Pirelli set for first team test in Abu Dhabi

http://motogp-f1-races.blogspot.comAbu Dhabi will play the host to Pirelli's debut as Formula One racing's official tyre supplier this week, as the Italian company returns to the sport following a 19-year absence. The 12 teams will test the Pirelli’s tyres for the first time from Friday over a two-day session at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Pirelli have already carried out eight private tests at the Mugello, Monza, Barcelona, Valencia, Jerez and Paul Ricard as they refined the different tyres that will be supplied to the teams next year. The company used a Toyota TF109 to rack up 7000 kilometres with Nick Heidfeld, Romain Grosjean and Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel.

"We come to these tests with plenty of confidence and satisfaction with our work carried out so far," said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery. "The tests in Europe have given us all the data we needed at this current phase of development. From tomorrow, the drivers and the engineers from every team will give us their opinions and the feedback, which are of vital importance for the second phase of testing: a challenge that we are already well-prepared for."

The Abu Dhabi tests will be led by the teams, who have determined the programme they would like to cover. Both the medium and the soft compound slick tyres will be used, distinguishable by a coloured stripe on the sidewall. Every team will have eight sets of tyres available, four for day one and four for day two, which adds up to a total supply of 384 Pirelli tyres.

During the test, the teams will be fully supported by Pirelli's engineers and technicians. In particular, each team will have an assigned engineer as well as being able to rely on the back-up of the entire Pirelli contingent, which numbers 30 people in Abu Dhabi.