Sebastian Vettel: Ferrari cancel Pirelli wet-weather test following crash

February 14 2017 , 12:00 am


Ferrari have been forced to cancel a Pirelli wet-weather tyre test following a heavy crash by Sebastian Vettel.

The four-time champion did about 40 laps at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track before Thursday’s accident. Pirelli said he “simply lost control”.

Vettel could give no further details of what happened, but said: “All good. I have no injuries or ailments.”

The car, a 2015 model modified to simulate 2017 downforce levels, was too damaged to continue with the test.

That meant the plan for Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi to have his first taste of an F1 car on Friday had to be called off.

The Pirelli spokesman said the company was evaluating potential technologies aimed at the 2018 season, including new tread patterns and rubber compounds.

Vettel’s crash was on his first lap out of the pits after a break for lunch. The weather was cold – the temperature was 4C – and it has been suggested that a lack of temperature in the tyres could well have been a contributing factor.

F1 tyres have to be at the right temperature to operate effectively and the temperature in Maranello on Thursday was in the region of 10C cooler than F1 cars would ever normally encounter at even the coolest Grand Prix.

The Pirelli spokesman also said that one of the technologies the company was trying that day were tyres that operate without the use of the heating blankets that have been used in F1 for many years to ensure they are at close to operating temperature as possible when they leave the pits.

Pirelli has modified its wet-weather tyres for the 2017 season in response to widespread criticism from drivers of the ‘extreme’ tyre, which is used in the worst conditions.

Vettel described the tyre at last year’s British Grand Prix as “basically just good enough to follow the safety car”, adding that “no-one really has any trust in it”.

The issue arose again following a number of crashes during the soaking race in Brazil in November.

The problems have led to F1 giving Pirelli more test days to try out tyre developments. One of the eight pre-season test days in Barcelona at the end of this month and the beginning of March has been dedicated to this.


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