Preview: 2013 official Formula One test in Jerez
The teams get their first taste of Pirelli’s 2013 Formula One tyres at the opening official test of the year at Jerez in southern Spain, which takes places from 5-8 February. Although the teams already had the chance to sample the new construction during free practice at the Brazilian Grand Prix last year, this will be the first time that they try out the complete new tyre range, together with the latest-specification compounds.
The key characteristics that the teams will notice about the 2013 tyres are a bigger performance gap between the compounds and faster overall lap times, by approximately half a second per lap.
There is also a brand new colour: P Zero Orange hard, which replaces silver as the designation for the hardest tyre in the range. New markings should also make the colours easier to distinguish.
Paul Hembery (Pirelli Motorsport Director): “The pre-season tests represent an important opportunity for the teams to integrate their new car package with the 2013 tyres. With the number of test days strictly limited, the work done in testing will be crucial for their understanding of the tyres over the rest of the season. As many new cars will be running as well, it is sure to be an extremely busy four days in Jerez. The teams will encounter tyres that are quite different to the ones they were used to last year, as every P Zero compound and construction has been changed, with softer compounds that allow more performance and a different construction that will place a bigger footprint on the track surface to enhance traction and grip. This is one of the key aspects of Jerez, which should enable the teams to start to understand the nature of our new tyres by the time they go home on Thursday.”
Each car will have a maximum of 35 sets of Pirelli’s new P Zero soft, medium and hard compounds available in Jerez, including the Cinturato intermediate and wet tyres if needed. The supersoft will not be seen in Jerez as its characteristics are not suited for the track.
Teams are allowed a maximum of 100 sets of tyres per car each year for testing purposes, and they are permitted to choose any combination of compounds they would like to test within their allowance.
The 4.428-kilometre track, which contains some slow corners as well as medium to fast bends, puts particular emphasis on the rear tyres, which have to work hard to provide traction over a wide range of usage conditions.
This year’s sporting and technical rules regarding tyre use are unchanged from 2012. However, as a result of the modifications made to the 2013 construction – largely a more rigid belt package – a set of tyres is now about two kilogrammes heavier than it was last year. This has been compensated for by adjusting the minimum weight of the car accordingly.
High degradation of the rear tyres is expected, as the tarmac roughness of the surface in Jerez is the highest of all the tracks visited during the year.
More testing facts and figures:
|Compound||Sets provided per team *||Fastest time in 2012|
|Soft||1||01:17,613 (Day 3)|
|Medium||6||01:19,670 (Day 1)|
|Hard||7||01:18,561 (Day 2)|
* Above choice made by Pirelli in agreement with the teams. Each team may choose further 15 sets for this test