With Bridgestone falling by the wayside, today marked Pirelli’s first day as Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier.
All twelve teams stayed behind at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina’s circuit this week, with the young driver test running on Tuesday and Wednesday; however Pirelli’s run will ensure that teams will not pack up until Saturday evening.
Jaime Alguersuari was the first driver to take to the track on the new rubber, but with only eight sets of tyres available to each team for the two day test, careful running may be at a premium – for this test, only soft and medium compounds will be in use. As with any test session, it is next to impossible to garner any worthwhile information from the laptimes – it is a pointless exercise akin to trying to bottle and sell air, but no doubt a few will try their best to sell their knowledge and a few will be willing to pay up for the pleasure.
Days like today and tomorrow belong to the engineers – the people in the garage who look at the information and characteristics while also listening to driver feedback, are the ones who truly know the score and will doubt make so much more of the detail. The average person (like me) simply has no idea the teams stand with the new tyres.
For the record, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa registered the fastest lap of the day, while also jointly covering the most distance with McLaren’s Gary Paffett. Rubens Barrichello was the only other driver to get in more than 90 lap; although Sauber’s Kamui Kobaysashi, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus) and Hispania’s Pastor Maldonado were also busy, each clocking more than 80 tours of Yas Marina.
Renault’s Robert Kubica ran only 39 laps, although the Pole got in far more time than the Force India pairing of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta with both getting only 20 laps each – all three suffered from mechanically hit runs.
Abu Dhabi, Pre-Season Test (November 19th)
Pos Driver Car Time Laps 1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m40.170s 94 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m40.500s 77 3. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m40.874s 94 4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m40.950s 83 5. Robert Kubica Renault 1m41.032s 39 6. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m41.425s 91 7. Paul di Resta Force India 1m41.615s 20 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.778s 81 9. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m42.019s 71 10. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m42.859s 20 11. Timo Glock Virgin 1m44.124s 78 12. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1m44.686s 88 13. Pastor Maldonado Hispania 1m45.728s 83