F1 Barcelona Test: Pirelli Numbers And Misconceptions
Top three fastest laps over the final four days :
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.20.130
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.20.594
3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.20.558
NB. All times were set with the Soft Compound Pirelli PZero
Top three most laps run
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 251 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 230 laps
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 222 laps
Total mileage amassed over winter tests:
- 22,972 miles (36,970kms)
Chart of What Pirelli provided in Barcelona:
|Compound||Sets Provided||Sets Used||Longest Run|
|Full Wet||24||21||48 Laps|
The times recorded during all winter testing should be viewed as inconclusive. There are far too many factors which lead to the times being invalid and not a true representation of order.
Factors such as fuel loads, setup and lap abortion are only some of the reasons the times are not an accurate depiction of the entire picture.
As I mentioned in another article, the conditions in Barcelona were rather cool. This has multiple implications including cooling and tyre performance as well as tyre life. The new Formula One cars have not yet run in hot conditions as they will most likely be subject to in Australia and Malaysia in the first two rounds. If there are any issues with sufficient cooling or high brake temperatures, they will likely not have been exposed in Barcelona.
The lack of warmer ambient and track temperatures in Barcelona also gives us a skewed picture of performance. It is likely that some teams that did not fair well in the cooler temperatures, may make better use of the Pirelli tyres when the heat is cranked. It is also possible that those teams that performed well in Spain, may not be as gentle on tyre wear in hotter conditions.
The biggest misconception is that the fastest time translates into the fastest car/driver package. A one lap glory run or fastest lap is great if the objective is to flex your F1 muscle. However, a fastest lap will do very little in the course of a Grand Prix where victory will not be claimed in a race based on a single lap.
This season will likely be more about tyre management, strategy and consistency than single lap performances.
Author: Ernie Black