Ferrari cut Pirelli wet tyre test short after Vettel crash

Fiorano, 2017 Pirelli Tyres Test - Sebastian Vettel. Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari have been forced to end the Pirelli wet weather tyre test early, after Sebastian Vettel’s crash on Thursday, left them without enough parts to continue.

The test at the Maranello based squads private Fiorano test circuit in Italy, was supposed to be run over two days and was taking place to evaluate Pirelli’s 2017 wider rain tyres, with Ferrari third driver Antonio Giovinazzi due to get behind the wheel on Friday.

Unfortunately for the Italian however, his chance to enjoy some further time in a F1 car was halted, when Vettel ran off the artificially soaked track, and into the barriers.

The German was unhurt, bar some bruising to his elbow, and although it was by no means a substantial impact, Ferrari found they did not have enough spare parts to repair the damage sustained by the SF15-T mule car, and called an end to the running a day early.

The Pirelli test was set up to try to resolve issues getting temperature into the wet weather rubber, that were brought to the Italian manufacturers attention by teams at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

With the introduction of standing starts after safety car periods coming into force in 2017, which could exacerbate the problem further, it became a particular area of concern that required speedy resolve, as Pirelli Motorsport Boss Paul Hembery explained last month.

“We’re going to have standing [re]starts, so the tyres are going to be cold. Like we do in GP2, where you don’t have blankets, we have to try to get a product which warms up a lot quicker.”

When Vettel took to the track on Thursday, the track temperature was no higher than five degrees Celsius, which should have been perfect conditions for the German in which to provide feedback to Pirelli on the behaviour of the tyres.

A series of wet tests are set to take place over the next two months, including one day of the upcoming winter tests at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, which gets underway on February 27.