Pirelli begins tyre testing at Mugello

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Pirelli is to begin testing its new tyres at Mugello tomorrow, ahead of its return to Formula One for the 2011 season.

Pirelli will conduct its test programme using a 2009 Toyota TF109 and Mercedes GP reserve driver Nick Heidfeld is expected to drive.

Reports say that Toyota and Pirelli have already arrived at Mugello but that the two day test will not begin until tomorrow.

Pirelli beat off competition from Michelin to become the official F1 tyre supplier from 2011.

The FIA confirmed Pirelli has a three-year contract to supply tyres to Formula 1:

Pirelli has been selected as the single tyre supplier for the FIA Formula One World Championship for a period of three years, commencing in 2011. The sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA.

Pirelli will supply four types of dry weather tyre plus intermediate and wet weather tyres, as Bridgestone currently do.

There are no changes expected in the rules under which drivers have a choice of two compounds during a race weekend and must use one of each during the race.

Pirelli says it expects a ??realistic and collaborative approach with all the teams, ensuring that manufacturing and logistical costs are shared fairly.??

It also has ??a firm eye on the future, as in full collaboration with all the teams, research into innovative new tyre developments is a vital part of this exciting programme.??

This may refer to an expected change to 18-inch wheels in 2013, bringing F1 closer into line with typical wheel sizes seen on the road.

The Italian tyre manufacturer last supplied F1 teams in 1991. Tyrrell, Brabham, Dallara and Benetton used its products while the rest of the field were supplied by Goodyear.

Nelson Piquet scored the last win for a car on Pirelli tyres in the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix. He inherited the win when Nigel Mansell’s Williams broke down on the last lap.

More to follow

Image (C) Pirelli & C S.p.A.

48 comments on “Pirelli begins tyre testing at Mugello”

  1. Will there be video/timing of the testing? I would love to have seen the ’10 Toyota F1 on the track!

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      18th August 2010, 2:55

      It’s unlikely. It’s private testing – Pirelli will want to keep things under wraps.

  2. Sorry misread, 09′ Toyota.

    1. Yes what a shame. Such a waste of an F1 car…

      1. Does anyone know how it came about that they are using the Toyota for testing?

        Why are Toyota going testing when they aren’t in F1 any more? It seems strange.

        1. exactly the point, they are no longer in f1, so it gives no one on the grid the advantage of data acquired on the new tyres

          1. I meant from Toyota’s point of view.

        2. Toyota has maintained the core of its F1 and other motorsport facilities in Germany, partly because of the high costs of making staff redundant.

          I’m sure Toyota Motorsports is being paid for its tyre testing work, rather than providing its services for free.

          1. Wasn’t it Hispania who were looking at trying to take some of their factory?

      2. The sri lanakan
        17th August 2010, 0:54

        Hey why are’nt they testing the TF110 alongside the TF109? kinda sad to see the 110 gathering dust there in cologne when it could in someway still contribute to F1. anyhow im always glad to see a Toyota F1 car turning wheels! heres praying that we’ll see some pictures and high-res videos of this test! bring it!

        1. They are getting the chance as they are no longer in f1 & any other team that will go from 2010 grid will have an advantage of knowing the tyres for 2011. Toyota don’t need the data, Pirelli needs the data of how an f1 car behave so that they can improve their tyres.

        2. The TF109 is a known quantity, which is why it is being used over the TF110.

          No one really knows how similar the TF110 is to the current grid – using it risks Pirelli going down a blind alley on tyre development. It could develop a product that works brilliantly for the TF110 but not on any of the cars actually competing.

          The TF109 can be run on the latest Bridgestones as well as the new Pirellis to make more meaningful comparisons. It’s a no brainer, really.

  3. So today they are looking at getting the car together again after almost a year and fitting Heidfeld in, before they take to the track tomorrow.

    I would love to see some footage, but probably we will receive none, save from fans/journalists shooting pictures and videos from behind the fences.

    A shame, as Pirelli could make a great event out of it.

  4. Oh 18 inch wheels to be more in line with standard street cars yay! Introduce neon lights, wind shields and tinted windows around the car and some massive and cool bodywork too :D yyaaaaayy! I am absolutely pro F1-cars looking and acting like whatever normal prius is out there! Hell yeah!

    1. Never seen your standard issue Prius with 18 inch wheels mate!

      More like a nicely tuned vehicle or a sporty version of a middle class sedan/wagon. Or on a sportscar (althoug those tend to go for 19-20″ wheels now).

    2. I remember someone mocking up the 18 inch wheels, looked pretty close to wagon wheels.

    3. My mums car is covered in muck, Will the next Ferrari be Brown too?

      Btw she lives in the country, it’s an inevitability.
      F1 is getting sicker, 18 wheels don’t represent a big enough band-aid to cover the infected wound dealt with the rusty axe of shoddy management.

  5. also the suspension geometry will have to be radically different from todays F1 cars. The reduced sidewalls will mean that much more of a bump will have to be dealt with by the suspension.

    1. Good. The cars are way too stiffly-suspended at the moment: making them move up and down by comparison to the ground will mean they don’t have so much downforce.

      1. Also, increasing the size of the rim will increase the unsprung mass of the car (assuming rubber is lighter than the rim alloy)

  6. “Pirelli will supply four types of dry weather tyre plus intermediate and wet weather tyres, as Bridgestone currently do.

    There are no changes expected in the rules under which drivers have a choice of two compounds during a race weekend and must use one of each during the race.”

