F1 testing brinksmanship


As part of the brainstorming session at the school of F1 bight ideas to spice up the show, Force India suggested that teams be able to choose in advance the two Pirelli compounds they will use at each upcoming F1 weekend. Pirelli were initially sceptical. However in an attempt to be seen to do something, the F1 strategy group decided this suggestion should be mandated for 2016, although the details of the lead times Pirelli will require to make the tyres to order is as yet unclear.

Pirelli themselves decided to contribute to the ‘spice up F1’ project and subsequently offered to produce a super-super soft tyre for 2016. Part of the reason for this is the 2015 tyre compounds have been proven to be a step harder than their 2014 predecessors, and so the number of one stop races has increased this year.

Pirelli have repeatedly requested a 2 day test session before the end of the season for the new very-extra-soft tyre, but were repeatedly knocked back by some of the teams. The last time a post Abu Dhabi GP was proposed by Pirelli, certain teams claimed this was now impossible because certain key staff return flights to Europe had already been booked and paid for.

The new extra-extra-soft tyre will be marked purple, following a Pirelli exercise in fan engagement. Though during the consultation period to decide the new tyres colour, Pirelli did repeatedly tweet and post pictures on social media of the high vis purple tyre. 85% of fans decided this was in fact their preferred choice of colour.

It is now confirmed that Pirelli will get their way and a post 2015 Abu Dhabi GP 12 hour test will take place on the Tuesday following the race. The teams have been asked to provide only race or reserve test drivers who have experienced the Pirelli 2015 range. This is because they believe the driver feedback crucial to finalising the specification.

Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed that a 12-hour test will take place on the Tuesday following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in which the new Ultra Soft compound will make its track debut.

However, not everyone apparently required to play ball at Pirelli’s test. A statement from Milan reveals, “All of the teams involve will field one car each, but participation is voluntary. Pirelli will define the test programme for each car. The tyres used during this test will not be considered as part of the testing allocation for 2015.”

How exactly this will work is anyone’s guess, but Pirelli will be ready early doors on Tuesday 1st December with mountains of tyres. Let’s see who turns up to try them out.

The take up should be healthy amongst the teams, because as someone once famously said – “I think it’s quite clear – that whenever you are running a Formula 1 car you are learning something, particularly when it is a current car”.

Still to be decided upon are Pirelli’s 10 test days in 2016 when the new larger tyres for 2017 can be tried out.

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