Pirelli says it turned down the offer of Mercedes running its Formula 1 championship-winning machine at Paul Ricard for its wet tyre test and is confident it has a healthy portion of data to digest over the coming weeks.
The Italian tyre manufacturer invited Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren to its two-day wet tyre test at the Paul Ricard circuit and completed a total of 639 laps around the wet testing track at its 3.8km configuration.
Pirelli says it is content with the amount of data logged in the test, finishing both days earlier than scheduled, with Mario Isola explaining that only three cars were selected to keep wet conditions consistent as more cars on track would spray more water off the surface.
Isola has also revealed Mercedes volunteered its world title-winning W06 Hybrid machine for the wet test but were declined by Pirelli who instead opted for the three biggest teams not powered by Mercedes engines.
“We said that we were happy with the number of cars one to three altogether on track,” he said. “With more than three teams we are obliged to split them up because the cars spray out a lot of water from the track. With 10 cars it would be impossible to run a wet test.
“So when Mercedes knew we needed just three cars they said if you need us we are able to come otherwise we will stay at home, not that they were unavailable. With three cars it was okay.”
Pirelli also says Paul Ricard was selected over other circuits as it was the easiest to access for all the teams and had the capability and reliability to produce the conditions required consistently.
“This is the configuration of the circuit which can be all wet, it is something we know very well as we also test with GT cars here,” he added.