Pirelli has unveiled a new Ultra Soft tyre compound which will make its track debut at a 12-hour end-of-season test in Abu Dhabi ahead of its introduction to the 2016 Formula 1 tyre compound rota.
The Italian tyremaker will remain as the sport’s sole tyre supplier – along with the GP3 Series and GP2 Series feeder categories – until at least the end of 2019.
In response to often unwarranted criticism over the construction and development of its tyres, it has insisted on additional testing days, the first of which will be in Abu Dhabi after the season-ending Grand Prix.
The test will run from 9am to 9pm on December 1, with each team allowed to run one car across the day.
“Teams have been asked to run preferably race or reserve drivers, and they will not be allowed to try new parts nor alter the cars during the test,” a statement from Pirelli reads.
“Pirelli will define the test programme for each car. All of the teams involve will field one car each, but participation is voluntary.”
As part of its charter to further improve the on-track action, it has developed a new ‘Ultra Soft’ compound which it will test at Abu Dhabi along with a new-specification tyre construction for the 2016 season.
The tyres will be marked with purple sidewalls, with the colour choice determined by an 85% popular vote in polls run on Pirelli’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
The ‘Ultra Soft’ compound will be used alongside the Super Soft, Soft, Medium and Hard compounds already in play, broadening the range of compound types that Pirelli can allocate at each Grand Prix.
There are suggestions that the 2016 regulations could be modified to stipulate that three different dry-weather compounds be brought to each Grand Prix, out of which teams will be able to select two compounds to run across the race.
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