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Pirelli gives details of in season F1 test plan
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Mar 2014   |  4:02 pm GMT  |  78 comments

Pirelli has released the schedule for the new 2014 in season testing plan, which will see each of the F1 teams given a day to test updates and new products to avoid a repeat of the problems, failures and disagreements of last season.

Things reached a head last May when Mercedes and Pirelli conducted a test, which the other teams were not informed about, after the Spanish Grand Prix. This led to both parties appearing in front of the FIA’s International Tribunal.

The panel of independent judges found blame to be equally shared between Pirelli, Mercedes and the FIA. Pirelli felt badly let down by the sport which had not made adequate provision for them to test with current cars. Certainly in comparison with former tyre suppliers like Bridgestone and Michelin, this kind of testing was negligible. Pirelli was forced to use a two year old Lotus car and found it insufficient for its needs. But none of the teams wanted to let the others test partly on cost grounds and also on grounds of lack of trust. This situation has now been resolved.

It was decided to provide Pirelli with the chance to properly evaluate tyres and their request for this test programme was enshrined in their new deal with F1 and in the Sporting Regulations. This programme replaces the Young Driver test and also the straightline aero tests which were formerly in the regulations.

The test programme is as follows:

Bahrain test (8-9 April)

Barcelona test (13-14 May)

Silverstone test (8-9 July)

Abi Dhabi test
Pirelli will supply all the teams with prototype tyres in preparation for the 2015 season.

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roberto marquez

I am almost sure tires wont be the issue this year. Fuel will win all the Oscars. I bet 10/1 that in Autralia one of two things will happen with the 4 or 5 leaders of the race around lap 54 ( 4 to go ) 1- they all ran out of fuel or most likely 2 they will lower speeds to boring levels to the total dismay of fans at the circuit and tv. I hope I am wrong. By the way The 12 Hours at Sebring will be held on saturday, so the weekend might have some good racing after all.


Pirelli will be very keen to avoid the PR disasters of last year with Silverstone and “test gate” and will likely produce a very stiff sidewall with a medium range treadblock to prevent tearing and blistering from the extra torque of the new turbo/electric power units. Having too soft a tyre encouraging a 4 stop strategy would sent out the wrong promotional image about Pirelli, which has become involved in Formula 1 to increase it’s market share. In all likelihood races of 2 tyre stops will possibly be the norm this year.

kenneth chapman

if the tyres as tested and selected at the start of the season comply with the standards as set down by the relevant authority then both longevity/safety etc will be embodied in same.

why aren’t the tyres ‘homologated’?


Tyres will have a crucial impact, as always


The teams could select which day of the in-season tests they chose to do their tyre test on and they chose in order of how they finished in the championship last year, so Red Bull would have selected their day first, then Mercedes, Ferrari and so on with Caterham last.

From the sporting regs:

In the interests of providing the appointed tyre supplier with access to current F1 cars for the purposes of tyre development, all teams will be obliged to allocate one date from amongst the eight in-season test days for testing tyres :

– Allocation of dates will be negotiated with the appointed tyre supplier who will give priority to teams according to their positions in the previous year’s Championship.

– Allocations must be declared by each team to the FIA before the start of the first Event of the Championship and may not be subsequently changed.

– The team must test tyres on the allocated day according to run plan defined by the appointed tyre supplier.

– The run plans and results for each day of tyre testing must be made available to all teams.

– Tyres used during such testing day will not be drawn from the team’s annual allocation of tyres for testing.


So Red Bull test last… No advantage there then….



