Adu Dhabi young drivers test— Mission accomplished
Pirelli has successfully tested some of its 2012 tires at the three-day young driver test, which took place straight after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
All the teams participated in the test, which was designed for them to assess potential young drivers for the future. At the same time, Pirelli took advantage of the test to try out some of the new P Zero tires that will be seen next year. The new front and rear profiles were assessed, together with a new potential soft compound.
The new soft compound is designed to wear more evenly and have increased thermal resistance. This reduces the possibility of blistering and should lead to more flexibility within the pit stop strategies and even closer racing in 2012.
The new front and rear profiles are more square than they were previously, which again provides a more even wear rate. The latest tires also generate more grip from the rear, which tends to provoke more understeer and also enhances the possibilities for overtaking.
Teams were given six sets of new development tires to assess – with two sets per prototype – together with two sets of the current P Zero Yellow soft tire as a base. They were also allowed to use however many tires remained of their 2011 testing allocation, which comprises 100 sets for the year.
Unlike the grand prix, which was held in the evening, the Abu Dhabi tests took place during the daytime, with ambient temperatures peaking at nearly 33 degrees centigrade with track temperatures of nearly 50 degrees. This put all the tires through a tough work out, testing their thermal resistance and durability.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Even though the young drivers did not have the same experience as the regular drivers, we were able to collect plenty of useful information and feedback. The results of the test were very much in line with our expectations, so we’re pleased with the work that has been carried out, in very demanding track conditions. This gives us a useful base to work from as we continue to refine our 2012 range of tires, which should bring even more performance and spectacle to Formula One next year.”