Pirelli change tyre allocation for Bahrain GP with soft dropped in favour of medium
Now only one-step between tyres for this weekend's Sakhir event
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 16/04/13 4:51pm
The Italian firm had originally announced prior to the start of the season that the new 2013-spec soft and hard tyres would be the two compounds in use at the Sakhir circuit, with the latter replacing the medium as the 'prime' selection from the previous season.
But after the medium and hard tyres were subsequently listed in the tyre supplier's Bahrain preview this week, a Pirelli spokesman confirmed to Sky Sports Online that a change to the 'option' selection has indeed been made for this weekend's race.
However, despite vocal criticisms over the soft tyre's durability following the compound's first race appearance of 2013 in China last week, the spokesman made clear that the decision to bring the medium tyre to Bahrain had already been made prior to Shanghai, with the decision communicated to the teams two weeks ago.
The spokesman explained that the decision to go one step harder on the option tyre had been made in light of Pirelli's initial experiences with their 2013 rubber prior to China and also related to the high ambient temperatures in Bahrain and the sandy nature of the stop-start track.
Speaking in Pirelli's Bahrain GP preview, their motorsport chief Paul Hembery outlined the challenges presented by the desert venue and predicted three pitstops per car for Sunday's race.
"It's one of the most demanding tracks of the year for the tyres, mostly because of the high ambient and track temperatures," he said.
"We expect about three stops per car, although we'll have to wait to get some running in on Friday before we can look at the data and make a more accurate prediction. One of the main challenges of racing in Bahrain is that the track evolution is very hard to predict, depending on how much sand is blown onto the circuit.
"From what we saw last year though, there will be plenty of scope for different race strategies, which can even allow drivers who have not qualified as well as they hoped to recover during the grand prix."
SKY SPORTS F1's BAHRAIN GP SCHEDULE
Tuesday April 16
8:00pm - Classic Races - 2006 Bahrain GP.
10:15pm - Classic Races - 2007 Bahrain GP.
Wednesday April 17
8:00pm - Classic Races - 2008 Bahrain GP.
10:15pm - Classic Races - 2009 Bahrain GP.
Thursday April 18
1pm - Drivers' Press Conference - Live!
6:1pm - Gear up for Bahrain.
8:00pm - Classic Races - 2010 Bahrain GP.
10:15pm - 2012 Bahrain GP (Highlights).
Friday April 19
7:45am - Bahrain GP Practice One - Live!
9:55am - GP2 Practice - Live!
11:45am - Bahrain GP Practice Two - Live!
1:55pm - GP2 Qualifying - Live!
3pm - Team Principals' Press Conference
4pm - The F1 Show - Live!
11:10pm - Classic Races - 2006 Bahrain GP.
Saturday April 20
8:45am - Bahrain GP Practice Three - Live!
11am - Bahrain GP Qualifying - Live!
1:40pm - GP2 Feature Race - Live!
3:05pm - Classic Races - 2007 Bahrain GP.
5:20pm - Bahrain GP Qualifying Replay.
8pm - Ted's Qualifying Notebook.
Sunday April 21
6:30am - Classic Races - 2009 Bahrain GP.
8:45am - GP2 Sprint Race - Live!
11:30am - The 2013 Bahrain GP - Live!
5:55pm - GP2 Sprint Race Replay.
7pm - Bahrain GP Highlights.
8:30pm - Ted's Race Notebook.
8:45pm - Classic Races - 2010 Bahrain GP.