Four Formula One (F1) teams are set to take to track at the Bahrain International Circuit today (December 17th) to test the new Pirelli tyre compounds created for the 2014 season.
The test has been approved by the FIA in order to give the tyre manufacturer the opportunity to obtain crucial data from cars on track. The information is required to ensure the tyres are race-ready when the season begins in Australia in March.
Only Red Bull, Mercedes, Toro Rosso and Ferrari will be taking part in the three-day session, despite the fact every team was invited by Pirelli.
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Bahrain lap record holder Pedro de la Rosa will be present at the test and will be driving their team's 2013-spec vehicles.
Running for world champions Red Bull in Sakhir will be Swiss racer Sebastien Buemi, who has experience in F1 with Toro Rosso and was recently named as Red Bull's official test driver.
De la Rosa will be driving for Ferrari for the first two days of the test, before Marussia racer and Ferrari Driver Academy member Jules Bianchi takes over for a day in the 2013 F138 car.
Toro Rosso will run their 2014 race line-up of Jean-Eric Vergne and Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat.
The teams and Pirelli are keen to establish the progress they have made with next season's tyres, but the demand on the tyres in 2014 will be different to those exerted on them by the 2013 cars, as F1 is currently undergoing a major rule change.
Downforce has been reduced dramatically and the engines have been replaced by new powertrains.
Testing in Bahrain will be followed by three official pre-season F1 tests, which will begin at the Jerez circuit in Spain at the end of January, before returning to Bahrain for two test sessions in February.
These official tests will be attended by all of the teams and drivers as they try to get a feel for how the new cars will work in 2014.
Former world champion Jenson Button recently claimed that the first session in Spain will be "hilarious" as cold weather and new cars will combine to stretch the drivers and teams.
Posted by Danielle Barge