Formula 1’s first wet weather night test at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit was being tested by Pirelli, with Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel of Pirelli’s test car. The tyre manufacturer is conducting six hours of testing for two nights with the Abu Dhabi circuit soaked with water to allow development work on its wet and intermediate tyres.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery explained why the firm chose a night test in the Middle East for its pre-season wet running.
“The reason we’re here is because it’s warmer,” he said. “Of course we could find plenty of wet testing in Europe at Valencia, Silverstone or elsewhere, but in Europe when it’s wet it’s also cold.”
“There are wet races in F1 in Asia – Malaysia, Japan, possibly Singapore – and those places are different, the ambient temperature stays very high even when it’s raining.”
“The compounds are extremely sensitive to temperatures in wet conditions, so this provides different information for us on competitive use.”
“And we’re testing at night time because we don’t want the sun to evaporate the water on the track.”