At the first in-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona this week, tyre manufacturer Pirelli brought every single slick compound of Pirelli’s 2015 range.
It was Mercedes AMG-PETRONAS driver Nico Rosberg was fastest in the first day of the test and went quickest on the opening morning using the P Zero Yellow soft tyre. The teams used mostly the hard and medium compounds for the Barcelona test, although there was some runs on the supersoft as well: the tyre that will be seen in action for the first time this year at the Monaco Grand Prix in just over a week.
Pirelli also brought some prototype tyres for the teams to test; with a view to developments for next season. Four teams who were present at the test (Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes AMG-PETRONAS, Infiniti- Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso) devoted some time to tyre testing for Pirelli, even though this is no longer compulsory under the 2015 regulations.
This allowed Pirelli to try out some evolutions for the future in a well-known environment, which is not otherwise possible during the course of the year with the current cars.
Conditions at the circuit remained dry and warm throughout both days of the test, with similar conditions to those experienced for the race last weekend. This enabled valid comparisons to be made, with plenty of useful data obtained. Most teams also ran their development or reserve drivers for some of the time, giving them valuable experience of the latest Pirelli compounds.
Pirelli’s Motorsport director Paul Hembery has thanked the four teams who have helped them test out their future compounds at a track that everyone knows well and believes the information that they have gained from the test will help them shape their compounds and structures for next season.
“We tried out a number of different solutions for the future, thanks to the four teams that were testing for us,” said Hembrey. “With all the teams now knowing their cars and this track very well, a considerable number of kilometres were run, which obviously helped our data acquisition.
“The track had also evolved somewhat compared to the race, which resulted in slightly quicker lap times. Even though there are no specific tyre test days this year, the prototype information we have gained will be useful when it comes to developing our 2016 tyre range for next year.”