Pirelli completes first day of Barcelona tyre test with Ferrari and Mercedes

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Following last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Ferrari and Mercedes stayed at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to complete an important prototype testing with the two teams set to continue their work today.

The opening day of last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix was an important one for Pirelli as it supplied teams with a new specification of slick tyres that will make its debut at the British Grand Prix.

After evaluating the performance gains and development rate of the current F1 cars, the Italian manufacturer decided to introduce a new specification that will sport a sterner, tougher tyre construction with the compound types staying the same. The new specification will see the debut of materials that have been originally planned for 2024.

Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Mario Isola commented: "Initially this was scheduled for 2024, but its introduction has now been brought forward to make the structure more resistant to fatigue, as the loads generated by the current cars have already reached the targets set for the end of the season after only a few races," Isola said.

After testing the new construction during the Friday’s practice session at Barcelona, Pirelli is now evaluating prototypes tyres for next season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Mercedes and Ferrari are the two outfits that stayed with Pirelli at Barcelona. The two teams are testing Pirelli’s 2024 tyres that do not require the use of tyre blankets. Following this test session, Pirelli will continue its work with Red Bull after the British Grand Prix at Silverstone before making the final decision with the FIA whether they phase out the tyre warmers or further postpone the idea.

On the first day of testing, Charles Leclerc was behind the wheel of the SF23. The Monegasque, who endured an extremely disappointing and difficult Spanish Grand Prix, racked up a total of 167 laps with his best time being a 1m18.197s.

The five-time F1 race winner shared the 4.6km track with George Russell, who notched up a total of 151 laps. The Briton, who secured a third-place finish at Barcelona, posted a 1m18.400s yesterday.

The test is set to continue today with Carlos Sainz driving for Ferrari and Mick Schumacher making his debut behind the wheel of the Mercedes W14.