Each team today completed an average of 80 laps and 5500 kilometres on the Yas Marina circuit (Abu Dhabi), adding to the total of 5000 kilometres run yesterday, to conclude the first official tyre test for Pirelli: the exclusive Formula One tyre supplier from next year.
A total of 15 drivers were on track today: one per team apart from Force India, McLaren and Sauber, which used two drivers. As was the case yesterday the test started at 0900 and finished at 1700.
Each car had four sets of tyres at its disposal, two medium-compound sets and two softcompound sets.
The teams were backed up throughout the tests by Pirelli’s engineers and technicians. The Italian company put a dedicated engineer at the disposal of each team, in order to collect data and opinions that will be discussed with the teams and drivers. At the end of the day there was a final briefing between the teams and Pirelli to share information and focus more closely on some of the data that had been obtained. Pedro de la Rosa – one of Pirelli’s drivers in private testing along with Nick Heidfeld and Romain Grosjean – was also present to support Pirelli’s F1 squad. De la Rosa visited all the teams today to get the first impressions from the drivers and their individual opinions.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, commented: “It was hard work, but a very positive and educational experience for us. We know that this was only our first test, but we think that we’ve passed it with full marks. The comments from the drivers are very encouraging: they especially enjoyed the performance of our front tyre, which is an area that we have worked on considerably. This was one of our objectives, and I’m delighted that we have hit our target. Throughout these two days we’ve tried out the medium and soft compound tyres and we’ve had good results from both of them, particularly in terms of wear rate. During the two days of testing here in Abu Dhabi we’ve racked up nearly 11,000 kilometres with all the teams: that’s more than we have accumulated in three months of private testing.
Pirelli’s testing programme will now continue at the start of December. The next private tests are scheduled to take place in Bahrain from 12-16 December, where Pirelli’s engineers will once more try out the various compounds in hot conditions. There will be another private test session in Europe during January, before all the teams reconvene at the beginning of February for the first official test.