    How disappointing, really. There was an opportunity to do some much more interesting things with the tyre rules, seeing as we’re changing the supplier.

    1. definitely a shame, but it was considered too late in the day for teams to make the huge changes to design processes for next years cars that low profile tyres.

      There is talk however of this coming into play in 2 to 3 years time, if i remember rightly pirelli requested that it was looked at in the future as part of their bid.

      1. I’m not talking so much about the design parameters of the tyres so much as I am the sporting regs. For example, there was an opportunity to remove the two compounds rule – a rule Bridgestone wanted implemented.

        I don’t know if perhaps Pirelli wanted to do something else, or whatever. Maybe you could give teams three options over the weekend, or whatever.

        I’m just saying that it appears Pirelli have inherited the Bridgestone legacy regarding the “format” without any obvious discussion that the format needed, or didn’t need, changing.

        1. Yeah, I’ve never liked the “two compounds rule” because the strategy behind them has never seemed to liven up a race. Switching between intermediates and full wet has and will continue to liven things up, but as it is now, two dry compounds just seems like one more thing to worry about — not something that brings any further strategy or excitement to the race.

          1. In fact it often makes races predictable. If teams had the option of going the whole race on one set of tyres we’d see more degradation and different strategies more often.

  7. Heidfeld? I would prefer to see Montagny…

    1. Why? It’s just a tyre test.

    2. It’l be Heidfeld, announced by Pirelli and now confirmed from Mercedes and Heidfeld


  8. So some sites are reporting that this marks the end of Heidfeld’s time at Merc and that they’ll be parting ways now. Wonder if that’s true.

    1. Matt G (lotus fan)
      16th August 2010, 19:59

      I think Merc will want to keep Heildfeld as having the only person to have tested the tyres will give them a large a good advantage.

      1. Yeah – Agree!
        They should keep him – Ross Brawn will find a way.

      2. Yeah, I can’t understand the logic of the report either. It doesn’t make sense. Can anyone explain it?

        1. I think the logic is that Mercedes would gain a potential advantage by having their test driver conduct the Pirelli tests – so it would be a huge conflict of interests and against the interests of fairness.

          Imagine if Heidfeld stayed Mercedes’ test driver and did the Pirelli testing too. The other teams would cry foul and any success Mercedes enjoyed in 2011 would be tainted by that unfair advantage. It would be just as bad as if one of the current teams was exclusively testing the new tyres.

          On the flipside, if Mercedes flop in 2011 then it’ll look just as bad – an unfair advantage from the tyre testing, Ross Brawn at the helm and a 7 time world champion and they still can’t win. The pressure on the Mercedes board to pull out of the sport would be huge.

  9. why Montagny???

  10. I’m happy to see there will remain only one tyre supplier and we will not see a return to tyre wars but really disappointed to know there will be no change to the regulations.

    Am I alone in finding the endless supposition throughout every race weekend on the topic of tyres to be dreadfully dull. For me it is about the least interesting aspect of the sport but so much of a teams’ perfomance seems to be about how they’re using their tyres.

    I’d like to see something done just to take the issue out of the equation altogether, or at the very least reduce its impact on racing. I’m not so technically minded as some out there but couldn’t the teams be given a tyre to race on that will give them loads of grip for the full race duration and more, maybe even the whole weekend?

    I like how the Moto Gp race.. One tank of fuel, one set of tyres.

    1. “I like how the Moto Gp race.. One tank of fuel, one set of tyres.”

      They did that “one set of tyres” thing in 2005. It was okay during the tyre war years because one company could claim to have whipped another hollow.

      I doubt that tyre manufacturers will agree to that now because there’s only one maufacturer, so there’s no one to beat. And without tyre changes, they get zero publicity during the race.

      Instead, scrap the compulsory tyre change rule. Each team knows their cars and drivers best. If one team thinks they can do a whole race on one set of primes alone, while another wants to use three sets of options alone, how can anybody tell them not to?

      1. I mean, the compulsory two-compound rule.

  11. Does it seem unfair to anyone else that they’re using a test driver of one of the teams, who will surely then be able to feedback info to his own team?

    1. If they hired anyone else, that person would surely then be snapped up by another team as a test driver pretty quickly for exactly that reason.

      1. They should have used Nelsinho Piquet! No team is going to hire him again anyway :D

  12. It’s nice to see Heidfeld back again on track. I hope he can raise some team’s eyebrows to give him a drive next year. :)

    1. If he’s smart he’ll get all the tyres developed to suit his driving style.

  13. Is there pirelli racing livery?

    TF109 livery as all toyota f1 livery, look sad.

  14. Nelsinho?
    With only 2-year worth of F1 experience?
    Besides crashing more then once out of a GP!!!

    Nick is the best option!
    Seen it all through his career…

    The Toyota TF109 will run in a Pirelli livery for sure.
    Look at the livery of the Bridgestone ‘test car’ of Damon Hill at the time!

    Toyota is out of F1! Has no FOM License! No way it’s gonna’ run in that TTE Livery!

    3-years seems a short term… guessing the tyres will be optimum in their second year of development.

  15. It’s officially confirmed that Hiedfeld is relieved of
    his role as test driver for Mercedes.That means no teams will have an advantage.

  16. Unless he is hired next year off-course.

    1. …and surely someone will, even if it’s a midfield-or-back type effort.

  17. Surely they could’ve used the TF1-10 that’ll NEVER race?

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