Pirelli confident of avoiding four-stoppers in Spain
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Pirelli hopes its new tyre compounds will avoid a repeat of the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, which Fernando Alonso won on the back of a four-stop strategy.
Alonso's strategy helped him beat the three-stopping Kimi Raikkonen, then driving for Lotus, but motorsport director Paul Hembery wants to avoid a repeat this time around and is determined to gauge exactly how far along Pirelli has come with its 2014 compounds on one of F1's most demanding tracks.
"In the past we've seen up to four pit stops in Spain," Hembery said. "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.
"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. 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."
Hembery is also happy Pirelli has a chance to do further work after the race, as they remain in Barcelona for the second in-season test this year to test the 2015 compounds.
"We made a solid start to our preparations for next year with the first dedicated in-season tyre tests in Bahrain. We're looking forward to building on that work with four teams in Spain after the Grand Prix."
Pirelli also confirmed it is taking medium (options) and hard (prime) tyres to Barcelona due to the "extreme forces" the Circuit de Catalunya puts on the tyres.