Director of Pirelli motorsport, Paul Hembery thanked Mercedes, Toro Rosso and Ferrari for coming up as volunteers in Austria this week and help test the tyre compounds for the 2016 F1 season.
After the last weekend’s race, all teams except for Manor tested the tyres on tuesday and wednesday as a last running outside the 2015 F1 season. The teams also utilised the extra track time to evaluate their own parts and possible strategies for the upcoming races.
Paul Hembery said: “ It was slight frustrating beginning to test in Austria, with rain wiping out the open morning. However, some solid work was carried out from the tuesday afternoon onwards, with even some occasional glimpses of sunshine on Wednesday.”
He added: “Many thanks to Ferrari, Mercedes and Toro Rosso, which volunteered to help us test some new materials for the 2016 season, now that there are no longer any official in-season dedicated tyre test days. The results we obtained will be very useful as we continue the development of our next generation of tires.”
It’s interesting to see Pirelli using every opportunity for tyre testing. Since, their contract with F1 will expire after the 2016 season, Pirelli has to work extra hard this time to prove its worth against Michelin to bag the contract extension.
The F1 Strategy Group had earlier decided to implement a free tyre choice system for the 2016 season, where teams can choose from all four Pirelli tyre compounds for each weekend. However, Pirelli thinks that this would be a safety hazard since the teams could run unsuitable tyres in races. Therefore, this move has been rejected for now.The teams were stuck with two compounds allocated per race.