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Image via @PirelliMotorsport Image via @PirelliMotorsport

Hamilton back on track as Mercedes tyre test at Paul Ricard

Written by  Sep 07, 2017

Four days after their dominant 1-2 at Monza, Mercedes are back on the racetrack as both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas participate in a Pirelli tyre test at Paul Ricard on Thursday.

With a deadline looming at the end of the month for the Italian supplier to submit their tyre construction for next year, the two-day event at the host venue for next year's French Grand Prix is the final time Pirelli will get to evaluate their different prototypes.

The significance of Mercedes and particularly their race drivers taking part is, last year during the testing for the wider tyres that were introduced this season Hamilton rejected the chance to test for Pirelli believing it would be of little value, however, Sebastian Vettel completed over 2000km with Ferrari with many claiming that gave him an advantage over the Silver Arrows. 

Indeed, the tyres remain a key area where at high degradation circuits or in high temperatures the Scuderia do hold an edge over their main rivals.

The decision to test with both drivers, as Bottas will be driving on Friday, suggests Mercedes have learnt from the experiences of this and Hamilton too acknowledges it is a break from his usual view on testing

"I will be doing the test this week, which is very rare for me because l am not a tester," he said over the weekend at Monza. "I am looking forward to it, l offered to do it."

Two more tests await after this one at Paul Ricard, with Force India and Sauber staying on after the Mexican Grand Prix to complete two and three days running respectively and McLaren will also complete two days of running following the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

Though these will take place after the construction deadline, Pirelli can still test various compounds, with their Head of F1, Mario Isola recently suggesting a sixth type of slick tyre could be introduced for 2018. 


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