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19 November 2010

Abu Dhabi tyre test - Pirelli returns to F1

Pirelli made its official return to Formula One today as the last two days of track action of the 2010 season began at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Lotus Racing’s Heikki Kovalainen was in chassis T127-02 for the first day of the official two day tyre test and rolled out of the garage early on Friday morning on the first ever set of Pirelli tyres mounted in the modern F1 era. Over a busy day on track he completed 88 laps with a best time of 1.44.686.

Heikki Kovalainen: “It’s good to welcome Pirelli back into our sport and we had a good day on track, completing the whole programme and the balance of the car felt very comfortable all day. Honestly, I would like to drive the car again tomorrow but now we have a long break until testing starts again in a couple of months and I can’t wait to get back in the car next year.”

Mike Gasocyne, Lotus Racing Chief Technical Officer: “An interesting and very useful first day of testing with Pirelli. We had no mechanical issues on the car and managed to complete our full programme in 88 laps. The car was ballasted up to the 2011 weight limit for the day and we ran a series of fundamental tests within the parameters we could change with the tyres and in the afternoon we found some clear and useful setup directions for the engineers to work on. We set our quickest lap of the day at the end of the session on a pretty worn set and all of the data gives us very useful information that we will carry over to tomorrow when Jarno is back in the car for his first taste of the new Pirelli tyres.”