Today marks the first of a two-day test session in Abu Dhabi that will see Pirelli make its return to F1 as a tyre supplier, with all twelve F1 teams on-hand to sample first-hand the new rubber they’ll be using in 2011.
To date, the Milan-based company has conducted several private F1 tests in a 2009 Toyota chassis, deploying the services of Nick Heidfeld and (later on) Pedro de la Rosa to trial and develop the new rubber.
By no means is this Pirelli’s first foray into F1. The marque took F1’s very first win in the modern era of the sport with Giuseppe Farina and Alfa Romeo at Silverstone in 1950. In the 203 races where Pirelli has been a supplier between 1950 and 1991, the outfit has been part of 47 pole positions, 51 fastest race laps and 44 wins, with the last being Nélson Piquet’s last F1 win in 1991 with Benetton at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Here is the line-up for the opening day’s running at the Yas Marin circuit:
|Red Bull Renault||Sebastian Vettel|
|McLaren Mercedes||Gary Paffett|
|Mercedes GP||Nico Rosberg|
|Williams Cosworth||Rubens Barrichello|
|Force India Mercedes||Adrian Sutil|
|Sauber Ferrari||Kamui Kobayashi|
|Toro Rosso Ferrari||Jaime Alguersuari|
|Lotus Racing Cosworth||Heikki Kovalainen|
|Hispania Racing Cosworth||Pastor Maldonado|
|Virgin Racing Cosworth||Timo Glock|
[Original image via GP Update]