The Pirelli tyre test concluded today in Abu Dhabi with a total of 15 drivers on track in 12 cars and Fernando Alonso setting the pace.
For detailed analysis of the Pirelli tyres see yesterday’s post, but today Michael Schumacher had his first taste of the tyres and sounded a cautiously optimistic note.
“We gathered a lot of data and insights, and have positive feedback from our first impression of the
new tyres,” he said. “I am probably the only driver to have driven with Pirelli tyres before but it was 20 years ago and I didn’t have any certain expectations before today. In terms of consistency, it looked quite good but we were using the 2010 car today and it will be all about how these
tyres suit our 2011 car.”
Schumacher started his F1 career on Pirelli tyres in 1991 on the Benetton, in the days when they were very good qualifying tyres, but not so durable in races. Nelson Piquet gave the tyre marque their last F1 win that year in Montreal (the infamous day when Mansell switched off the Williams on the final lap)
McLaren has run the same drivers all week in both the final Bridgestone test, for young drivers and the Pirelli test. Certainly in Gary Paffett’s case that will have given him a pretty good feel for the difference between the two. Force India did a similar thing with Paul di Resta. And today Sergio Perez had a run in the Sauber on PIrellis, which will have given him a comparative view too.
Pirelli’s Paul Hembery commented, “The comments from the drivers are very encouraging: they especially enjoyed the performance of our front tyre, which is an area that we have worked on considerably. This was one of our objectives, and I’m delighted that we have hit our target. Throughout these two days we’ve tried out the medium and soft compound tyres and we’ve had good results from both of them, particularly in terms of wear rate. During the two days of testing here in Abu Dhabi we’ve racked up nearly 11,000 kilometres with all the teams: that’s more than we have accumulated in three months of private testing.”
Pirelli Tyre Test Day Two, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.529s 105
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m40.825s 66
3. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m41.294s 101
4. Robert Kubica Renault 1m41.614s 91
5. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m41.622s 46
6. Oliver Turvey McLaren 1m41.740s 30
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m41.757s 74
8. Paul di Resta Force India 1m41.869s 35
9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m42.110s 43
9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1m42.145s 98
10. Tonio Liuzzi Force India 1m42.416s 47
11. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m42.777s 46
12. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1m44.521s 83
13. Pastor Maldonado Hispania 1m44.768s 65
14. Timo Glock Virgin 1m44.783s 83