Pirelli set to begin testing new Formula 1 tyres for 2011
Pirelli are to begin testing their new Formula 1 tyres at Mugello today ahead of the 2011 world championship.
The Italian marque will use an unused version of Toyota’s 2009 TF109 chassis from pre-season coupled with a late-season aerodynamic package. Mercedes’ reserve driver Nick Heidfeld is understood to be the sole test driver after leaving his role with the German team.
Toyota will supply the operational platform for the test programme as the only chassis considered relevant to current F1 design and technology, but without any affiliation to a current F1 team. The Japanese manufacturer will also provide preliminary analysis before handing the data to Pirelli.
Pirelli last supplied F1 teams in 1991 with Tyrrell, Brabham, Dallara and Benetton using its products while the rest of the grid was supplied by rivals Goodyear.
Further tests are scheduled to take place before the end of the season, with a group session following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix giving all teams their first experience of the new Pirelli rubber with two days of running.
Following the group test in November, Pirelli hopes to continue testing with a 2010 car if an agreement with the teams can be reached.