Pirelli’s plans for teams to run its prototype 2014 tires in practice in Brazil Friday were scuppered by rain.
The day was about providing Pirelli with a comparison with its current tires and also giving the teams some aerodynamic information. To the surprise of many observers, Sebastian Vettel did complete one lap, in the rain, on the tires.
“We obviously wouldn’t have brought them here if we didn’t want to run them,” said Pirelli boss Paul Hembery. “It’s just an opportunity lost. That’s life, that’s the weather, there’s nothing we can do about it, nothing the teams can do about it. We just wanted to do some benchmarking against this year’s tires, with new compound, new structure on the current car, just to give us a scaling, in reality. It was an interesting test, it’s not the be all and end all.
“As long as it’s the same for the teams, I don’t think it changes too much. If they’re getting the data at the same time, then it’s a level playing field. From our point of view it just gives us a little bit of an indication about finalizing everything for next season.”
Asked by FOXSports.com what Red Bull might have learned, he said: “I can’t imagine that they gained a huge amount of detail in the conditions we were in, and the one lap.”
Opinions were divided among rivals as to whether or not RBR had gained any advantage.
“We always work on the principal that a tad information is worse than no information,” said a sceptical Ross Brawn. “With all due respect Red Bull may have found something out that we don’t anticipate, but we couldn’t understand what you would learn in those conditions, even though it looked like they were trying to take the profiles of the tires and so on. It was difficult to see how it could be useful, and certainly our conclusion there was no use for us for what we wanted to do to run the tires this morning.”
Pirelli wants to run a test in Bahrain in December with a 2011 car.