Red Bull Racing has taken its turn to sample Pirelli's prototype 2017 tyres in a test at Mugello as reserve driver Sebastien Buemi added another 82 laps to its tally.
After Ferrari gave the bold, wider dimension tyres a first run at Fiorano earlier in the week, Red Bull resumed duties at the high-speed Mugello circuit with Buemi driving a 2015 specification RB11, albeit with some modifications to simulate proposed 2017 regulations.
Though Pirelli had hoped to persuade the three teams participating in the tests – Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes – to loan race drivers to aid their data, this was the first time Buemi – who raced with Toro Rosso between 2009 and 2011 – had driven an F1 car for two years. Nonetheless, the 2014 World Endurance Champion completed 82 laps in dry conditions.
In all, the three teams will complete 3 two-day tests each over the coming months in wet and dry conditions in an effort to better prepare Pirelli for the next year's change in technical regulations.
All data will be shared and the 'blind' tests have been devised to ensure there is no advantage to be gleaned for Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes. All teams will be invited to test the new tyres at a post-season Abu Dhabi tyre test.