Weather plays havoc with Pirelli test in Spain


Nico Rosberg - Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A

The latest of Pirelli’s planned 2017 tyre tests was hampered by fog and rain as Mercedes AMG PETRONAS ran only 91 laps across two days of running at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Nico Rosberg completed his first laps with the 2017-sized tyres on Wednesday, running in a Mercedes W06 mule car that was running modifications to simulate next season’s increased downforce levels, with the German running 60 laps in total, 46 of which were in the dry morning session and 14 more in the afternoon in the wet.

Lewis Hamilton was scheduled to run but pulled out of the session, with the reigning World Champion deciding to rest a sore foot. As a result, Rosberg took the driving duties on Wednesday, while Pascal Wehrlein got behind the wheel on Thursday.

However, Mercedes’ reserve driver and current Manor Racing star Wehrlein completed only 31 laps of the Spanish circuit on Thursday, with intermediates the name of the game as the rain returned.

“Obviously the weather hindered progress to some extent both today and yesterday, as is not entirely unexpected at this time of year in Europe,” said Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery, who continues to push to move the pre-season tests to a warmer climate.

“The same can apply to the early part of next year, which is why we are in favour of some guaranteed warm weather testing in 2017, before the season gets underway.”

Red Bull Racing will next test with Pirelli in the much warmer climates of Abu Dhabi for a three day test starting Friday.

Pascal Wehrlein - Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A
Pascal Wehrlein – Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A