The eleven Formula One teams have voted against the introduction of the newly-designed Pirelli tires at the British Grand Prix after they failed to be evaluated last weekend in Canada.
Following a series of tire failures in the opening five rounds of the season and an unusually high number of pit stops, the teams lobbied for a new design to be introduced at some point during the year. Pirelli brought the compound to the Canadian Grand Prix for the teams to test during practice for the race, yet the wet weather conditions meant that the sufficient running was not completed, reasoning their decision.
“This decision is due to the fact that the new tires, which were brought to the Friday free practice sessions in Canada, could not be tested sufficiently due to rain – and that the teams failed to agree unanimously about introducing the changes,” the Italian tire supplier said in a statement.
“Instead a change in the tire production process should now ensure that the delamination issue has been addressed.”
Pirelli had always insisted that the changes would be made on safety grounds, but Ferrari and Lotus had led the charge to prevent any alterations believing that it was a case of adapting to the tires instead of expecting them to be perfect.
An improvement does appear to have been made, with the Canadian Grand Prix being won on two stops despite the track traditionally being very hard on tires.
Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.
The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.
“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.
Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”
Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.
“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.
Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.