Pirelli's Formula 1 wet tyre test boosted by Austin 2015 downpours

Last year's United States Grand Prix downpours gave Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli an ideal baseline for wet tyre development ahead of next week's test, reckons Paul Hembery

Pirelli's Formula 1 wet tyre test boosted by Austin 2015 downpours

Pirelli will finally conduct the wet-weather tyre test it has long craved at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France on January 25-26.

Hembery feels Pirelli heads there with a goldmine of information it can exploit courtesy of last October's Austin event, was severely hampered by storms.

"At Austin we had our best wet-weather test we've had yet in our five years in the sport," Pirelli motorsport director Hembery told Autosport.

"It was interesting because we got a lot more factual information from the running compared to what we have seen in the past, which has been incidental information.

"And we had so much useful running because people thought we would have a wet race.

"We may not have got crossover points between the inters and full wets as we would have liked, but we had a lot of running in full rain which gave us some good information as to where we'd like to make changes going forward.

"The test at Paul Ricard will now allow us to make the modifications to what we learned then."

One of the areas of focus will be an improvement in the aquaplaning performance of the tyres.

"We see a lot of wet races or wet sessions during a year, but we haven't done wet-weather testing," added Hembery.

"It's a very complex product to develop and manage. We've done pretty well under the conditions, but as ever you always want a bit more.

"For the test we'll be looking at how a tyre performs when aquaplaning because it wasn't what we'd been given to believe in the past.

"Now we have a much better understanding of where the improvements need to be made.

"When you get the info you can try and act on it."

Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren will conduct the wet tyre running for Pirelli at Ricard next week.

Red Bull and Ferrari plan to field their respective race line-ups of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, and Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, while McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne is on duty for the Honda-powered team.

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