The first track action of 2016 is currently underway at the Paul Ricard track in France. With Pirelli conducting a two-day wet tyre test.
The test is taking place at the Paul Ricard track, regarded as one of the most technologically advanced tracks in the world, which was picked due to its ability to simulate rainy conditions to a specific level. At the last wet tyre test in Jerez in 2014 a tanker doused the track in water in a much less scientific way it has to be said. The purpose of the test is for Pirelli to test out several of their new 2016 full wet tyre compound before the season begins. The focus is totally on the full wet tyres, with no plans to test out the intermediate compounds in the two days.
Three of the eleven teams are completing the test which Pirelli have absolute control over. Teams have been told to run their 2015 car, and are forbidden from using any of their 2016 developments or components on the car. Ferrari and Red Bull have opted to use their current drivers during the two days. While McLaren have said reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne will participate in both days of the test.
Current world champions Mercedes are apparently not concerned about missing the tyre test. Preferring to focus on preparing their car for the first pre-season test taking place on the 22nd of February. Teams are also given access to Pirelli’s end of test data as well. So it’s not as if they are being deprived of information by not attending.
Testing will be carried out from 8AM-4PM UK time on both days.