Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Pirelli’s wet-tyre test

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Ferrari’s driver Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time during Pirelli’s two-day test at the Paul Ricard Circuit earlier this week.

Pirelli conducted ‘blind’ tests with no specific markings on the development tyres so the teams would not know which versions of the rubber they were using. Paul Ricard’s track sprinklers were used to simulate various different water levels, and each car left the pits at 10-seconds intervals, circulating for roughly 10 laps before returning to the pits so the track could be soaked again.

Ferrari were one of three teams testing along with McLaren and Red Bull and no new parts were allowed to be used during either day, as teams could only use their 2015 cars.


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Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) were the three drivers that participated in the first day of testing at the French track.

The Australian driver set the quickest time on the first test day of the 2016 season. Raikkonen and Ricciardo both completed 99 laps, with Vandoorne driving for 87 laps before an engine failure brought his first day to an early end.

During the second day of testing, Sebastian Vettel took over from teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat was swapped in for Red Bull but Vandoorne continued in the McLaren.

Over the course of both days the three teams covered over 600 laps totalling more than 2,300 kilometres as Pirelli worked on its full wet tyre compound.

Pirelli stated that the cool temperatures of around 11ºC were “not ideally representative” but were able to collect useful data.

Best times:

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 1’06.750 - 134 laps on Tuesday
Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull): 1’06.833 - 113 laps on Tuesday
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren): 1’07.758 - 214 laps on Monday and Tuesday
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 1’08.713 - 99 laps on Monday
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari): 1’09.637 - 99 laps on Monday

The pre-season testing for the 2016 Formula 1 season will see its initial four-day session at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya from February 22-25.

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