The first day of extra, last-minute Pirelli tyre testing ahead of the 2020 season has concluded at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
Pirelli requested an extra test before the end of this season as a result of needing to lock down their 2020 prototypes. This test, as a result of the flyaway schedule between now and the end of the season, was quickly booked in to place at the usual pre-season testing venue – the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
Three teams supplied a car and driver at short notice; a tough ask considering that most of the teams and drivers are already in Japan or en route east for the Suzuka weekend. Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes were all able to supply Pirelli.
Ferrari and Red Bull carried out the testing duties on Monday. While Jake Dennis was initially thought to be driving the RB10 after Paul Monaghan indicated as such at the Russian team’s press conference last week, it was Alex Albon at the wheel instead. Ferrari, as originally scheduled, had Sebastian Vettel driving their SF90 on Monday. Both drivers will now immediately ship out to Japan, while Mercedes’ test team will stay on for Tuesday with reserve and test driver Esteban Ocon driving the W10. It will be the Frenchman’s last appearance for Merc before switching to a Renault race seat.
Pirelli got some good data to help nail down their 2020 compounds, as Vettel clocked up 145 laps of the track on Monday. This was 674 kilometres in total, while Red Bull did 115 laps with Albon.
“We are grateful to the teams that accepted to test for us.” said Pirelli boss Mario Isola last week. “I fully understand that it is a big effort of them to fit this tyre test into the calendar, which is very, very busy. It will be the same next year with an additional race, so we are finalizing also the plan for next year. Testing is very important for us. We need to validate our tyres on track. We cannot change the product during the year.”