Pirelli will use the forthcoming F1 Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi to debut a selection of its 2012 tire compounds.
With the championships decided, Pirelli introduced an experimental soft compound during Friday practice in Abu Dhabi as it continues to tweak the profile and construction of its tires ahead of the 2012 season. As part of its ongoing evaluation, Pirelli will also introduce new compounds in an information-gathering exercise during the three-day test on the Yas Marina circuit.
Changes will include a tweaked front and rear profile of every tire, which Pirelli says is aimed at distributing wear more evenly across the tire, and a selection of totally new compounds. Only the super-soft option will remain unaltered.
Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery said the information gathered from the test would be used in conjunction with feedback from Abu Dhabi and the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix in order to reduce the difference in performance between each compound.
"We're already well under way with our preparations for 2012," Hembery explained. "We ran some experimental tires on Friday in Abu Dhabi, and we'll also be running some new tires in Brazil. Together with the information we accumulate during the young driver test, we're gathering plenty of data in preparation for next year, where we will see a reduction in lap times between the compounds to, hopefully, make racing even closer.
"Although the young drivers don't have the same experience as the regular drivers, this three-day test will be a good education for them. It's also very important in terms of information gathering, for both ourselves and the teams, as we aim to make the tires an even more prominent feature of the action in 2012."
On top of the 100 sets of tires teams are allowed to use for testing under the current FOTA agreement, Pirelli will supply each team with eight sets of extra rubber for the Abu Dhabi tests. The extra sets will include the current range of compounds and some soft compound development tires.
Pirelli aims to have a new range of tire choices ready and available for the first test of 2012, scheduled for Jerez on Feb. 7-9.