Is there a provision for all data to be shared or kept completely confidential? I wondering whether being first or last is an advantage (I guess it depends on how the season unfolds), but it would be interesting to know what the official line is about how testing data is dealt with.

kenneth chapman

what is most annoying about all of this is, why do it at all? why can’t pirelli simply make, for example, a range of three tyres which are simply hard/med/soft and have a certain inbuilt longevity? the teams should then be able to make their own choices on what tyre to use at any given time.

i am still of the opinion that no third party supplier should have the ability to make any changes that could or would alter the race/championship outcomes. this constant dicking around with compounds is just silly, expensive and open to manipulation.


need to test for safety…else u end up like silverstone 13

kenneth chapman

it looks as though i did not express my thoughts clearly enough as i thought that it was obvious that pirelli would have to test at the beginning of the season given the new torque parameters.

what i meant was that, in- season testing should not be necessary unless they were contemplating a change of compounds. it was this that led me to my final statement re altering the status quo which in turn could lead to manipulation. my humble apologies for the lack of transparency.


Totally agree Kenneth. Pirelli are just being “dicked around” by Bernie & Co . They are like tyre whores- money talks me thinks which is not very credible


Whatever tyres the teams choose, they would still need to be tested though.


I guess they can’t confirm the longevity until they are tested on multiple cars in multiple conditions – it’s not the easiest guesswork with radically new engines/aero regs.


So how will the tests work? If the teams are testing updates and things go horribly wrong does that mean Pirelli get no data form that day? Will they each bring two cars – one for the team to play with and one for Pirelli? I can see some conflict between what Pirelli want out of the testing and what the teams might want and depending on who is paying that might be trouble….who is covering the costs anyway?


Perhaps a more appropriate way of selecting the teams to reduce the early testing advantage would be based on the inverse of the points to date. After the Bahrain GP the three teams with the worst finishing record (assuming more than one team will have no points at this time) would be selected. Same thing after Spain with the teams remaining who have not tested. The final test days would go to the remaining teams based on inverse ranking after Silverstone. This selection process would appear to serve the interest of F1 more than the random “luck of the draw.”

I want the decision makers in F1 to work harder, the level of commitment of the teams is so extreme it is my opinion they deserve to have a fair and equitable arena to display their efforts. Who knows what effect politics played in this tire testing selection? It is too easy to suggest the controlling interests and governing body of Formula 1 have not put creditability, integrity and reason as the dominate paradigm for making decisions in our Sport.


Being picked for an early test is probably a disadvantage. There is now in-season testing, so the other teams will also be testing at the same time, only they will be free to run their own program, whilst the selected team have to run to Pirelli’s schedule.



Now *this is a motorcar!

*This is the pinnacle of motorsport!


Nope, it’s no good.

I can’t see Webber being able to fly one of those 🙁


Caterham up first. That’s going to produce plenty of data.


Apparently the schedule was devised to hold down some costs at the expense of fairness. Why should four teams be assigned to Silverstone where an idiot can predict it will be raining part or all of the time? Why would they have teams go back to Bahrain when they just concluded eight days of testing there? They should all have been scheduled to test in Abu Dhabi.


These tests are all being conducted after a GP. The teams will already be there, they will just stay another 2 days.


James, do you know how this will be run? Is the allocated day for tyre testing going to be run with Pirelli keeping all data and then distributing it to the teams like previously or what?


Definitely a Toto conspiracy going on here!


Seems a good idea. I wonder about the different testing dates for different teams, however. Surely a test in early April will be of different value to a team than a test in early July. I don’t know which might be more beneficial, as either date could potentially yield important data depending on circumstances.

I’m sure this is designed to spread out the testing, while limiting each team to only one outing, but it seems like the potential for unequal gains is there.


Well the July test is in Silverstone. What if it´s raining that day? They can´t test a thing. I don´t think it´s a good idea to designate a place with high chances of rain.


Test the wet tyres.


I posted a response hoping that the Euro/Canada summer season is going to be very hot – wishful thinking, particularly at Silverstone!

Remember the swamps of 2000, 2002, 2008 and 2012?


Rain in July, in England, I can’t see it happening myself.

In the very unlikely event of a passing shower, Pirelli could give their Inters a run out, but by the time the teams will have fitted them all of the moisture will have evaporated from the searingly hot asphalt.


unless the snow stops the rain water evaporating…


interesting, so based on pre-season and this, we can maybe expect Merc and Williams gaining an even greater advantage, then Mclaren catching up and then after the summer break Ferrari and Red Bull making a pointless run and having to decide on either abandoning the season and focusing on 2015 or trying to have one final desperate go.. ?


