Pirelli test wet tyres at night in Abu Dhabi

2011 F1 testing

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Pirelli concluded their series of private tests with a wet weather tyre test at Abu Dhabi. Unusually, the test was run under lights during the night.

F1 has never had a wet night race before, and the pictures and video from the test below give an impression of what one would look like.

Pirelli’s Formula One team director Paul Hembery said the purpose of the test was to evaluate how the tyres would perform on a hot but wet track.

“It is seven months since we started developing our tyres and five since we started with the actual testing,” said Hembery. “We are very satisfied with the results so far and we have also collected very positive feedback from the teams.”

“Soon it will be time to get started in Spain where the first official test of the season will take place. We will use this opportunity to gather more feedback from teams and drivers and be ready for the Bahrain Grand Prix in March.”

Pedro de la Rosa was at the wheel’s of Pirelli’s Toyota TF109. The team also continued their slick tyre tests.

Pirelli wet tyre test pictures

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Pirelli test wet tyres at night in Abu Dhabi”

  1. I’d hate to be the guy who had to tell the driver that there was a (more than one) hole in his tanker….

    1. Demonstrates very nicely the turbulence that comes off a rear wing, too.

  2. A wet test in Abu Dhabi?

    Surely there are wetter places?

    Or is it just because they have more data to compare to?

    1. If you see the video, they flooded the track with a tank.

    2. As they say, to see how the tires are affected by a hot, but wet track. You could get a wet track somewhere else, more easily <-(can you say that? it sound weird to me), but a hot track is probably not the easiest thing to find right now with a chance of rain.

      1. didn’t watch the video before posting.. bummer.

    3. They used Abu Dhabi because they wanted to test somewhere warm to simulate the conditions of a wet race in some of the Asian races where it stays warm even when wet and they tested at night because they didn’t want the sun to evaporate the water.

      I’m not sure whether Abu Dhabi doesn’t also have a sprinkler system like Paul Ricard – I’m sure Keith or someone can confirm that or not.

    4. Yeh they would now have data from the dry test at the end of the season to compare this new wet data against

  3. A wet nightrace is probably just as ‘fun’ as the first laps of Korea … But I would love a little intermediate-suited sprinkle in Singapore!

    1. That’s it isn’t it? The best wet races are the ones that are almost but not quite either wet or dry… That gets the boffins on the pit wall thinking.

  4. Oh by the way, the TF109 surely must be one of the most tested cars that have not actually been raced

    1. The TF109 WAS raced…all season in 2009.

      1. :P

        I’d put forward either Mclaren’s MP4-19 which failed the crash test, or the unraced Toyota from the year before they entered F1 (1999?)

        1. The unraced Toyota was during the 2001 season, and the TF109 did race the entire 2009 season

  5. Why didn’t we get any pictures of previous tests?

  6. One word. Epic.

    1. how is this epic? looks ok in my opinion…

  7. why can’t we have that tanker at boring tracks like Barcelona and Bahrain!!

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      17th January 2011, 22:15

      What about halfway through a boring race?
      No overtaking after twenty laps? Right. Send out the water tanker to liven things up a bit!

      1. Lets exchange it for the safety car. They will all have to follow it around once and then racing is on!

        This will be triggered by Whiting juding the lack of overtaking or close racing during the 2nd half of the race, except … etc.

        And maybe mix some oil into the water to make it more exiting at times?

        1. a better idea is water sprinkler at the front of each car. If a car is behind is with a second the sprinkers on the car in front spray water on the front tyres so the car behind has a better chance of overtaking

          1. Hilarious!! BBT where were you when they were designing the 2011 rules!?

  8. The tyre evaluation form at the end an interesting hint at the work that goes into developing the tyre. I wonder how they balance that off against the variables like driver and set up etc.

  9. looks good..

    dont you think the striaght edge of the pirelli logo makes the tyres look funny :)

    1. They do look strange, almost over inflated! They look rounder don’t they?

  10. <—– praying for rain in singapore or abu dhabi this year

  11. it’s so nice to watch f1 with no commentary at all, just hearing everything that goes on around the track

    1. I agree – and also, without a livery, the shape of the car is much easier to see :)

  12. Papa’s got a brand-new desktop wallpaper!

    1. Me too. This pic beautifully demonstrates the carbon layup of the rear wing. I wish some team would do a raw carbon livery with some minimal pinstriping or something in the spirit of the original silver arrows, paintless. The new Renault livery actually would’ve looked fantastic in raw carbon and gold rather than black and gold. Would’ve given the JPS livery a modern twist as well.

      1. My favourite for that is HRT. It’s almost the colour they raced in last year and it would save them the trouble of painting the parts at the last minute before qualifying!

        I would love it if they did.

        1. I would almost become a fan of the team for that ^^

  13. —-cool—-

  14. When I read that Pirelli was going to do some wet track testing in Abu Dhabi, I assumed that there must be some sort of high tech and incredibly expensive rain simulating system installed at the circuit. I was surprised to see that it was just a tanker truck spitting water out the back. No wonder they had to run the test at night!

  15. I hope it rains this year in Singapore through the whole weekend.

  16. The Pirelli logo on the name doesnt look right to me…surely it would be better to just write “Pirelli” on the sidewall the same way they have written “P Zero”?

    Random post…but important I think!

  17. Looking at the pics has reminded me of what an ugly nose conse the TF109 had. truly awful.

    Abu Dhabi certainly looks a lot less impressive with the Hotel’s lights off doesn’t it?

    1. Yes, this way we can focus on the car :) – actually, it does look almost mysterious here: without being so intrusive as on race day – they should do that more often!

  18. The Sri Lankan
    18th January 2011, 10:17

    makes me sad to see a Toyota being used for testing and not for races in F1. i hope they come back to F1

  19. I understand they tested in Abu Dhabi because they wanted a wet but hot track but it still seems like a waste of water for somewhere like that.

  20. I bet that tanker driver felt well bad-ass taking the racing line! NYAAOOOMMM!!!

    1. lol! hahah

  21. this is the coolest f1 pic i’ve seen for a while

  22. Silverstone 2008 was kind of wet night race so dark and wet

  23. there will be a manufactured wet race in the future.

  24. HounslowBusGarage
    18th January 2011, 20:24

    You have to admit that Pirelli have definitely got the marketing of these tests right. A couple of thousand hardened F1 cynical Fanatics are impressed by the publicity shots and video of a black F1 car on a wet track at night with a blacked-out hotel as a backdrop! Highly dramatic stuff that shows off the car, tyres and performance perfectly.

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