Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2015

Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren to conduct Pirelli test

2016 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren will test wet-weather tyres for Pirelli at the Paul Ricard circuit later this month.

The three teams will conduct a two-day test for F1’s official tyre supplier which will be solely focused on running different specifications of wet weather tyres. The Paul Ricard circuit is equipped with sprinklers for the purpose of wet weather testing.

The driver line-up for the test has not yet confirmed. Unlike the post-season test which took place at Yas Marina at the end of last season, members of the media will be invited to attend.

The test will take place on January 25th and 26th.

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45 comments on “Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren to conduct Pirelli test”

  1. Lol, and Bernie fails to organise a French GP, they have sprinklers!

    1. Bernie owns Paul Ricard. I doubt he would put on a GP for free.

      1. He could charge until he bankrupts himself…!

  2. Good to see that they invite the media.

    It will allow all of us to get started for the season a bit, do some interviews and it will prevent too many rumours hanging about hinting at gaining unfair advantages etc.

    1. @bascb Anytime any team turns a single wheel on track they will learn something. Not to mention it would be incredibly hard to police bits on the car. Teams wouldn’t be doing it if they weren’t going to get something out of it.

      Interesting part is why the whole grid wasn’t invited to the test, sure some teams wouldn’t bother because of cost but surely Pirelli would want as many teams running as possible in order to gather as much data as possible.

      Also I wonder what engines will be used?

      1. @woodyd91, Who says they weren’t invited? I remember an article about this test quite a while ago saying a couple of teams didn’t thought it made sense for them to be there.
        Nothing unfair going on here, it’s not a secret test like Mercedes’ test a couple of years ago. I’d imagine most of the teams are invited to at least send one of their own people to see if anything suspicious is going on.

        1. @me4me

          Who says they weren’t invited?

          Who says they were?

          At the moment we only know that 3 teams will be taking part, just happens to be 3 of the big teams on the grid, now I couldn’t imagine Mercedes for example passing up the chance to put the car on track, especially if their main rivals would be doing so and given how the burnt up their tyres in the wet/drying conditions in Texas, maybe they did but I personally don’t see it happening.

          Nothing unfair going on here

          If the whole grid were invited and the rest of the teams decided not to attend then no nothing unfair is going on because they all had the same opportunity to learn something, which of course the teams will. However if they weren’t invited to take part then of course that is unfair on the teams who aren’t taking part. That much is pretty clear because you will learn something about your car when you put it on the track.

          Let’s wait and see, I’m sure people will do some digging around to see if team were or weren’t invited or how teams were selected if that wasn’t the case.

          1. @woodyd91, Nothing stopping you from doing some digging of your own. And don’t you think teams would have publicly complained if they heard about a tire test which they weren’t invited to? Like I said, i’m pretty sure I read an article about teams not wanting to participate. I’ll see if I can provide it..

          2. There you go:

            The test will take place on Jan. 25-26 next year, using 2015 cars, and all teams have been invited to participate. The whole two days will be devoted to wet running, using the circuit’s sprinkler system.

            “You only need one car to do the test we’re doing. We’ve extended it to everyone, if they all want to come, it’s good.”

          3. @me4me

            Nothing stopping you from doing some digging of your own

            I have been having a look around, nothing is being said at the moment regarding how teams were selected or how many teams were invited.

            And don’t you think teams would have publicly complained if they heard about a tire test which they weren’t invited to?

            Given the test was only just confirmed and the legal implications about complaining about a test that hadn’t been confirmed I’m sure most teams would hold off with any public statement about the test until it was official they wouldn’t be taking part.

            I remember an article from Autosport back in the summer saying that all teams would be invited to take part in the test but in reality only a small number of teams would take part, i.e the teams with enough money to be able to afford an additional day of testing. Now if we look at teams who will be attending, all of the them have money, there are no small or mid field teams on a tight budget, the only team who isn’t attending who has money is Mercedes. Like I say Mercedes may very well of been invited and turned down the chance but that doesn’t seem all that likely. Especially with Mercedes history with tyres.

          4. @me4me

            There you go:

            The test will take place on Jan. 25-26 next year, using 2015 cars, and all teams have been invited to participate. The whole two days will be devoted to wet running, using the circuit’s sprinkler system.
            “You only need one car to do the test we’re doing. We’ve extended it to everyone, if they all want to come, it’s good.”

            This is along the similar lines of what Autosport reported a little bit earlier, however it doesn’t have a quote from Mercedes or any team saying they don’t want to participate.

            I should just say that I’m not saying other teams weren’t invited to test, what I’m saying is I’m waiting for an official statement from Pirelli saying all teams were officially invited to attend, then that will be put to bed. Then I would assume reporters will be asking Mercedes for a statement as to why they turned down the chance to attend the test.

          5. I’m surprised Mercedes didn’t attend and give the chance of wet F1 running to e.g. Wehrlein and Ocon. I wonder if we will see Vandoorne for McLaren. Vergne would be an excellent driver for Ferrari to gain further wet running data, given his pace in the wet, although they could also use Leclerc. Red Bull could send Gasly.

          6. I think its more or less about who can afford to do a test where they will learn relatively little @woodyd91, @me4me between the teams. I can imagine that there was some kind of informal agreement that Mercedes would sit out this test for some reason (hm, what could that be?). And its likely that Pirelli was not inclined to let team like Manor, Lotus, Sauber, Force India run drivers who just came up with a budget to buy a day of running to make sure that they get solid feedback from it.

            Then again, its also possible that all teams wanted to take place but Pirelli held a pull to decide which 3 teams would be called upon, because its very ineffective to build some 20 sets of test tyres for one test. Others would then be chosen for further tests.