How was the schedule determined? Did the teams pick their dates or were they just assigned to them? Would there be an advantage to test earlier in the season (even though the tire type would not be disclosed to the teams)? Thanks.


That’s what I was wondering.

If there is an advantage then it’s hardly fair of Ferrari or McLaren if Mercedes go first.


Mercedes already went first 😉


I LOVE the bit about

“… also on grounds of lack of trust. This situation has now been resolved.”

Since WHEN in F1?! 😉




Given that this schedule favors teams that were allocated an early testing slots (as the benefit of an additional day of running is diminishing the longer the season progresses), it would be good to know how they came up with the schedule.


This is not an additional day of running.

It is a day at one of the in season tests that the team will have to devote to tyre testing.

The other teams who will all be running at the same test will be free to concentrate on their own modifications and developments.

Therefore surely not a favor to the teams allocated tyre test slots early in the season.


Thanks for the clarification. In that case, the reverse applies, although the difference between a day of tyre testing and regular testing is not as great as the difference between tyre testing and no testing at all.

I guess they had to spread out the tyre testing over the season somehow, so they could not treat all teams equally. Still, they could have “reverse auctioned” the tyre testing slots, using testing time as the currency. Teams not willing to tyre-test at the first day of testing give up an increasing number of minutes, until two teams are willing to do a full day of tyre-testing instead. Repeat that for every tyre testing day, with teams who have already tyre-tested getting a full day of regular running.


Thank you Alan for the reminder, of course, you are absolutely correct. There IS in-season testing this year.


Thanks for that. Wouldn’t do to have the conspiracy theories flying left right and centre.


There’s no rhyme or reason to the order, so my guess is they drew names from a hat…or a helmet 🙂


They did that on the Top Gear race from London to Edinburgh – picking their vehicles randomly from James May hat – so perhaps that was inspiration!

PS I checked the weather forecast for Melbourne on the BBC wesbite (they always supply weather forecast for the european and commonwealth countries) and it was forecast early to be very hot, with temperatures ranging early to mid 30s. If that hot weather holds out in the Australasian continent, then that could cause a few issues for these new cars, eh?


Gaz as far as I’m concerned you can have all the heat you want, you just have to figure out a way to bottle it 🙂


Any chance of that scorching Australasian desert heat being transferred to Blighty and specifically Northhamptonshire, for the weekend of 4-6 July – ie British grand prix time? Kind of a reverse Captain Cook expedition, weather wise?

I say that, for having experienced the “Silverstone swamp” I don’t want my feet to get trench foot again – I’m sure Silverstone spectators know what I am on about!

Of course, pommie-land does get hot summers, but the heat tends to be from the Carribean/Deep South of the USA, so it is very humid, muggy, sticky and generally unpleasant conditions for watching F1 cars blast through Copse. At least with desert heat, there is low humidity.

Much appreciated if you can sort that out, thanks – Captain Cook taking the Australasian desert heat back to Blighty with him!

PS Jezza, Hamster and Captain Slow would appreciate it too when they film their summer season of TG.


Particularly the Renaults………..


Sounds pretty mild to me, but then again I’m not a V6 turbo with overheating issues 🙂


I feel sorry for Pirelli and Paul Hembry. When Pirelli won the contract, the teams all asked Paul “can you supply fast degrading tyres like we had at the 2010 Canadian grand prix?”

Paul: “Sure – no problem – but we’ll need to do a lot of testing.”

Teams: “Sorry Paul – can’t do that……..rules and the like.”

Paul: “OK then……….we’ll just have to guess.”

The point is, Silverstone last year was caused, partly at least, because Pirelli wasn’t allowed to test its tyres thoroughly enough, not just because of the FIA, but because some teams were being intransigent and wouldn’t allow it.

Hopefully, all the teams can put their differences to one side and allow Pirelli to thoroughly develop a tyre that is grippy yet strong enough to cope with the extra loading.

