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Pirelli return to Formula 1 // The Italian tyre manufacturer reappear in the F1 paddock

Published by Christine

Ahead of testing tomorrow, Pirelli have made their return to the F1 paddock, and it's very interesting to see them take over the spot vacated by Bridgestone. Pirelli have been in F1 a couple of times before, lasting a few years at a stretch - the longest being nine years, and the most recent ending in 1991. Now they are back, and the paddock is about to get a little bit more yellow.

Wheel rims and fresh rubber at the ready in Abu Dhabi.
Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A.

Teams and drivers will get their first taste of the Pirelli rubber tomorrow, when they return to the track in Abu Dhabi for a two-day test. We've had a couple of days of young driver testing, featuring Bridgestone's last sets of rubber, but now it is time to look ahead to the future. Today, there are some last minute preparations being done in the sunshine at the Yas Marina track.

It takes a lot of people to run a tyre campaign.
Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A.

We have yet to see how Pirelli will handle the green stripe situation, although I think we're all assuming it will be a yellow rather than a green stripe. With deference to Lotus, yellow and green doesn't feel like a good combination, on tyres anyway. The track is a good deal faster than it was during the last Grand Prix, so it will not be a fair comparison to judge times, but it will be interesting to see what the teams say after they have some experience on the new compounds.

Plenty more where these came from.
Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A.

The only driver with real experience on the tyres is Nick Heidfeld, and he was last connected with Sauber. I don't know if he's still contracted to the team, but if not, this will be precious knowledge lost. Nevertheless, after the next couple of days, we will start to be getting used to the yellow logos, and the teams will know what kind of a tyre challenge they have on their hands.