With the season-ending Pirelli tyre test now out of the way, the teams and drivers now head back to their respective factories to download the massive amount of information gathered from the two-day opportunity to sample Pirelli’s tyre development efforts as it prepares to come back to Formula 1.
For some drivers, the outcome of the test was of greater significance, and the likes of Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher were two such examples who notably struggled adapting to Bridgestone’s 2010 tyres.
Massa would go on to set the quickest lap time on the opening day of the test and declared he was happy with the new-for-2011 tyres, while Schumacher was a little more restrained in his initial assessment, despite almost matching Day 2’s quickest man, Fernando Alonso.
“We were using the 2010 car and it will be all about how these tyres suit our 2011 car,” he said after the session.
But Brazil’s Agencia Estado quoted the seven-time World Champion in a more positive frame of mind.
“These are not the final tyres but the ones I used today seemed to suit my style a bit more, especially the fronts,” he said.
Other drivers, like Toro Rosso’s Sébastien Buemi, were enthusiastic about Pirelli’s new tyres.
“You can also brake very hard and very late,” he told Auto Hebdo. “On acceleration, the traction is poor and you lose a lot of grip, and the wear also seems higher.
“And on a long run the soft tyres wore much less than the hard tyres … The front tyres are good. They respond well.”
And certainly Pirelli seemed pleased with their efforts on their return to the sport after a 20-year absence, with the group’s motorsport boss Paul Hembery adding: “The drivers especially enjoyed the performance of our front tyre, which is an area that we have worked on considerably.”
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]