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Pirelli forced to abandon wet tyre test at Fiorano

Pirelli have been forced to abandon their wet tyre test at Fiorano after Sebastian Vettel’s crash on Thursday.

The German lost control of his modified Ferrari SF15-T mule car whilst testing Pirelli’s new 2017 wet tyre on an artificially dampened track and hit the barriers.

When the car was taken back to the factory in Maranello it was revealed the damage was too extensive to continue running on Friday, as was originally the plan, with third driver Antonio Giovinazzi sharing driver duties with Vettel.

Pirelli were conducting the Fiorano test to further assess their new wet tyre, which is not only wider in correspondence with the changes to the slick tyres in 2017, but has also been designed around drivers’ criticisms of the Cinturato tyre.

Several drivers commented that they lacked confidence in the grip of the wet tyre and that they struggled to get sufficient heat into the tyre, especially after the rain-halted Brazilian Grand Prix in November.

A new regulation for 2017, which sees a standing start taking place following a safety car period, will see drivers relying more on maintaining tyre temperature for a restart.

The Fiorano test is to be considered an extreme one, as track temperatures were as low as 5°C.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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