Pirelli will conduct tests with teams over the winter using this year’s Formula 1 cars as it continues to develop new dry and wet-weather tyres.Yas Marina. But teams will take part in further tests individually or in pairs between now and the start of next season.
The first test will take place at Paul Ricard from 3rd-4th December with Alfa Romeo, running on wet and intermediate compound tyres. Ferrari will do the same at their Fiorano test track two days later, then AlphaTauri will test slick tyres at the Autodromo do Algarve near Portimao on 14th-15th December.
No running will take place in January, but Paul Ricard will host a further test over the first four days of next February. Mercedes will take the first two days running slick tyres before AlphaTauri take over to run wet weather rubber over the next two.
Finally Aston Martin will join Mercedes at Jerez on 7th-8th February for further slick tyre testing.
Only half of the 10 F1 teams will take part in the tests. “We asked the availability of them, and some of them replied,” Pirelli’s chief F1 engineer Simone Berra explained.
“We will work mainly on the intermediate and wets, because for us it’s the best period of the year to test in cold temperatures and in representative conditions. And then we will have even a couple of tests for the slicks for the new specification for 2024.”
Pirelli take a flexible approach towards the tests in case the weather conditions force wet weather rubber to be used at some ‘dry’ tests, said Berra. “In Portimao we are planning to do the slicks, but then it will depend on the weather conditions. If it’s wet, then we will have some prototypes [of slick tyres] even there.”
How Pirelli’s wet weather tyres perform in extreme conditions has become a point of discussion recently. Heavy race forced the Japanese Grand Prix to be curtailed, and in a subsequent investigation over an incident during the race the FIA noted “analysis of tyre performance in wet weather conditions is ongoing between the FIA Technical Department and the official tyre manufacturer”.
The final Jerez test will mark the last official outings for F1 cars from this year, before the 2023 machines are debuted in pre-season testing at Bahrain on 23rd-25th February.
Pirelli’s winter tyre development tests are organised in conjunction with F1 and do not take time out of teams’ allocated annual allowance for filming and test days.
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