I’m not saying Pirelli is not partly responsible for the tyres shambles last year, but that the stubborn-ness of the teams was just to blame as well – hopefully that is all in the past.

Anyway, lets hope we have no more repeats of Silverstone!


I was wondering how the teams got which dates. I bet red bull would have liked the April date just for the extra mileage

dimitar kadrinski

It is actually the opposite. Tyre test are within the in-season tests. So a team which have a tyre test scheduled is disadvantaged, as they will have to run program more or less dictated by pirelli, instead of getting on with testing what they need to, in order to find more performance.


You do talk a load of pish.


That’s a Scotish term, isn’t it? Not a country renowned for their love of the English language!


@ KRB: Very valid case – misplaced patriotism is just sheer xenophobia sometimes. However, it should be remembered the relationship between England and Scotland has always been tetchy and difficult, and maybe heading for a divorce. Unfortunately, the strained relations between the two permeates over into sporting contests, which is somewhat sad.


Gaz Boy, lose the rah-rah hyper-nationalist attitude … it’s annoying. Just as bad as any Scot that gets all anti-English after watching a screening of ‘Braveheart’.

gpfan clearly wasn’t talking about Di Resta, but the likes of Clark and Stewart.

And while England as a nation (not nation-state, I mean) has produced far and away the most F1 drivers champions, with 8, only one of those – Graham Hill – has won more than one title (hopefully that will change soon).

Obviously Stewart won 3 titles, and Clark had 2, and who knows how many more if he didn’t meet with tragedy.

Disclaimer: I’m a certifiable anglophile (of English stock), cheer for England in the World Cup – fruitlessly, yet unwavering – and am thankful most everyday that my country’s democratic system derived from Britain’s parliamentary sytem, rather than America’s presidential system, or France’s semi-presidential system. No country is whiter than snow; all have their spots.

As for England’s sporting history, it ain’t all that good. Specifically with regard to football, while England has done very well in European club football, in international tourneys the results are dire. Two semifinals since 1966?!?! Even if you say Brazil and Germany have more people than England, England still doesn’t compare to the likes of Italy, Spain, or France.


Yes, that Paul Di Resta was fantastically successful – so successful he was dropped. Mind you, that dour, ungracious personality didn’t exactly help. And DC was humiliated by Mika and Kimi – he even admits he wasn’t good enough.

England – rugby world cup 2003, 1966 World Cup, 2008 and 2009 drivers champions…….um, Scotland in rugby, football and F1?

PS Check out Gaby Logan’s comments on Andy Murray – priceless.


No. We just have successful F1 pilotes.

(AND, it is ‘Scottish’. Do learn one’s

language. There’s a good boy).


There was clearly failure by all parties last year :-

1. Bernie & CVC because they wanted fast degrading tyres for the “show” without following and ensuring due process to implement it.

2. The FIA for not considering the above in the view of car/ driver safety especially knowing they had enscribed limited testing into the regulations

3. The teams were very wrong to switch tyres and run them on unrecommended pressures and camber angles. On this note I found Pirelli incredible weak, complicit-because it took till long after Silvestone & court case before they even mentioned this officially.

Pirelli did not show leadership and take a stance & was pushed from pillar to post from the powers that be- rather they resorted to desperate measures which ought never have happened. Ive seen enough of Pirelli to know they should not have an exclusive contract – if one at all. I would much rather a company have some integrity and clearly set out what it will and wont do before it signs on the dotted – not yes sir no sir , ouch that hurt sir, why did you do that sir… Complete & Utter rubbish last year not good enough give Michelin a go !


1. As much as I hate Bernie and CVC, they have no say in who gets the tyre contract or what kind of tyres get run so you can’t blame them for this.

2. I’ll go with this, the FIA weren’t willing to push through changes on safety grounds last year unless there was a catastrophic reason to do so, a definite failure on their part.