            And to come back to the amount of information gathered, yes, every team will learn something, and because its Pirelli that will pay the majority of the cost involved, even little is fine. On the other hand, running on wet tyres is somewhat less fruitfull, unless F1 actually starts running races and sessions in the rain again!

          7. I see no need for paranoia here. At some point some testing has to be done. These teams can afford it and can provide useful feedback. It is highly likely the teams will not be informed fully of what tires they are on nor will ever know whether the tires they just did 20 laps on will even be actually used in 2016. They will be driving 2015 cars. Merc won’t be there probably as a collectively wise decision so as to eliminate any chance of favouritism rumours.

            I say nothing to see here wrt advantage or favouritism. Just a crucial test for Pirelli in an atmosphere of extremely little actual on-track testing these days.

      2. Anytime any team turns a single wheel on track they will learn something. Not to mention it would be incredibly hard to police bits on the car.

        Somehow Mercedes did 1000km and didn’t learn a thing? :) Or at least they leart switching helmets doesn’t fool anyone.

  3. Will they run 2015 parts or are allowed to bring 2016 ones?

  4. Glad to see that Mercedes is not at this test.

    Don’t think it’s a massive advantage to any of the teams participating, but I wouldn’t put it beyond the ultra sneaky Ferrari to get test some new parts and get away with it ;)

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      11th January 2016, 11:28

      Glad to see that Mercedes is not at this test.

      You’re glad that three teams are going to have an unfair advantage, no matter how slim it may be?

      1. At some point this test is necessary and any advantage will be so minuscule it is not worth mentioning. They either don’t test at all, or they force every team to be at the test. Neither of those options makes sense, so they have to commit to something somehow at some point, and the best scenario to take care of any paranoia is that Merc not be there. This is just a necessary test being conducted in the most sensible way possible.

        1. RaceProUK (@)
          11th January 2016, 17:54

          I’m not saying the test shouldn’t happen; it should and it must if the tyres are going to be any good. I just don’t like the idea of celebrating someone having an unfair advantage, however slight.

          1. Maybe they said Merc cannot come to balance out their special test a few years back and all the other teams simply do not have the money to attend.

          2. RaceProUK (@)
            11th January 2016, 23:06

            It’s already been shown above that Merc were invited, but elected not to attend.

          3. @raceprouk

            I celebrate a closer fight at the front. At any cost.

            Might be unfair.. might be cheating.. But that happens every season. Remember Mercedes’ Pirelli test in 2013 with the 2013 challenger?

          4. RaceProUK (@)
            12th January 2016, 10:43

            Sneaky and underhanded it may have been, but given it was run with FIA approval, it can’t by definition be cheating.

    2. I wouldn’t put it beyond all three ultra sneaky teams rather. These guys all know their business and no mistake.

    3. I would say in terms of sneaky and outright cheating McLaren are top of the pile.

      1. Flavio Briatore, no?

      2. RaceProUK (@)
        12th January 2016, 10:44

        Since when have McLaren cheated? And before you say ‘spygate’, remember that that was one person, not the whole team.

        1. It went deeper than the one person and was known of by a few team members. Anyway that it was something occuring over more than 1 race I hold it to be the greatest instance of team cheating. This is of course a personal opinion and some people will of course disagree.

  5. Happy to see modern GP machinery take to the Ricard once again. A revered track and I wonder which configuration of it will they choose to use.

  6. Won’t other teams get a chance to test later in the season?

  7. They will be using 2015 cars presumably? I don’t imagine any of those teams would want to give anything away this close to testing and Pirelli would need to be using recent machinery to get representative data.

    1. yeah, pretty sure most of them aren’t even yet ready with their cars to be able to bring them to the track @geemac.

      1. 2015 cars being used is a fact especially when one considers that even if a few teams had 2016 cars ready, they’d be on such a steep slope of the learning curve that they couldn’t very well used to do analysis on tires. Not when they’d still be learning so much about the new cars and their behaviour on different setups.

  8. It’s not just of note that Mercedes aren’t participating as much as there are no Mercedes ENGINES participating!

    Perhaps Mercedes, did not want to/were not contracted to, supply additional engines for the test.

  9. I’m going to assume that this test will not have the teams knowing exactly what tires they’re on in terms of softness etc. Of course they will know when they are on full wets or inters, but that doesn’t mean they’ll know the compounds nor whether or not the tires they just ran are actually going to be used in 2016. Ie. I’m confident the test will be quite neutral, especially since they will be in 2015 cars, but since there is going to be a percentage of folks that will be paranoid about this I would suggest they likely agreed it would be best Mercedes not attend, a decision Merc, I’ll assume, was on board with.

    1. They are specifically testing wet tyres @robbie. Either Pirelli has various compounds they are comparing to each other to choos which is best suited or its just one type and making sure it actually does what it should be. As only one type will bre picked (by Pirelli) there is not too much use in knowing how hard or soft the version they ran on was.

  10. Given Mclaren and RBR reliability woes I doubt this will be a really useful test for Pirelli.
    Potentially there might only be 1 car actually running on track while the other two practice tyre changes.

  11. Apex Assassin
    11th January 2016, 18:23

    Can anyone explain why only three teams are participating? ($)
    How they were chosen? ($)
    And verify that the test will be with the 2015 cars?
    Why are the Merc powered teams excluded? I’d have thought Williams would be wanting to be there!

    1. Do you think anyone would have a 2016 car so ready that it could be relied on to test tires? And that a team could get away with that anyway?

    2. RaceProUK (@)
      11th January 2016, 23:08

      Why didn’t you read the above comments where it’s been stated all teams were invited, and attendance was up to them?

  12. It will be very interesting.

  13. I would say in terms of sneaky and outright cheating McLaren are top of the pile.

  14. Are they doing this test to check how close the cars can follow the safety car? That’s the only time they actually use the wet weather tyres.

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