Formula One: 2016 Pirelli Wet Tyre Test

f1-2016-pirelli-test-paul-ricard-circuitWe’re still three weeks from the drivers and teams of Formula One arriving in Barcelona for their two weeks pre-season testing but that doesn’t mean that F1 cars aren’t on track. Last week, Pirelli invited Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren to the Paul Ricard Circuit in France and turned on the sprinklers to have the teams test various prototype wet tyre compounds for the 2016 season.

Before we get into the results of the test, let’s go over the logistics of the test. The three teams invited were only permitted to bring 2015 cars and components run on the car in 2015 so they couldn’t get any practical running of 2016 components ahead of the Barcelona tests. Granted, McLaren was trying out prototype 2016 parts at the end of last season so this test might have helped them but they could use all the help they could get.

Pirelli also didn’t disclose which tyres the teams were running so they were effectively going in blind apart from knowing the track would be wet. Pirelli sent the cars out at ten-second intervals for ten-lap runs before spraying the track with water between runs. The goals for Pirelli were to gather data for the tyres and get feedback from the drivers and teams.

f1-2016-pirelli-test-kvyat-red-bullOverall, Pirelli sounded like they were happy with the results of the testing. In particular, they seemed to think that the full wet compounds were performing exactly how they intended. Kimi Raikkonen wasn’t so happy saying that he thought the 2015 wet and intermediate compounds (which were run as part of the test) were better than the prototype compounds Pirelli provided.

Day 1 (January 25)

Daniel Ricciardo led the way for the first day of testing. Given that the Red Bull probably has the highest downforce on the grid, it shouldn’t surprise anyone. The surprise would be Stoffel Vandoorne in the McLaren going second but they claimed to have the third fastest chassis on the grid adjusted for engine power last year. Naturally, their running ended early with a car failure late in the day.

  1. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:08.713
  2. Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:09.131
  3. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:09.637

Day 2 (January 26)

Both the number of laps run and the speeds improved on the second day of running. With Sebastian Vettel at the wheel, Ferrari jumped to the top of the timesheets as the results looked how you expected based on last year’s running.

  1. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:06.750
  2. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 1:06.883
  3. Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:07.758

Best Times of the Week

  1. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:06.750
  2. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 1:06.883
  3. Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:07.758
  4. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:08.713
  5. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:09.637

2 thoughts on “Formula One: 2016 Pirelli Wet Tyre Test

  1. Pingback: McLaren F1 1993

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