Pirelli's wet tires test at Paul Ricard

Pirelli completes the first test of the season at Paul Ricard to develop the 2016-specification full wet tire.

A total of more than 650 laps and 2300 kilometers are covered by five drivers from Ferrari, Red Bull, and McLaren.

The test results will now be analyzed at Pirelli HQ in Milan over the coming days.


Pirelli’s two-day wet tyre test, held at the state-of-the-art Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, concluded today at 4pm – with the specific aim of developing the latest generation of full wet tyres.

Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull were present at the test, having accepted Pirelli’s invitation to all the teams to take part.

The Paul Ricard circuit’s sophisticated variable sprinkler system allowed Pirelli to test with different amounts of water on the track, in order to simulate a wide range of wet conditions. This meant that the drivers could try a number of full wet tyre prototypes, with different compounds and constructions compared to the existing 2015 Cinturato Blue.

As this was a ‘blind test’ the prototypes did not carry any colour markings on the sidewalls, and the teams and drivers did not know which specification of tyres they were testing. All the cars ran in unaltered 2015 specification.

The test and development programme was completed within two full days at Paul Ricard, with 659 laps of a short circuit configuration run by the five drivers involved, totalling 2326 kilometres.

Temperatures remained consistently low throughout both days of the test, peaking at 11 degrees centigrade. Although these were not ideally representative conditions, a wide range of data was collected that will subsequently be analysed at Pirelli’s headquarters in Milan.

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne was the only driver to drive during both days, while Ferrari ran Kimi Raikkonen on Monday and Sebastian Vettel on Tuesday. Red Bull tested with Daniel Ricciardo on day one and Daniil Kvyat on day two.

These were the quickest times set over the course of the two days:

Driver Team Best time Total laps
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari  1.06_750 134
Daniil Kvyat Red Bull  1.06_833 113
Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren  1.07_758 87 + 127
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull  1.08_713 99
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari  1.09_637 99

The development program will now continue back at base, when Pirelli will compare each team’s telemetry with its own data, in order to obtain a full picture of every prototype’s performance.

The next outing will be the first pre-season test of the year at Barcelona in Spain on February 22-25.

© Pirelli