Day 1 of Pirelli test at Abu Dhabi

By Oscar Joseph

Less than a week since the final race of the 2010 F1 season the teams and some drivers got underway with the first of two days of Pirelli tyre testing at the Yas Marina Circuit where Vettel was crowned WDC five days ago.

Crucially this will be the only testing for the teams and drivers to see how the tyres perform before the new cars are launched next year. With the notable exception of both McLaren’s former WDC duo of Button and Hamilton along with HRT all teams fielded a 2010 driver. McLaren test driver Gary Paffet stood in for Button/Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado carried out the testing for HRT. A ‘driver’ also absent from the first day of testing was Force India’s Karun Chandhok. Will this be the end of his involvement in F1? It would of been poignant to see an Indian driver on the grid at the first race at the Jaypee Circuit. Force India’s tyre testing is being carried out by Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta.

Every team has been supplied with four sets of tyres for Fridays testing but any unused sets are allowed to be carried over into the second day.

So far the drivers and teams have been fairly positive in their comments towards the new supplier with new WDC Sebastian Vettel saying “I think the tyres behaved well, better than expected given the short amount of time Pirelli have had and they’ve done a good job. Pirelli are obviously in the middle of their development and what we used today is not what we will race with, but it was a good start. The circuit was in good condition and we had blue skies all day.”

Massa had a nice day too and ended the testing 0.330secs faster than the current World Champion, saying “I felt at ease right from the start”.

Ross Brawn of the Mercedes Team added ” Today has been very important for the team to start building our relationship with Pirelli. Whilst a lot of details remain to be understood, we feel that we have gained an initial understanding of the operational requirements of the two compounds that we have and have highlighted some important areas for investigation and improvement. We have been lucky to have been able to get exposure to the Pirelli tyres at a track with which we are now very familiar and in conditions that we will not experience again until the final test of the season in Bahrain. Michael watched today’s proceedings with great interest and is looking forward to experiencing the tyres for himself tomorrow.”

Information regarding the 1st days testing can be seen below:

Pos.    Car    Driver                      Team               Best Lap       No. of laps
1          7        Felipe Massa            Ferrari          1’40.170             94
2          5        Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull        1’40.500            78
3         51       Garry Paffet              McLaren       1’40.874            94
4         23      Kamui Kobayashi    Sauber           1’40.950            83
5          11      Robert Kubica          Renault          1’41.032            39
6          9       Rubens Barrichello  Williams        1’41.425            91
7          37     Paul di Resta             Force India    1’41.615             21
8          4       Nico Rosberg            Mercedes       1’41.778             81
9         17      Jamie Alguersuari    Toro Rosso    1’42.019            71
10       14      Adrian Sutil               Force India    1’42.859           20
11       24      Timo Glock                Virgin              1’44.124            78
12       19      Heikki Kovalainen    Lotus              1’44.686           88
13       40      Pastor Maldonado    HRT               1’45.728            83
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