Speciale test Pirelli–01/12/2015
F1 Abu Dhabi tyre test: Stoffel Vandoorne fastest for McLaren
McLaren ended its troubled Formula 1 season with the fastest time in Pirelli’s Abu Dhabi tyre test, set by GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne.
The Belgian completed 99 laps in the last outing for the McLaren-Honda MP4-30, setting a best time of 1m44.103s, 0.353 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn was one of nine 2015 race drivers in action during the 12-hour test, as Pirelli looks to bring a tyre performance ‘cliff’ back to F1 next year.
Pirelli trialled "several different potential variations" of the new ultra-soft compound along with new front and rear constructions of other compounds.
Teams were banned from trying new parts.
"We had one shot when it came to testing tyres for next season, and we can be satisfied by what we’ve achieved in this test, even if we have to fully analyse the data," Pirelli’s Paul Hembery said.
"We’ve tested different versions of the new ultra-soft compound for 2016, which was one of the targets for this session.
"The ultra-soft’s target for 2016 is to introduce a compound softer than the super-soft and mainly designed as aggressive choice for street circuits: with better performance than the latest version of the super-soft tyre and faster degradation, in order to allow the teams to take a more aggressive approach to race strategy.
"Whether this will produce more pit stops, or any difference in strategies, it’s too early to say for now.
"But it seems we are heading in the right direction: the ultra-soft is expected to offer more possibilities for certain races."
Marcus Ericsson set the third-fastest time for Sauber, ahead of 2016 Lotus driver Jolyon Palmer and Raikkonen’s Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Both Red Bull and Toro Rosso race drivers also ran, while new Force India development driver Alfonso Celis turned his first laps in a Formula 1 car and Manor gave GP2 driver Jordan King his first F1 mileage.
Pirelli F1 test day times: 1. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1m44.103s 99 2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m44.456s 56 3. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1m44.480s 50 4. Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1m44.568s 90 5. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m44.940s 56 6. Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 1m45.605s 107 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m45.805s 57 8. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1m45.849s 54 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m45.852s 71 10. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m45.940s 103 11. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1m46.309s 48 12. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1m46.995s 56 13. Adderly Fong Sauber 1m48.439s 57 14. Alfonso Celis Jr Force India 1m48.545s 65 15. Rio Haryanto Manor 1m49.593s 56 16. Jordan King Manor 1m49.661s 59