Pirelli to test 2016 F1 compounds, new ultra-soft tire in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed that its 2016 tires and the new ultra-soft compound will make their on-track debut on December 1 at the Yas Marina Circuit following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In previous years, Pirelli has traditionally made use of the end-of-season test in Abu Dhabi to trial its Formula 1 tire compound designs for the forthcoming year with the teams.

After striking an agreement with the FIA World Council, Pirelli has confirmed that a one-day test will take place in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of next month in a bid to aid the development of the new tire construction for 2016.

Running will focus on slick tire development over a 12-hour period. All ten teams have been requested to field one car using a race or reserve driver, but participation is voluntary. Pirelli will dictate the test programme for each team.

Pirelli also confirmed that this test will see the on-track debut of its new compound, the ultra-soft, which is due to become the fifth choice for 2016 as part of a shake-up of tire rules.

With five compounds on offer – ultra-soft, super-soft, soft, medium, hard – Pirelli will allocate three for each grand prix weekend. Teams will then pick two compounds to use over the weekend, giving them more responsibility for tire calls and creating more variety in race strategy.

The ultra-soft tire will feature purple markings after winning an online survey conducted by Pirelli, gaining 70% of votes.