Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery has said he is expecting the teams to switch to race preparation this week in Barcelona.
The test at the Circuit de Catalunya gets underway tomorrow with ten of the twelve teams definitely due to run over the four-days [for the full line-up – see separate story here
“We're likely to see the teams test the tyres that they will use for the first three grand's prix at Barcelona, with the accent switching to race preparation rather than new car development,” Hembery confirmed.
“Once again we have the full range of tyres available for the teams to test, which have been specially designed for the definitive specification of 2012 cars that we should see running at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“We've gathered plenty of data so far and had a very positive first impression from the drivers, so this week should allow us to validate our findings and continue accumulating data that will be vital for the season ahead.”
Thus far Pirelli estimates that more than 32,000 kilometres of testing have been completed with its new tyre compounds, all of which have seen action apart from the 'Green' intermediate and the 'Blue' wet.
The P Zero White medium tyre, which has been nominated for the first three races (together with the P Zero Yellow soft in Australia and China, and the P Zero Silver hard in Malaysia) is expected to be the most popular choice for the final test. Pirelli will take 114 sets of the medium tyre to Barcelona, along with 94 sets of the soft tyre, 69 sets of the hard tyre and 38 sets of the P Zero Red supersoft. In case of wet weather, there will be 31 sets of the intermediate and 14 of the full wet.
“This makes a theoretical total of 360 sets of tyres available for the final test, to add to the 181 sets that were used at the first test in Jerez and the 257 sets used in the second test at Barcelona a week ago,” Pirelli added.
The real number of sets of tyres available though will actually be higher, as teams can carry over unused ones from the previous test.