F1 teams test new Pirelli tires at Adu Dhabi
The 5.5 kilometers of the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi will play host to Pirelli's debut as Formula One's official tire supplier tomorrow. The 12 teams, which have just concluded the 2010 Formula One World Championship at the Yas Marina circuit, will test Pirelli's tires for the first time - giving the green light to the new season and the three-year tire supply deal with the legendary Italian firm. Two days of testing will take place Friday and Saturday from 0900-1700.
Sunshine, light wind and ambient temperatures around 93 degrees Fahrenheit - which translate to a track temperature of about 118 degrees Fahrenheit - will be the order of the day throughout this weekend's action.
The first taste of the new tires that all the teams will have comes after a program of eight private tests that Pirelli has carried out, starting from August 19th when the tires took to the track for the first time. Since then, the Toyota TF109 chosen as a development car has racked up around 7000 kilometers with Nick Heidfeld, Romain Grosjean and Pedro De La Rosa at the wheel, in all sorts of weather conditions on a variety of European circuits.
Pirelli's engineers, led by motorsport director Paul Hembery, have been to Mugello, Monza, Barcelona, Valencia, Jerez and Le Castellet to try out all the different types of tire that will be supplied to the teams next year according to FIA regulations: four slick tires (ranging from super-soft to hard) one intermediate tire, and one rain tire.
"We come to these tests with plenty of confidence and satisfaction with our work carried out so far," said Hembery. "The tests in Europe have given us all the data we needed at this current phase of development. From tomorrow, the drivers and engineers from every team will give us their opinions and feedback, which are of vital importance for the second phase of testing: a challenge that we are already well-prepared for."
The Abu Dhabi tests are conducted by the teams, who have determined the program and parameters that they would like to cover during the next two days. Both the medium compound slick and the soft compound slick will be used, distinguishable by a colored stripe on the sidewall. Each team will run just one car. Every team will have eight sets of tires available, four for day one and four for day two.