3.No, they weren’t “very wrong”. Teams are, rightly, very much against having their set up options restricted through the rules and Pirelli could only offer guidelines. Still, even with how much Red Bull would have used it against them, I suspect that if they had known before hand that the tyres would have failed so spectacularly under such practices they would have urged the teams very strongly not to go beyond the guidelines. Not sure what court case you’re referring to but Hembrey was talking about the set ups by Germany only a week or so later.

Michelin had a chance and did layout exactly what they wanted to do, turns out the teams don’t want LMP tyres and wheels so they didn’t get a contract.


1 Wrong -they own the rights so they have more say than Anyone- dont fool yourself that they dont

3. Yes they were very wrong- if they had said to the teams if you run your tyres a certain way – the. You are at risk- same thing if the had notified the FIA sooner. The defence from some quarters would be “they didnt know”- qis Indefensible and silly.


An excellent essay.

However, just one issue – Michelin. Remember Indy 2004 (Fernando and Ralf tyre failures), Belgium 2004 (DC, Montoya and Jenson tyre failures) and of course, the coup de gras – Indy 2005?


Just some additional comments: I think the Pirelli situation coming back from the fly away races will depend on one thing – a European/Canadian heatwave. There hasn’t been a sweltering Euro/North America summer in F1 since 2006 – and that Pirelli in F1 have never been truly tested in extreme heat race after race during the European season. If that happens this year, like 2003, 2005 and 2006, that will have a massive testing ground for these new generation Pirelli tyres – also the turbo engines will suffer in hot ambient’s a lot more than the old V8 amto’s ever did.


“You say that Andrew, but I remember the euro F1 season summers of 1983, 1990 and 2003 as being incredibly, almost unbearably hot. If you watch footage from 1990 F1, notice that Paul Ricard, Silverstone, Hockenhiem and yes, Hungary were all that year bathed in scorching oppressive heat – most of the male spectators don’t even have shirts on! The 1983 British GP was the hottest ever held at Silverstone – air temps of around 34C, and a track temperature of around 45C-50C. And, then there was 2003…………the hottest race of the year was not Malaysia (Bahrain was not on the calender that year) but Hockenhiem!

It can, and does occasionally, get very toasty during the F1 euro/canada summer season – fingers crossed it’ll be another one!

PS Andy Murray won Wimbledon last year with lawn/surface temperatures of 45C – maybe Pirelli can consult his shoe manufacturers for advice!”

Well admittedly Malaysia’s humidity tends to make it a very different type of heat, one that affects the engines far more than the tyres. It should be remembered that the hottest race on record was Bahrain 2005, with an air temp of over 40C, and that it’s races are regularly held in over 30C temps so there really is no comparison with the European summers.

As for people without their shirts on, this is England, there are plenty of idiots that walk around in the middle of winter with only a t-shirt.


PS “This is England” – depends what part of England you are talking about. Devon and Cornwall have a similar climate to South Wales, Brittany and South-west Ireland as an Atlantic coast community, the Home Counties and East Anglia is the sunniest and driest, while the wettest is Cumbria, which as a mountainous area is similar weather wise to Snowdonia and the Scottish highlands.


Excellent points. My post was just supposition on this years summer season, but you are right – the last few years the European/Canada summers have been no match for Malaysia and Bahrain in terms of heat and humidity for Sepang.

One of the reasons I mentioned this issue was because the Pirelli’s have been experiencing thermal degradation in several races over the last few years, and I wondered if they could cope with the extra torque and a possibility of a hot euro/canada summer season – you are correct though, if they can cope with Malaysia and Bahrain this year, they should be able to cope with the summer season.


I do not believe it is true the turbo engines will suffer more than the naturally aspirated V8 engines did in the heat. The thermal efficiency of an engine is directly related to the amount of oxygen in the cylinder. High ambient temps mean a naturally aspirated engine will intake less oxygen per cycle. However, a turbo engine pressurizes the intake plenum with precooled air. The limit of the 2014 V6 engines is not the quantity of oxygen in the cylinder, it is the limited maximum amount of fuel (100 Kg/hour) you are allowed to mix with that oxygen. Under the 2014 rules the Turbo engines will be limited to about 3.5 bar of boost by the available fuel (a figure mentioned by each of the three Engine manufacturers) not by the system’s ability to make more boost.


