Pirelli are set to run another set of tyre tests before the team’s launch their new cars on track in anger in Bahrain at the end of February. The first two tests will be held at Paul Ricard with Mercedes testing dry tyres on Feb 1-2. Alpha Tauri will then test wet weather tyres one Feb 3-4.
Pirelli will then head to the south of Spain and the circuit just outside Jerez where Mercedes and Aston Martin will put the dry tyres through their paces once again.
Pirelli time squeeze to get F1 testing done
Mario Isola, Pirelli’s head of motorsport explained prior to the post season test in Abu Dhabi, “We realised it was impossible with the 2022 calendar, and also with next year’s calendar, to organise all the test sessions we needed.
“One idea was to use FP2, as we used in Mexico and Austin, and another possibility was to organise a test [in the] off-season.
“In the regulations, we can use the current cars until December 15 and from February 1 to the first race of next year’s championship, using the 2022 cars.
Isola does warn the teams that the cars used for the test in February must again be the 2022 cars and they cannot develop parts of ideas for their 2023 newbies.
“The FIA is sending an observer to each test to check the configuration and parts used on the car have been used in any of the 2022 races,” adds Isola
Fernando Alonso was released by his Alpine employers to test the Aston Martin in Abu Dhabi and told assembled reporters the way the car had driven made him very “optimistic”
“When I signed for Aston Martin [in July], I was 90% happy. When they started improving and finishing the season on a high, I was 100 percent,” revealed the Spaniard.
“This morning, I was 100 percent, now I’m 100+!”
Of course the much unloved Mercedes W13 will have to be rolled out once more, though Lewis Hamilton is unlikely to be attending the test.
When asked in Abu Dhabi what issues the team should address with the W13’s sucessor Hamilton revealed “Brakes, bouncing is probably number one, drag is probably number two,” he said. “Or equal number one. There’s loads of other things.
“We’ve obviously got some downforce, we just need to build a much more efficient car. And I think everybody in the team knows exactly what are the problems, and where they are, and where we’ve gone wrong and I’m pretty confident that they’re not going to build the next car with any of those characteristics.
“So I’m looking forward to the end of Tuesday [in Abu Dhabi], which is the last time I have to drive this thing. And I don’t ever plan to drive this one again. It won’t be one of the cars that I request to have in a contract!”