Pirelli hoping for no more than three stops
5 May 2014 – Formula 1 drivers should not have to pit for fresh tyres more than three times at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, according to Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery.
Fernando Alonso won last year's race after completing a four stop strategy, while second place Kimi Raikkonen pitted three times for tyres.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the toughest circuits on tyres and as a result Pirelli will bring their two hardest compounds - the white Medium and orange Hard tyre - to Spain.
"It's often said that Barcelona provides the most accurate representation of the form a season will take, because a car that performs well in Barcelona should perform well everywhere," said Hembery. The same is true of the tyres, because the Spanish circuit is one of the most demanding circuits we race on all year.
"Long and fast corners such as Turn Three put a huge amount of energy into the tyres, as a result of which degradation is high. The track surface is also quite abrasive, and ambient temperatures can be high, which increase the workload on the tyres further. In the past we've seen up to four pit stops in Spain. With the changes we have made to the tyres this year, we would now hope to see no more than three for the majority of drivers.
Following the race there is a two day test for all 11 teams and this will see Sauber, Toro Rosso, McLaren and Force India devote one day of running to conducting tyre tests at Pirelli's behest.
"We made a solid start to our preparations for next year with the first dedicated in-season tyre tests in Bahrain," said Hembery. "We're looking forward to building on that work with four teams in Spain after the grand prix."