italian tyre supplier.
The Brazilian Grand Prix weekend got off to a wet start in both free practice sessions today, with no times set on the slick tyres and all the running taking place on the Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet.
The P Zero Orange hard tyres and P Zero White medium tyres have been nominated for the race, but only the hard tyre was used briefly in FP1 by Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel. The German’s slick run was just for data gathering and he did not set a time with them. The teams also had the new 2014 Pirelli development tyres available, but the weather conditions meant that they did not get the chance to drive on them. Again, only Vettel went out to do one lap on the prototype tyres.
Most of the drivers used just one set of intermediates and wets throughout the day, even though the regulations allow for an extra set of intermediates if the Friday sessions are wet.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “It was a tricky start to the weekend here at Interlagos, but the conditions we saw are likely to continue for the rest of the weekend, so it was useful for the teams to establish a wet set-up and assess the performance of the wet and intermediate tyres with different fuel loads.
"It was a pity that the drivers didn’t get the chance to try the development tyres as this was an important opportunity: on the other hand, the 2014 tyres are obviously designed for a completely different type of car to what we see competing for the final time this weekend, so there was only a limited amount to learn anyway. In the end the situation was just a bit unlucky, as on the two previous occasions that we brought development tyres to Brazil in 2011 and 2012, conditions remained dry on a Friday. You can’t control the weather though, which has always been part of the challenge of Formula One.”
Hembery continued however, saying that the missed opportunity is not a worry for the company, as it will now try to get the work done during a test in Bahrain in the course of December. The company therefore requested for teams to offer proposals about the possibility of performing such a test, and depending on the offers, Pirelli will decide which team or teams it will partner with to do the testing. In addition, each team will be allowed to send an observer to certify equality.
What remains now is deciding which compounds go on the 2014 tyres, and that still proves to be somewhat of a step into the unknown.
"The compounding is the last bit we are finishing off really. The structure is more internal integrity that we are looking at - heat resistance in particular and bonding. The compounding work is going to be finalised in December."
Pirelli doesn't expect to gain any particularly useful information at Jerez in January and is hence looking forward to get its first representative data with 2014 cars at one of the two winter tests in Bahrain.