The first day of testing at the Yas Marina circuit has been completed.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: “We’re encouraged by the good working relationship and some promising results. Teams have appreciated the reliability and consistent performance of our new tires. The lap times were good for everyone.”

Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari got Pirelli’s Formula One return underway on the opening day of testing, which took place with all 12 of the teams that compete at the pinnacle of world motorsport.

The Spaniard was the first man to emerge from the pits shortly after 0900 this morning, giving the green light to the 2011 season and Pirelli’s three-year tire supply deal.

The teams faced challenging conditions during the first day of tests. In the morning the temperature was around 25 degrees centigrade, equivalent to a track temperature of 37 degrees. At 1700 all the cars returned to their garages, having completed between 70 to 80 laps each on average: the equivalent of a Grand Prix and a half. There were 13 drivers on the track today: one per team with the exception of Force India, which ran Adrian Sutil in the morning and Paul di Resta in the afternoon. Pirelli supplied the teams with four sets of tires today, in soft and medium compounds, so that they could carry out their own pre-defined test programs. The same quantities of Pirelli rubber will be supplied to the teams once more tomorrow, when some of the champions who missed today’s action will take to the track for the first time.

“We’re very pleased with this first day of testing and the excellent working relationship that has been struck up between our engineers and all the teams and drivers,” said Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director. “We’re gathering plenty of useful information and valuable suggestions, as well as some encouraging comments. So far, I would say that everything has gone according to plan. In particular we are very pleased with the reliability and stability of our tires as well as with the turn-in performance of the front tire. The lap times set by all the teams have been excellent, and they have each covered a lot of ground as can be seen from the number of laps run. The teams are also making the most of these test sessions to try out different set-ups and some new ideas for 2011, which provides us with an even greater challenge and more meaningful results. I would say that we are in a strong position now to approach the first official tests in February 2011 with a good package.”

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.

The drivers present during the first day of testing were:

Jaime Alguersuari (Scuderia Toro Rosso)
Rubens Barrichello (Williams)
Timo Glock (Virgin)
Kamui Kobayashi/Sergio Perez (Sauber)
Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus)
Robert Kubica (Renault)
Pastor Maldonado (HRT)
Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
Gary Paffett (McLaren)
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
Adrian Sutil/Paul di Resta (Force India)
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets. For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com