Wet weather testing to feature in first Barcelona test programme


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. Pirelli wet tyres at the ready as the track gets an early morning soaking at 0800hrs local. Digital Ref : 0783cb7d1647

F1 teams will complete at least one day of wet weather running, when they take to the track for the upcoming pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, which gets underway on February 27.

If no natural rain is forthcoming during the four days planned for the first week of testing, then it has been agreed that conditions will be simulated by soaking the track with water via the aid of special tanker trucks, something recently stood down F1 Chief Bernie Ecclestone would no doubt have loved, having tried to introduce the gimmick to races during his reign!

The arrangement has been put in place to allow drivers to get a feel for the new, wider Pirelli wet weather tyres that will be used for the first time in this 2017 season. Pirelli were keen to ensure that they could be tested prior to the first race of the year in Australia, to ensure drivers have some experience of how the new structure works before they are used for racing.

Ideal lap time windows and crossover points will have changed, as well as the overall performance of the rubber, and so prior testing is a necessity this year, with drivers already having enough changes to contend with in their first race, without having to worry about unknown tyre compounds.

Pirelli Motorsport Boss Paul Hembery believes the changes made to the tyres this year, will cause them to behave differently from previous seasons, and so welcomes the decision, as he explained to Autosport.com recently.

“The only area where we will be working during this season is with the wet tyres, and we are trying to improve the warm-up time of the wet tyres – especially in relation to the standing starts.

“So that is one area where we will have development during the season.”