Pirelli says its first full-field Formula 1 test in Abu Dhabi has given it a clear idea of the final adjustments it needs to make to its 2011 rubber, but that overall the test confirmed everything it had learned in its own private work with a 2009 Toyota.
The new-for-2011 tires received a broadly positive response from the F1 drivers and teams after the first group test last week, and Pirelli's tire research and development director Maurizio Boiocchi said that only fine-tuning was now required.
"All the teams gave common feedback that we will follow over the next week to improve and optimize the tire which is, in my mind, already more than good," he told AUTOSPORT. "We are very happy about the performance, especially taking into account that on Aug. 19 we turned a wheel for the first time at Mugello and three months later we ran with 12 teams.
"Everything that we did with the simulations and computer models was really helpful and based on that, and the work with the Toyota, we developed the solutions that we used during the test. We have some additional tuning to do on the compounds and re-balance the stiffness of the tire front and rear to improve the characteristics even more, but these were two fantastic days. We would have signed for this when we first started this adventure!"
He was pleased with how seamlessly the work Pirelli had done with the 2009 Toyota transferred to the 2010 cars.
"The correlation between the Toyota TF109 that we tested with and what happened in Abu Dhabi is impressive," said Boiocchi. "It was very close, very tight."
Boiocchi acknowledged that changes to the car designs for 2011 would affect things, but was confident that Pirelli had factored this into its preparations.
"We are designing the tires for the 2011 cars, for which the rules will be changed and there will be different downforce characteristics with the single diffuser at the back of the car," he said. "There are a lot of differences and we are developing the tires according to the future needs.
"The test was about checking what we have. The test was about checking the tires with performances levels that are very different compared to the 2009 Toyota. The downforce, aerodynamics and lap times are totally different. We achieved a very tight correlation between the two things and what we now need to do is very clear from this two-day test."