Pirelli took the first step in its return to the FIA Formula One World Championship when Nick Heidfeld completed a two-day test at the wheel of a Toyota TF109 yesterday (Wednesday August 18).
Heidfeld, Pirelli's new Formula One test driver, sampled prototype versions of Pirelli's P Zero Formula One tire, which will be used by all Formula One teams in 2011, under a three-year agreement with the FIA, world motorsport's governing body.
The objective of the test, which was held in largely dry and sunny conditions at the Mugello circuit in Italy, was to begin the process of determining the front and rear tire profile and construction that will be used as the basis of the new Pirelli P Zero Formula One tire.
Pirelli's Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery, explained: "Mugello has quite an abrasive surface with long and medium length high-speed corners as well as hairpins and quick changes of direction, so it is a good proving ground. We are on target and have come away from this test with lots of data to analyze, which is exactly the situation we hoped for."
Pirelli's testing program began less than two months after finalizing its agreement to become the sole tire supplier to the Formula One World Championship, a feat Hembery was quick to acknowledge.
"A lot of people have made a big commitment to get where we are today in a very short period of time; the effort really has been incredible. The Toyota team has been very professional and provided a good, reliable car."
Pirelli will continue its Formula One tire development program later this month.