OCTOBER 14, 2016
Hamilton misses Pirelli test with sore foot
This week's tyre testing shows why the pre-season should be moved from Europe to the Middle East.
That is the view of Pirelli boss Paul Hembery, as two factors marred the tyre supplier's efforts to develop next year's bigger slicks in Barcelona.
Mercedes insisted that both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton be available to drive the team's modified 2015 mule car this week, and Rosberg duly turned up in Spain.
But Hamilton, fresh from his tumultuous Japanese grand prix, called in sick with a sore foot.
"It was agreed he wouldn't test so he could rest it and get physio to be in good shape for Austin," a Mercedes spokesman explained.
Not only that, rain has also affected Pirelli's plans to run the 2017 slicks, which are expected to be several seconds per lap faster.
"The same (kind of weather) can apply to the early part of next year, which is why we are in favour of some guaranteed warm weather testing in 2017, before the season gets underway," Hembery said.
Meanwhile, F1 veteran Mark Webber has announced his decision to retire from racing completely, but he will remain with the Porsche Le Mans team as a consultant.