Formula 1 entered a fresh era with the debut of new tire regulations for 2014 Friday at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia.
The first new rule affects free practice, with the teams now allowed an extra set of tires to be used in the first 30 minutes of FP1 only: always of the harder compound from the two nominated.
Thanks to these new rules there was increased running, a total of 937 laps throughout both sessions Friday.
The P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow tires that have been nominated for the Australian Grand Prix displayed no blistering or graining, with the performance gap between the two compounds currently in the region of two seconds.
The new tire rules also include an extra set of softer compound tires for all cars in qualifying.
These can only be used in Q3, after which they have to be returned to Pirelli. But the teams that do not get through to Q3 can keep them to use for the race. So in total, all teams are now allocated 13 rather than 11 sets of slick tires for every race this year.
“From what we can see so far, we were satisfied with both the performance and degradation of the medium and soft compounds, both of which are completely new this year,” said Pirelli’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery.
“The degradation on the medium tire is very low, with degradation on the soft slightly higher. We’ve seen no blistering or graining at all today and also fewer marbles, so up to now we have met our objectives. The new tire regulations seem to have worked well so far, with the fans able to see more of the cars out on track, which was exactly the intention.”