Ferrari, Mercedes, Toro Rosso help test 2016 Pirelli tires

1 Comment

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has thanked Ferrari, Mercedes and Toro Rosso for volunteering to help test prototype compounds for the 2016 Formula 1 season in Austria earlier this week.

Following the race at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, all teams except for Manor stayed on to test on Tuesday and Wednesday in the last running outside of a grand prix weekend for 2015.

As well as evaluating their own parts and possible upgrades for future races, Ferrari, Mercedes and Toro Rosso took time out of their schedules to help Pirelli test its prototype tire for next season.

In spite of a wash out for much of Tuesday, Hembery was pleased with the work that had been undertaken by Pirelli in Spielberg.

“It was a slightly frustrating beginning to the test in Austria, with rain wiping out the opening morning,” he said. “However, some solid work was carried out from Tuesday afternoon onwards, with even some occasional glimpses of sunshine on Wednesday.

“Many thanks to Ferrari, Mercedes and Toro Rosso, which volunteered to help us test some new materials for the 2016 season, now that there are no longer any official in-season dedicated tire test days.

“The results we obtained will be very useful as we continue the development of our next generation of tires.”

Pirelli’s contract with F1 runs out at the end of 2016, and is set to fight for an extension alongside Michelin, who confirmed earlier this month that it would be seeking to enter the sport.

The F1 Strategy Group had originally planned to implement a free tire choice for the 2016 season, allowing teams to choose from all four of Pirelli’s compounds for each weekend instead of sticking with the two that are allocated per race.

However, this move has since been rejected, with Pirelli stressing the safety risk of letting teams run with unsuitable tires at races.