The second in-season test of the year took place after the Spanish Grand Prix, working on testing structures and compounds for 2015. Sauber and Toro Rosso tested on the first day, with Force India and McLaren taking over throughout day two.
With the first day mostly wet, just the new intermediate compounds were tested in the morning. In the afternoon, with the test timetable having been altered to maximize dry running, some of the prototype slicks for 2015 got their first outing at the Barcelona circuit. The focus on the opening afternoon was on new constructions, with around half the anticipated program completed.
On the second day, held in dry conditions with track temperatures peaking in excess of 40 degrees centigrade, new constructions as well as compounds were tested with McLaren and Force India. McLaren completed the program with Stoffel Vandoorne, who then went on to set his fastest time of the day on the current 2014 medium tire, as the team ran some of their own tests, a procedure allowed by the current regulations. Daniel Juncadella tested for Force India, but was not able to finish the anticipated work due to delays and off-track excursions.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “With rain affecting the first day of testing, the program was put slightly out of kilter from the beginning, but this is something that you obviously expect and factor into your plans. It was also a good opportunity to try out some new intermediate weather tires for next year. Once the weather became drier, we were able to focus on the new 2015 slick tires. Following the test in Bahrain, we’re now beginning to build up a good picture of where we stand going into next year, so there is plenty of useful data to analyze heading into the next in-season test after Silverstone.”
The first day of testing saw rain and very low temperatures with a maximum of 11 degrees centigrade air temperature and with track temperatures never going over 20 degrees centigrade. The fastest time set throughout the two days of the test was a 1m24.871s set by Pastor Maldonado on the supersoft tires in the closing hour of the second day. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne who had a technical problem in the morning of day one only ran a total of 52 laps, whereas Guido Van der Garde in the Sauber managed to run 86 laps. Both were hampered by the bad weather conditions.
Today, Stoffel Vandoorne in his first day ever in a Formula One car, ran an impressive 136 laps on the Pirelli experimental tires. Daniel Juncadella, in a Sauber, also did well, doing 91 laps.
As well as running on experimental tires, the teams that were not testing specifically for Pirelli ran with the current tires. Teams are allowed an overall maximum total of 135 sets of tires for testing this year, including the in-season tests.
The next in-season test will take place after the British Grand Prix. Ferrari and Lotus will test for Pirelli on the opening day, followed by Red Bull and Marussia on day two. The final in-season test will be held in Abu Dhabi, after the race, where teams will have the first opportunity to sample the brand new 2015 tire range.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.