Pirelli has revealed that its new tyres for the 2014 F1 season will now be tested in Bahrain during December.
The Friday practice for the final Grand Prix of the season in Brazil was intended to be an opportunity for Pirelli to give the new rubbers a run-out, but persistent rain during the day meant the conditions were inappropriate to test out the slicks.
It was hoped that Pirelli could gather data on both the 2014 and 2013 tyres in order to test them before next year. However, Pirelli's motorsport boss Paul Hembery said the work could wait until next month, as the FIA denied them the opportunity to conduct testing during the final Saturday practice.
Mr Hembery told AUTOSPORT it was "an opportunity lost" but conceded that there was nothing they could possibly do about the weather.
He went on to say that the real reason for testing was to get a "benchmark" against 2013's tyres, with the 2014 variants featuring a new compound and structure. However, the test wasn't "the be all and end all" and December provides a good opportunity to put the tyres through their paces.
Pirelli has now called on teams to put bids forward to be a part of testing and it will pick the participants once quotes have been received.
"We have a number of opportunities, yes," Mr Hembery said. "If the quotes are competitive then we will go with more than one team. All the teams can send an observer and the data will be managed through our own people."
December will also see Pirelli decide on the final compounds for tyres to be used during the 2014 season. After next month's tests, the manufacturer will hit the track in Jerez at the end of January.
"In Jerez I'm doubtful we will get all the information we want and the teams will be working on just getting the cars running and getting reliability. Bahrain is a big step forward for everything, I think. We are going to one of the more aggressive tracks with higher temperatures and we'll know where we are at a much earlier stage," Mr Hembery concluded.
Pirelli's tyres have once again been a topic of controversy for Formula 1, with drivers and racing teams concerned about blow-outs in difficult conditions.
Posted by Danielle Barge