F1 could be heading to the Middle East for pre-season testing next year. Pirelli’s Paul Hembery said the Jerez circuit, the scene of last week’s opening test of the 2013 pre-season, is no longer suitable for winter running.
“It is not a good reference,” he told Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, “because of the condition of the asphalt.”
He is referring to the extreme abrasiveness of the Spanish circuit’s surface, which has apparently become even worse than before in more recent times.
“I think next year maybe we should go to Bahrain or Abu Dhabi,” added Hembery.
The good news, however, is that Pirelli is basically satisfied with the outcome of the Jerez test, where the Italian marque’s 2013 tyres were put through their paces.
“The drivers and engineers gave us positive feedback,” said Hembery. “It seems we have achieved our goals of having faster tyres that reach optimum grip more quickly, and have a wider window of peak performance. Our intention was to offer greater mechanical grip, thus reducing the importance of aerodynamics.
“This leads us to predict that there will be less difference between the performance of the big and the middle-sized teams,” he added.
F1 heads to Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya for the second test next week.