F1 set for wet tyre test at Paul Ricard

Formula 1 testing will return to Paul Ricard next year, Motorsport.com can reveal, with Pirelli organising a two-day wet weather run.

F1 set for wet tyre test at Paul Ricard
Sebastien Buemi, Test Driver, Red Bull Racing
Pirelli tyres
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director
Nico Hulkenberg, Test Driver, WilliamsF1 Team
Sebastien Buemi, Test Driver, Red Bull Racing- Formula 1 Testing
Pirelli tyres washed by Williams mechanics
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The test will take place on January 25-26 next year, using 2015 cars, and all current teams have been invited to participate.

The whole of the two days will be devoted to wet running, with Pirelli making use of the circuit's sprinkler system.

Tyre test only

Pirelli has been trying for some time to organise a proper wet weather test in the sort of controlled conditions that the French track can provide.

More recent attempts at wet testing have been hampered by Pirelli only having use of a tractor to temporarily dampen the track at Jerez.

As with all official tyre tests, teams will not be allowed to make changes to the cars, nor undertake any form of development.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "The plan is to go to Paul Ricard in January.

"You've got to go to a controlled circuit where water is applied on a consistent basis. It's one of the few places where in January it should be okay in terms of weather.

"You only need one car to do the test we're doing. We've extended the invitation to everyone, if they all want to come, it's good."

New tyres for Australia

The test is early enough for Pirelli to have new wet tyres ready for the Australian GP.

"It's for next year's design. The season starts later, so that helps. If we had the historical start, it would have been too late."

Hembery hopes that Pirelli will have an opportunity to do more dry weather testing too, as teams continue to work out how to slot in two in-season tests.

"Any testing for us is positive. We'd like to do a lot more, in reality," he said.

"We've been asked to come up with two or three stops per race. This year we've been a little bit too close to one.

"The margins are really small, and when you do the analysis, five or 10 seconds is all that's needed to jump between one strategy or the other.

"And to get that right without testing is very difficult. So we do need to have a little bit more testing. Really it's for compounds, it's not so much for the structure of the tyre."

Paul Ricard will be a novelty for many F1 drivers, as it has not been used for a group F1 test since May 2008.

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