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F1 teams' test absence added to Pirelli's year of frustration

F1 teams' test absence added to Pirelli's year of frustration

F1 News

F1 teams' test absence added to Pirelli's year of frustration

F1 teams' test absence added to Pirelli's year of frustration
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Mario Isola has revealed Pirelli sought to use the end-of-season young driver test last year for much-needed running of this year's compounds but was unable to do so due to the absence of two Formula 1 teams.

Due to the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Italian tyre manufacturer was afforded just 90 minutes of test running across three separate practice sessions at the Portuguese, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.

With such little track time available, Isola says the young driver test was looked at but was ultimately unavailable due to the disadvantage McLaren and then Racing Point - now Aston Martin - would have been handed by not taking part.

"We didn't have any allocated tyre test," Isola told GPFans Global, referring to last year's situation.

"The only opportunity was to test in 30 minutes, in free practice when all the teams are also focused on the race weekend, so it was a bit difficult.

"We usually have 25 days of testing [per year] and clearly, it was impossible to find any opportunity.

"One proposal was to test the tyres at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi, a complete day of testing, but it was not possible because this test was just for young drivers and not all the teams attended.

"If not all the teams are there, you cannot give the other teams the 2021 specification and give them the opportunity to spend one day adjusting the set-up, trying the tyres and do stuff like that because it is an unfair advantage."

This season's specification of tyres returned mixed reviews from drivers across the three weekends as the teams ran on 2020-spec set-ups.

Aside from the mechanical shortfalls of the tests, Isola pointed to the competition between teams at the tail-end of last season as another hindrance in the ability to gather data.

"The only solution was to test them again in free practice, again when the teams are fully committed to the race weekend," added Isola.

"Okay, the championship was over because Mercedes had won but behind Mercedes, there was a big fight for position in the championship.

"So, they were in any case committed to the race weekend to find the best result, maybe gain a position in the championship. That was difficult."

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