ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (Nov. 22, 2010) — Pirelli Motorsports is classifying its first tests with the 2010 Formula 1 teams as “positive and educational” as the sport's dozen teams logged 6,835 miles over two days on Pirelli's first-generation F1 tires at the Adu Dhabi circuit without incident.
“We´ve passed our first test with full marks,” said Paul Hembery, Pirelli´s motorsport director. “The comments from the drivers are very encouraging: they especially enjoyed the performance of our front tire, which is an area that we have worked on considerably.”
Formula 1's sanctioning body, Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, awarded Pirelli the F1 contact for 2011-13 in mid-June. Pirelli replaces Bridgestone Corp., which has been F1's sole supplier for the past five seasons but which decided a year ago to make 2010 its last season.
The teams' next opportunity to test Pirelli's F1 tires will be in early February. Pirelli will continue its private testing, with its own car and test driver Pedro de la Rosa, in Bahrain on Dec. 12-16 and again in January at a circuit in Europe.
F1 drivers who tested at Abu Dhabi were mostly complimentary.
“From what we could see, the switch from Bridgestone to Pirelli should not be a traumatic one,” said 2005-2006 world champion Fernando Alonso, who drives for Scuderia Ferrari.
“There is still a lot to do, but I think the tires are already better than expected,” said newly crowned 2010 F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel, who drives for Team Red Bull.