Pirelli Completes The First Test Of The Season At Paul Ricard
Pirelli’s two-day wet tire test, held at the state-of-the-art Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, concluded today at 4pm – with the specific aim of developing the latest generation of full wet tires.
Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull were present at the test, having accepted Pirelli’s invitation to all the teams to take part.
The Paul Ricard circuit’s sophisticated variable sprinkler system allowed Pirelli to test with different amounts of water on the track, in order to simulate a wide range of wet conditions. This meant that the drivers could try a number of full wet tire prototypes, with different compounds and constructions compared to the existing 2015 Cinturato Blue.
As this was a ‘blind test’ the prototypes did not carry any color markings on the sidewalls, and the teams and drivers did not know which specification of tires they were testing. All the cars ran in unaltered 2015 specification. The test and development program was completed within two full days at Paul Ricard, with 659 laps of a short circuit configuration run by the five drivers involved, totaling 2326 kilometers.
Temperatures remained consistently low throughout both days of the test, peaking at 11 degrees centigrade. Although these were not ideally representative conditions, a wide range of data was collected that will subsequently be analyzed at Pirelli’s headquarters in Milan.
McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne was the only driver to drive during both days, while Ferrari ran Kimi Raikkonen on Monday and Sebastian Vettel on Tuesday. Red Bull tested with Daniel Ricciardo on day one and Daniil Kvyat on day two.
The development program will now continue back at base, when Pirelli will compare each team’s telemetry with its own data, in order to obtain a full picture of every prototype’s performance. The next outing will be the first pre-season test of the year at Barcelona in Spain on February 22-25.