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Pirelli ‘satisfied’ as Vandoorne tops 2016 tyre test

01 Dec 2015

All 10 Formula One teams took part in a 12-hour tyre test - the longest in the sport’s history - on Tuesday at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, as Pirelli worked on development of their 2016 compounds, including their new ultrasoft.

McLaren tester and 2015 GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne topped the times in the ‘blind’ session - neither the drivers nor the teams knew which tyre specification they were testing and teams were not allowed to try new parts or change any other components.

“We had one shot when it came to testing tyres for next season, and we can be satisfied by what we’ve achieved in this test, even if we have to fully analyze the data,” reported Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director. “We’ve tested different versions of the new ultrasoft compound for 2016, which was one of the targets for this session.

“The ultrasoft’s target for 2016 is to introduce a compound softer than the supersoft and mainly designed as agressive choice for street circuits: with better performance than the latest version of the supersoft tyre and faster degradation, in order to allow the teams to take a more aggressive approach to race strategy.

“Whether this will produce more pit stops, or any difference in strategies, it’s too early to say for now. We will fully analyse our data and team telemetry once we get back to base. But it seems we are heading in the right direction: the ultrasoft is expected to offer more possibilities for certain races.”

The session started with all the drivers running some laps on base tyres to confirm the set-up of the cars and using Pirelli’s supersoft and soft compounds - the nominated choice for last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Testing with the prototype tyres (the new ultrasoft compound and new constructions both front and rear) started around one and a half hours into the session. The teams tested several potential variations of the new ultrasoft compound, from which one will eventually be selected.

Over the 12 hours, more than 6,020 kilometres and over 1084 laps were completed by the teams. Pirelli’s next F1 track test, focusing on wet tyres, is scheduled for January 25-25, 2016, at the French circuit of Paul Ricard.


Fastest times of the day:

Driver

Team

Time

Laps

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

1m 44.103s

99

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m 44.456s

56

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1m 44.480s

50

Jolyon Palmer

Lotus

1m 44.568s

90

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1m 44.940s

56

Pascal Wehrlein

Mercedes

1m 45.605s

107

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1m 45.805s

57

Max Verstappen

Toro Rosso

1m 45.849s

54

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India

1m 45.852s

71

Valtteri Bottas

Williams

1m 45.940s

103

Daniil Kvyat

Red Bull

1m 46.309s

48

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso

1m 46.995s

56

Adderly Fong

Sauber           

1m 48.439s

57

Alfonso Celis

Force India

1m 48.545s

65

Rio Haryanto

Marussia

1m 49.593s

56

Jordan King

Marussia

1m 49.661s

59