Formula 1 - Pirelli announces F1 tyre allocations

Pirelli has announced tyre allocations for the first four 2014 Formula 1 races, with just a single 'step' gap between the compounds used.

Formula 1 - Pirelli: tyre tests massive step forward

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Pirelli tyres in the paddock (Reuters)

The Italian firm is confident its choices will result in two or three-stop grands prix in Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain and China.

Teams will get medium and soft tyres for Melbourne, Sakhir and Shanghai, with hards and mediums for Sepang.

A Pirelli statement said that although there was on paper a smaller difference between tyre types at each grand prix than under its usual 2013 practice of a 'two step' gap between compounds, pre-season testing had suggested the 2014 options were sufficiently distinct from each other.

"The results of the final test showed an increased performance gap between the hard and the medium compound, and the medium and the soft compound," said the statement.

"This will give plenty of scope for the teams to formulate interesting strategies to boost their race prospects."

Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery added that the 2014 tyres had proved more durable than last year's to date.

"The conclusion we can draw so far is that the 2014 tyres are more consistent and wear less than their predecessors, without compromising performance," he said.

"We're also meeting another of our objectives with one more step towards the reduction of 'marbles' on the track."

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