Pirelli Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying review

Pirelli Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying review

05.04.2014: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) will start the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix on pole. - First qualifying session of 2014 held in dry weather from



Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) will start the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix on pole.



- First qualifying session of 2014 held in dry weather from start to finish

- Extra set of tyres for Q3 ensures constant running in every session

- Recharging of new power unites menas tyres have to deliver over just one flying lap

      

Held for the first time in the evening, the Bahrain Grand Prix also hosted the first completely dry qualifying session of 2014 from start to finish, allowing the teams to make full use of their allocation of P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres.


With free practice revealing a gap of more than a second between the medium and soft compounds, the priority for the frontrunners was to get to Q3 while keeping as many sets of the softer compound fresh for the race as possible. In the past, this would have led to teams limiting their running in Q3.


However, a new rule campaigned for by Pirelli this year has allowed the teams an extra set of softer compound running for Q3 only, meaning that all the top 10 were out on track. The teams that do not go through to Q3 are not disadvantaged, as they are allowed to use the extra set during the race.


The challenge of qualifying, particularly in the dry when full power can be used, has been increased this year due to the new power units. It is no longer possible to drive two consecutive flying laps at full power, due to the energy recovery units needing to replenish themselves. This has an effect on the tyre, which needs to deliver its ultimate performance over just one flying lap this year.


Despite the radical new 2014 cars, Nico Rosberg’s pole position of 1m33.185s was within just one second of last year’s pole time – which was also set by the German Mercedes driver.


Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said
: “Track temperature dropped steadily throughout the session, which is what we would expect for the race tomorrow, meaning that the quickest times were set right at the end. However, we were able to see all 10 cars out on track throughout Q3, which shows that the new tyre rules are working and fans are getting to see action from start to finish.


We’ve also seen plenty of track evolution over the last couple of days, which has increased grip levels. We’d expect the soft to be the main race tyre, with between two to three pit stops, but the teams will need to adapt the order in which they use the tyres to the characteristics of their cars and the prevailing conditions. ”


The Pirelli strategy predictor:



Three stops is theoretically the quickest strategy, but teams with lower levels of degradation may try two stops. The ideal three-stop strategy for the 57-lap race is: start on soft, change to soft again on lap 17, medium on lap 33, and a final stint on soft from lap 41.


A two-stop strategy could be: start on soft, change to soft again on lap 22, then to hard on lap 44.




Fastest compounds in FP3:


Hamilton    1m35.324s    Soft New
Rosberg    1m35.439s    Soft New
Perez    1m35.868s    Soft New



Top 10 tyre use:


Rosberg    1m33.185s    Soft New
Hamilton    1m33.464s    Soft New
Ricciardo    1m34.051s    Soft New
Bottas    1m34.247s    Soft New
Perez    1m34.346s    Soft New
Raikkonen    1m34.368s    Soft New
Button    1m34.387s    Soft New
Massa    1m34.511s    Soft New
Magnussen    1m34.712s    Soft New
Alonso    1m34.992s    Soft New
 


- Alexandra Schieren, Anthony Peacock - photo Pirelli

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05.04.2014 / MaP

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