RE Chuck 32: Yes, you’re right – and apparently in Melbourne the forecast for temps could be around anything from 25C to 35C – we could be looking at a finishing order in single fingers!

At least there will be plenty of heat capacity for the teams to roast their chickens, sausages and pork chops for the barbecue after the race!


Gaz Boy

I was referring to IC Engine producing more or less power due to ambient air temp.

In “muggy oppressive heat” the rest of the systems seem so heat sensitive and fragile (at this point)You would not expect most of them to outlast the first set of tires!

One week to go…


Interesting comments. I know its in the dim, distant past, but if you watch the 1982 Austrian GP all the turbo powered cars – expect Patrick Tambay’s Ferrari – blew up left, right and centre as they couldn’t cope with the very hot air temperature in the Stryian hills – where as the normally aspirated Cosworth powered cars kept their cool and finished 1-2.

You are right though – turbo technology has moved on massively from the 80s – but I still think these hybrid turbo engines with their huge thermal discharge could struggle in muggy oppressive heat.


If you are looking for heat, feel free to come test in Texas anytime from May 15 – September 15. Temps range from a low of 32.2 °C to a high of 43.3 °C…and usually some good ole’ high humidity too.


No need to remind me Gaz, I live in and I work in it…well at least around the house: 2 acres of maintained turf, shrubs, etc. the only way it gets done is jump in the pool, then get to work, jump in, get back to work. Rinse and repeat until finished. that way you’re not sure if your drenched in sweat or pool water.


Having worked with ‘our Nige’ back in 1988, just prior to his move to Ferrari, I can assure you, Gaz Boy, that he was at least four inches short of 6 feet. But I won’t deny his weight — most of it being his moustache.


Do you know what, exactly 30 years this July F1 makes its first foray to Texas – the Dallas State fair park hosted the first Texan grand prix on July 8th 1984. The air temperature was around 42 C and the track temp nearly 60 C! Combined with humidity of around 75%, unsurprisingly most of the drivers had a nice chat with the concrete walls, mainly due to exhaustion/fatigue. At the end of race, Nigel Mansell collapsed after trying to push his broken Lotus over the line. And bear in mind Nigel was a 6 foot, 13 stone big strong bloke with superb upper body strength – and yet the Texan heat defeated him too.

Apparently, this was the reason the race in Austin was switched to November from its original June date.


Hungary aside, no Euro race can match the sweltering conditions found in Bahrain and Malaysia so thats not really going to be a problem.


You say that Andrew, but I remember the euro F1 season summers of 1983, 1990 and 2003 as being incredibly, almost unbearably hot. If you watch footage from 1990 F1, notice that Paul Ricard, Silverstone, Hockenhiem and yes, Hungary were all that year bathed in scorching oppressive heat – most of the male spectators don’t even have shirts on! The 1983 British GP was the hottest ever held at Silverstone – air temps of around 34C, and a track temperature of around 45C-50C. And, then there was 2003…………the hottest race of the year was not Malaysia (Bahrain was not on the calender that year) but Hockenhiem!

It can, and does occasionally, get very toasty during the F1 euro/canada summer season – fingers crossed it’ll be another one!

PS Andy Murray won Wimbledon last year with lawn/surface temperatures of 45C – maybe Pirelli can consult his shoe manufacturers for advice!


Well, El Nino is back, so at least on *this side of the pond its going to be a hot year. Dunno how he affects Euroweather, but maybe you’ll get your wish.


The El Niño won’t kick in until late in the year: apparently there’s a 75% probability at the moment. Then global temps will most likely be on a steep rise again in 2015. Going hybrid with the ERS was a good move for F1. It means they’re realists.


I think most Euro hot summer weather comes from the Mistral winds of the scorching deserts of North Africa – in fact, the Mistral straight at Paul Ricard is named after that very wind.

The other hot weather direction in Europe comes from the Gulf Stream, via the Carribean/Deep South of the United States.

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