Formula One: Pirelli Tires Test

For the first time in 19 years, Pirelli tires took to the track on a Formula One race car. Just days after the final race of the season, most of the stars of F1 were back testing to get a head start on the 2011 season. Like it was toward the end of the season, Ferrari was the dominant car in this season as the Scuderia had the fastest car on each of the two days of the test. However, hot on their heels was World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

Day 1 (November 19)

Felipe Massa topped the time charts in the first day’s running. The noteworthy piece of analysis from this day’s running is that Vettel on the new Pirelli tire was over two seconds slower than Daniel Ricciardo’s time in the RB6 on the 17th as part of the Young Drivers Test. That was the last time that the cars ran the Bridgestone tires. A better comparison might be McLaren’s Gary Paffett who ran in both tests and was 1.1 seconds slower on the new rubber. Of course, some of that difference must be down to the cars being designed around Bridgestone rubber rather than Pirelli. The day wasn’t completely trouble free. Robert Kubica had a mechanical problem that limited running and Adrian Sutil’s testing time was shortened after an exhaust problem.

Vettel also had a tire failure late in the running today. Pirelli’s crew on-site examined the tires and determined that the tire’s instant deflation was as a result of cuts from debris on the track.

  1. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1:40.170
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault – 1:40.500
  3. Gary Paffett – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:40.874
  4. Kamui Kobayashi – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:40.950
  5. Robert Kubica – Renault – 1:41.032
  6. Rubens Barrichello – Williams-Cosworth – 1:41.425
  7. Paul di Resta – Force India-Mercedes – 1:41.615
  8. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:41.778
  9. Jaime Alguersuari – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:42.019
  10. Adrian Sutil – Force India-Mercedes – 1:42.859
  11. Timo Glock – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:44.124
  12. Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:44.686
  13. Pastor Maldonado – HRT-Cosworth – 1:45.728

Day 2 (November 20)

As was the case on Friday, the second day of testing was headed by a Ferrari. This time, the F10 was piloted by World Drivers’ Championship runner-up Fernando Alonso. He completed the most laps of the day on the new rubber with 105. Rubens Barrichello completed the next most laps with 101  for 3rd fastest on the day. He and Michael Schumacher are the only active drivers that were running when Pirelli was last in the sport in 1991. Schumacher was initially 2nd fastest on the day but his time was disallowed because he cut a corner on his fast lap. World champion Sebastian Vettel was once again second fastest.

  1. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:40.529
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault – 1:40.825
  3. Rubens Barrichello – Williams-Cosworth – 1:41.294
  4. Robert Kubica – Renault – 1:41.614
  5. Gary Paffett – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:41.622
  6. Oliver Turvey – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:41.740
  7. Michael Schumacher – Mercedes – 1:41.757
  8. Paul di Resta – Force India-Mercedes – 1:41.869
  9. Kamui Kobayashi – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:42.110
  10. Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:42.145
  11. Tonio Liuzzi – Force India-Mercedes – 1:42.416
  12. Sergio Perez – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:42.777
  13. Jarno Trulli – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:44.521
  14. Pastor Maldonado – Hispania-Cosworth – 1:44.768
  15. Timo Glock – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:44.783

Overall Test Standings

After the two days of running, most of the drivers came away impressed by the effort put forth by Pirelli. Vettel and Barrichello were impressed with the tires provided citing the short turn-around time from being awarded the supplier contract to the test date. Felipe Massa went so far as to say that Pirelli’s soft compound tire was better than the Bridgestone soft tire he run during the Grand Prix weekend.

As for comparisons between the Bridgestone and Pirelli rubber, most folks in the paddock put the difference in times between the two tire manufacturers at close to two seconds. Rubens Barrichello is a bit more forgiving and suggests the difference is about half-a-second.

  1. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1:40:170
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault – 1:40.500
  3. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:40.529
  4. Gary Paffett – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:40.874
  5. Kamui Kobayashi – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:40.950
  6. Robert Kubica – Renault – 1:41.032
  7. Rubens Barrichello – Williams-Cosworth – 1:41.294
  8. Paul di Resta – Force India-Mercedes – 1:41.615
  9. Oliver Turvey – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:41.740
  10. Michael Schumacher – Mercedes – 1:41.757
  11. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:41.778
  12. Jaime Alguersuari – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:42.019
  13. Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:42.145
  14. Vitantonio Liuzzi – Force India-Mercedes – 1:42.416
  15. Sergio Perez – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:42.777
  16. Adrian Sutil – Force India-Mercedes – 1:42.859
  17. Timo Glock – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:44.124
  18. Jarno Trulli – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:44.521
  19. Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:44.686
  20. Pastor Maldonado – HRT-Cosworth – 1:44.768

One thought on “Formula One: Pirelli Tires Test

  1. Pingback: World Spinner

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s