By Adam Tate, Managing Editor
McLaren-Honda protege Stoffel Vandoorne topped the time sheets today from Yas Marina in Pirelli’s 12 hour endurance test of its new ultra soft tire compounds.
All ten teams tested several unmarked varieties of tire that may or may not become Pirelli’s go to pick for next years most agressive tire compound. The so called ultra softs will be used mainly on street circuits in a bid to decrease lap times, increase the number of pit stops and spice up the on track action.
“Whether this will produce more pit stops, or any difference in strategies, it’s too early to say for now. We will fully analyse our data and team telemetry once we get back to base. But it seems we are heading in the right direction: the ultra-soft is expected to offer more possibilities for certain races.” said Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery who added that the test gave them just “one shot” to develop tires for next season.
16 different drivers joined in the test including reserve and test drivers like Vandoorne for McLaren, Pascal Wehrlein for Mercedes, Adderley Fong for Sauber, Alfonso Celis for Force India, Rio Haryonto and Jordan King for Manor.