AUGUST 19, 2010
Will Heidfeld steer tyre development towards Schumacher?
Nick Heidfeld has completed Pirelli's first two days of evaluation testing prior to the Italian company's three year F1 control tyre supply, which begins in 2011.
Heidfeld tested a Toyota TF109 on experimental versions of the PZero F1 rubber as Pirelli seeks to define front and rear profile and construction ahead of further testing.
Pirelli's motorsport director, Paul Hembery, said: "This was the first step of our return to F1 and we are very satisfied with how the tyres performed and the information we were able to collect.
"Mugello has quite an abrasive surface with long and medium/high-speed corners as well as hairpins and quick changes of direction so it is quite a good proving ground. We are on target and we come away from the test with lots of data to analyse, which is exactly the situation we hoped to be in."
It will be interesting to see how aggressive Pirelli goes with its F1 compounds. It has often been said that 'racier' tyres would spice up both the racing and the strategy element but there is little incentive for a single supplier to take risks.
The relatively weak nature of the current smaller Bridgestone front tyre has also been held up as one reason behind seven times champion Michael Schumacher's relative lack of performance since his return. .
Musing on Schumacher's form in Hungary, Mercedes boss Ross Brawn commented that Nico Rosberg tended to get more out of the tyres when they were marginal and Bridgestone's Hirohide Hamashima has opined that Schumacher's style, which demands a 'pointy' car with a strong front end, would have been better-suited to last year's larger front tyre which prompted more of an oversteer handling characteristic..
"It will be interesting to see what happens with the Pirellis," Brawn said at Hunagroring..
It is interesting that Mercedes has released Heidfeld to conduct the Pirelli development, prompting speculation that he might have arrived at Mugello with a lengthy 'wish list' from Herr Schumacher...
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