By Alex Kapadia
Formula One teams benefitted from extra running with Pirelli’s 2012 tyres at the first in-season test to take place since 2008.
The three-day session went ahead at Mugello in Italy – where Pirelli’s prototype Formula One tyres ran for the first time in August 2010.
The teams were allowed to use whichever tyres from their testing allocation of 100 sets per car per year remained to them, trying out all the slick compounds, including some runs on the supersoft during the final day.
The allocation of 100 tyres also includes the young driver test at the end of the year.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “With so few testing opportunities available over the course of the year, this was a valuable chance for the teams to expand their knowledge of the characteristics of our tyre range, as well as try out different upgrades before the European season begins next weekend.
“This is traditionally a time when teams introduce new parts, and with the competition now being closer than it has ever been before, understanding how the tyres interact with the latest car developments will be key to establishing an advantage.
“The opening day at Mugello was something of a wash-out, but the teams were able to complete some longer runs over the last two days with our medium and hard tyres in particular, enabling them to collect plenty of useful data. This will be extremely valuable when it comes to planning race strategy in future.”