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Pirelli to trial 2012 compounds in Abu Dhabi Young Driver testing

PirelliPirelli will use the forthcoming F1 Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi to debut a selection of its 2012 tyre compounds.

With the championships decided, Pirelli introduced an experimental soft compound during Friday practice in Abu Dhabi as it continues to tweak the profile and construction of its tyres ahead of the 2012 season.

As part of its ongoing evaluation, and as revealed by AUTOSPORT in October, Pirelli will also introduce new compounds in an information-gathering exercise during the three-day young driver test on the Yas Marina circuit.

Changes will include a tweaked front and rear profile of every tyre, which Pirelli say is aimed at distributing wear more evenly across the tyre, and a selection of totally new compounds. Only the supersoft option will remain unaltered.

Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery said the information gathered from the young driver test would be used in conjunction with feedback from Abu Dhabi and the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix in order to reduce the difference in performance between each compound.

"We're already well underway with our preparations for 2012," Hembery explained. "We ran some experimental tyres on Friday in Abu Dhabi, and we'll also be running some new tyres in Brazil.

"Together with the information we accumulate during the young driver test, we're gathering plenty of data in preparation for next year, where we will see a reduction in lap times between the compounds to hopefully make racing even closer.

"Although the young drivers don't have the same experience as the regular drivers, this three-day test will be a good education for them. It's also very important in terms of information-gathering, for both ourselves and the teams, as we aim to make the tyres an even more prominent feature of the action in 2012."

On top of the 100 sets of tyres teams are allowed to use for testing under the current FOTA agreement, Pirelli will supply each team with eight sets of extra rubber for the Abu Dhabi tests.

The extra sets will include the current range of compounds and some soft compound development tyres.

Pirelli aims to have a new range of tyre choices ready and available for the first test of 2012, scheduled for Jerez on 7-9 February.

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