x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Pirelli test wet-weather tyres at Yas Marina Circuit

The new Formula One supplier drench the Abu Dhabi circuit to simulate a wet grand prix under floodlights in a private test.

ABU DHABI // The new Formula One supplier Pirelli tested their wet-weather tyres at one of the driest circuits on the calendar after drenching Abu Dhabi's floodlit Yas Marina Circuit with water to simulate a rainy grand prix.

The Italian company, who have replaced Japan's Bridgestone for the 2011 season, have covered more than 13,000km of testing in the past five months and turned the focus in their last private test to intermediate and wet tyres.

Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team boss, had voiced concern only last week about the lack of wet weather testing on the unfamiliar tyres.

"This is a unique opportunity to witness a Formula One test car on track at night in the wet and on hot tarmac, in an entirely floodlit setting," said Pirelli's Formula One head Paul Hembery in a statement before the first of two six-hour sessions.

"We decided to do it this way because we want to challenge our rain tyres with the most difficult and demanding of all situations.

"And who knows, perhaps it could be a good idea for a future grand prix? These tests will provide us with useful information to finalise our tyre development process for Formula One."

Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa was at the wheel of a Toyota FT109 car for the test.

Formula One's first pre-season test of the year will be in Valencia on February 1 with most of the teams due to unveil their new cars at the Spanish track.

The two-day Abu Dhabi test is the last of nine private tests carried out by Pirelli.

The season starts in Bahrain on March 13.