Hamilton latest to try 18-inch tyres as Mercedes continue 2022 Pirelli tests at Imola
Lewis Hamilton tested Pirelli’s 18-inch 2022 tyre compounds at Imola on Tuesday, becoming the latest driver to test the larger tyres and making Mercedes the third team to sample the new rubber.
After finishing second at Imola – shaking off a trip through the gravel that cost him a shot at victory – Hamilton returned to the track on Tuesday and continued the Pirelli 2022 tyre test programme with 55 laps in the morning, as Formula 1 prepares to switch from the current 13-inch tyres for next season.
The reigning champion will turn more laps on Tuesday afternoon, before Valtteri Bottas takes over on Wednesday.
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Every team bar Williams will test the 2022 compounds, with Ferrari having kicked off the programme at Jerez, Spain, in February. The Scuderia tested again after the Bahrain Grand Prix in March before Alpine tried out the 18-inch compounds.
Alpine will again test them on May 11 at Barcelona along with Red Bull and Alfa Romeo, after the Spanish Grand Prix. In 2022, not only will teams use 18-inch tyres but a new era of F1 will dawn with a sweeping set of rules changes.
But before that is the Portuguese Grand Prix on May 2, with Hamilton leading the championship by one point over Max Verstappen, who took victory at Imola in a thriller on Sunday.