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Vampire race weekend // Pirelli complete F1's first wet night test in Abu Dhabi

Published by Christine

Pirelli complete F1's first wet night test in Abu Dhabi
Pirelli & C. SpA

Pirelli kicked off a two day test in Abu Dhabi today, turning the event into F1's first night test. They also soaked the track, getting some much-needed information about the damp conditions under spotlights. Pedro de la Rosa got behind the wheel and completed six hours of running, and was proud to be the first to do so, saying: "This will be the first time I have run in a full wet test at night, probably nobody has done this before."

Meanwhile, the motorsport director of Pirelli, Paul Hembery, explained the reasoning behind using the Yas Marina circuit, when tyre testing is more traditionally done on European circuits. He said: "Of course we could find plenty of wet testing in Europe at Valencia, Silverstone or elsewhere, but in Europe when it's wet it's also cold.

"There are wet races in F1 in Asia - Malaysia, Japan, possibly Singapore - and those places are different, the ambient temperature stays very high even when it's raining."

He added that the compounds they have devised are rather sensitive to wet weather conditions, so they are happy to be gathering a lot of information in a different climate. Although running at night was not a particular priority for the tyre suppliers, Hembery suggests that it is to their own benefit, saying: "We're testing at night time because we don't want the sun to evaporate the water on the track."