Tag Archives: Paul Ricard

Mercedes and Ferrari test Pirell’s 2017 tyres

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Yesterday at the Paul Ricard circuit, Pirelli’s 2017 tyre testing got underway with Ferrari and Mercedes helping to develop its prototype tyres at two different circuits.

Mercedes will be testing the new wider tyres at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France over a three-day test, while Ferrari is testing for two days at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona. The tests are designed to help Pirelli develop its constructions and compounds for 2017 and are conducted “blind” so as not to give an advantage to the teams participating. Data from the test will be analysed by Pirelli and circulated to all 11 teams in the interest of fairness.

With Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein was at the wheel of the modified Mercedes W06 at Paul Ricard while Ferrari’s regular race driver Kimi Raikkonen took to the wheel of the SF15-T mule car at the Circuit de Catalunya. They are the third and fourth tests of Pirelli’s ten-test schedule for 2016 and are both focused on developing the slick tyres rather than the wets.

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The wider tyres will be twinned with a significant step in downforce levels next year in the hope of reducing lap times by as much as five seconds. Pirelli is in regular communication with the teams about the development of the 2017 cars in an attempt to understand the forces its tyres are going to be subject to and develop accordingly.

Pirelli is hoping to minimise the performance degradation of the 2017 tyres, which has been a major factor in races since 2011. The hope is to develop a tyre that allows drivers to push throughout a grand prix distance while still having multiple pit stops during a race. Pirelli is also optimistic the wider contact patch will allow it to reduce the high tyre pressure prescriptions it has needed to introduce in the last two years as downforce levels have increased.

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2016 Formula One Wet-Weather Tyre Test Review: Paul Ricard

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With Pirelli requesting two days at the Paul Ricard circuit in order to test their 2016 wet tyres and intermediate tyre ranges; this is the first time we have seen action on the track since the post-season test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

With the teams not allowed to run or test any parts on their cars in preparation for the 2016 season, many will be wondering how the three teams; McLaren-Honda, Ferrari and Red Bull will perform.

Day One

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Day one of the test saw Daniel Ricciardo set the quickest time. Ricciardo put in a lap time of 1.08.713. McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne was 0.4 seconds behind and second quickest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari in third place who was 0.9 seconds behind Ricciardo.

However, McLaren didn’t finish its programme from Pirelli as Vandoorne stopped out on track shortly before the close of play due to a problem with the Honda engine. His McLaren returned to the pits on the back of a flat-bed truck.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari completed 10 sets of 10-lap runs on a full-wet prototype tyre. In total; 285 laps were covered across the three teams.

With the two-day test has been organised by Pirelli in order to test their wet weather tyres; the track at Paul Ricard was artificially soaked by sprinklers and each car left the pits at 10-seconds intervals, circulating for roughly 10 laps before returning to the pits so the track could be soaked again.

Pirelli has been working on a combination of different compounds, different tread depths and configurations, but as the temperature at the south of France venue never rose about 10 degrees centigrade conditions were not ideal.

In preparation for the second day of the test, Sebastian Vettel will take over driving duties from Raikkonen at Ferrari, while Daniil Kvyat replaces Ricciardo at Red Bull. Vandoorne will complete the second day for McLaren.

Day One Timesheet:-

1. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull  1.08.713, 99 laps

2. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda,  +0.418s, 87 laps

3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari,  +0.924s, 99 laps

Day Two

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But the second and final day of Pirelli’s we-weather tyre test at the Paul Ricard circuit yesterday, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was quickest ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Stoffel Vandoorne.

With Vettel taking over driving duties from his team mate replacing Kimi Raikkonen in the cockpit of last year’s SF15-T, he topped the timesheets with a lap time of 1.06.750. He was ahead of Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat who replaced his team mate Daniel Ricciardo and was less than a tenth of a second behind Vettel. However, Vandoorne ended his driving duties for the McLaren-Honda in third place, just over a second behind the pace of Vettel.

Day Two Timesheet:-

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1.06.750, 134 laps
  2. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, +0.083s, 113 laps
  3. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, +1.008s, 127 laps

Conclusion

The two-day test was conducted with the aid of the sprinkler system built into the Paul Ricard track, which artificially soaked the asphalt. This then allowed Pirelli to test different combinations of different treads and compounds of prototype full-wet tyres and running intermediates in yesterday’s test.

Pirelli has been working on improving the longevity and performance of its wet tyre and is set to introduce changes to its rubber this year as a result of the data gained at the test.

With Pirelli clocking up almost 1500 miles over its two days of wet-tyre testing, although times were irrelevant for the purposes of this test. The three teams chosen for the test and running in unmodified 2015-spec machinery; completed 374 laps in total, 89 more than on Monday, and a total of 659 laps overall.

F1’s next on-track action will be at the first of two pre-season tests for the new-for-2016 machinery at Barcelona’s Catalunya circuit on 22nd-25th February; with the second test on 1st-4th March

Red Bull to spilt wet weather test runs between their drivers

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It was announced this afternoon that Red Bull’s drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat will split the driving duties at this month’s wet-weather Formula 1 tyre test for Pirelli at the Paul Ricard circuit.

Ricciardo will drive the car on January 25 with Kvyat taking over the following day.

McLaren-Honda have announced that they will field reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne on both days with Ferrari, who have as of yet to confirm its line-up.

The test will be focused on providing Pirelli with an opportunity to gain valuable data on its wet rubber, in particular the full-wet compound.

Pirelli will control the testing programme with teams prevented from running their 2016-spec cars.

Pirelli select three teams for the wet weather test at Paul Ricard

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It was announced this morning that Pirelli have selected the Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren teams to conduct wet-weather Formula 1 tyre testing for them at the Paul Ricard circuit later this month.

The test, which will take place on January 25 and 26, will provide Pirelli with the opportunity to gain valuable information on its wet rubber, in particular the full-wet compound.

Different wet prototypes will be tested, with running fully focused on the full-wets and no intermediates in use. Pirelli have also confirmed that  only three teams would take part and added the driver line-ups will be announced “in the coming days”.

Unlike the pre-season test at Abu Dhabi last year, the wet test will be open to members of the media.