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The big implications the Barcelona Pirelli tyre test has on F1 in 2024

Pirelli's recent in-season test at Barcelona will provide important implications on the F1 regulations for 2024.

Schumacher Mercedes 2023
To news overview © Mercedes

Pirelli's in-season Formula 1 test at Barcelona this week was one of their final chances to prove that it can go ahead with the planned tyre blanket ban for 2024.

The two-day test saw both Mercedes and Ferrari complete over 600 laps while running on tyres that did not use blankets in the garage.

Mick Schumacher made his return to the track with Mercedes along with George Russell, while Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz shared duties for Ferrari.

The proposed ban has been met with hostility among drivers, with Lewis Hamilton calling the plans "dangerous" and questioning the logic over the environmental impact it will have.

This weeks test in Barcelona is the penultimate before a final run after the British Grand Prix at Silverstone will take place, with Pirelli testing a range of parameters to ensure their safety according to Pirelli F1 Chief Engineer, Simone Berra.

"We are trying to test different constructions to move forward, because the target is no blankets for 2024," said Berra to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We need to have a construction that obviously needs to have a high level integrity, but also needs to work really well when the pressure is low at the start of the run and help the compound to get up to temperatures and in the working range.

"We are continuing to develop new structures that are part of the development of this one, and then we will start to focus on the new compound range with no blankets usage."

Pirelli has chosen the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya due to the bilateral loads and higher severity that gets inflicted on the tyre at lower temperatures, which could not be achieved at the hot Bahrain circuit.

"Barcelona, we know it's quite representative, because we have high speed sections. Let's say it's a normal circuit [and] a more complete one compared to Bahrain, when we tested the beginning of the season," explained Berra.

"This is quite important for us. We are testing most of the compounds and we have many variants."

Pirelli confident about reaching targets

If a decision cannot be made after Silverstone, then tyre blankets will continue to be used next year as they are currently.

But Berra is confident that Pirelli can deliver on their targets after their extensive testing period, which started last year.

He added: "I'm confident that we will reach our targets because I know that from a tyre perspective, no blankets is a target that can be reached.

"Obviously, we are not able to reach everywhere or control the circuit conditions. So we have to trust in what we have tested at the moment.

"What we obtain is in-line with with our development path, [then at] Silverstone we will finalise our proposal for FIA."

Once this is presented, the governing body along with F1 itself and five of the ten teams must be in agreement with the proposal.

"But we know very well that the final decision will be done with with the teams," explained Berra.

"In the last couple of years, we have worked really well with the introduction on the new Wet [tyre], we propose even the new Intermediate.

"There are good products that we've proposed to the FIA and the teams, so they have possibility for both to evaluate all the performance from the report."

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