Pirelli has said the new regulations for the 2021 season will have minimal effect on the speed of this year’s contenders.
Although there were a number of difficulties met by the teams during three days of testing in Bahrain, conditions out of anyone’s control were mainly responsible for this.
The first day was consistently windy with gusts that reached nearly 90 km/h, affecting the aerodynamics of the cars.
Due to the force of these gusts, there was plenty of sand on the track that compromised the grip of the cars.
Temperatures were also particularly high, so the combination of these factors led to some surface overheating and increased tyre degradation.
On the second day, the wind remained strong but temperatures were a good bit lower, which reduced the overheating.
As a result, the teams had noticeably better balance in their cars, with plenty of set up work carried out over generally short runs.
The third and final day was run in even better track conditions with moderate winds and a cool breeze but track temperatures similar to the first day.
Many teams carried out long runs using the C2, C3 and C4 compound tyres nominated for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Reassuring fans that the new regulations in play this season won’t slow down the competition, Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing, Mario Isola, said:
“The difference compared to last year is very, very, very small.
“I’ve tried to make some calculation on the lap times compared to last year and that’s why I’m telling you that, if we consider that probably the track was not in perfect condition, plus the reduction in downforce, and the fuel level, so considering fuel corrected lap times, I believe that we are not going to see a delta lap time or a difference in reduced performance compared to last year.”