Ferrari to run Leclerc at tyre test
Ferrari will hand Charles Leclerc a drive when the Scuderia takes part in a Pirelli tyre test at Paul Ricard this week.
The test will be Leclerc’s first official outing for Ferrari since being announced alongside Sebastian Vettel next season.
It won’t be the 20 year-old’s first experience of Ferrari’s SF71H, having completed 100km of running at a filming day at Monza in July.
At the test, Ferrari will work alongside Mercedes as the two teams aid Pirelli, the sport’s official tyre supplier, in developing its program for 2019.
The two-day test is intended to provide tyre construction information to the Italian company for use in next year’s slick tyres prior to being rubber stamped by the FIA.
“We are still developing the product for next year,” explained Mario Isola, Pirelli’s F1 boss.
“The test is as usual blind for them (the teams). We are evaluating a number of constructions, and we are evaluating also some new compounds.
“In terms of construction we are at the end of our development, because October 1 is our deadline to supply the data for the new construction, so it’s final validation.
“We tested different constructions during the year, converging towards the final one for next year.
“We still have to test some new ideas and constructions, and obviously from this test we have to define the 2019 tyres. To have the two top teams is important to ensure that the validation is successful.”
A further test is scheduled with Renault and Sauber where it’s expected Pirelli will look to lock down its compounds for next season.
Teams will have the opportunity to sample the 2019 tyres following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix during the now traditional end of season test.
A simplified naming convention for tyres is set to be introduced next season, with seven compounds set to be retained but labelled soft, medium, or hard over a race weekend.