Pirelli will continue its preparations for the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship season during a four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain this week.
All 12 teams contesting this year’s championship will take part in the test, which marks the final opportunity for on-track running in Europe ahead of the first Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain next month.
Pirelli will bring an evolution version of the supersoft and soft compound PZero tyre, as well as the medium and hard compounds. The modifications have been incorporated following feedback from the teams and from the extensive data accrued by Pirelli’s engineers. This will be the final opportunity that the teams have to sample all four dry tyres from the Pirelli range – supersoft, soft, medium and hard – as from the Bahrain test onwards only the compounds that have been selected as the prime and the option for the races will be provided.
Unlike Jerez, the Circuit de Catalunya located north of Barcelona is an active Formula One race venue having hosted Spain’s Grand Prix since 1991. It is favoured by the F1 teams for test and development due to its combination of fast, medium and low-speed corners, making it ideal for honing car design and set-up.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “We managed to collect a lot of data from our test with all the teams in Jerez and we’ve been very busy evaluating it to see what we can learn. What’s interesting is that the emphasis during testing is changing: as the teams get up to speed with their new cars the work has become much more focussed, with some longer runs and potential race set-ups being evaluated. We’ve also got some evolutions of the supersoft and soft tyres, which was always part of our development schedule.”
Hembery continued: “Barcelona is a track that both ourselves and all the teams are very familiar with, so I’m sure we will come back with plenty of information once more. Once more, the track characteristics are quite different to the two circuits that we have tested at before, which enables the teams to experience the behaviour of our tyres under a wide range of circumstances: something that will be crucial to formulating race strategies as the year goes on.”
The Barcelona test is scheduled to run from February 18-21.