Formula 1 running in 2022 is not yet over after all for three teams, who will take part in additional Pirelli tyre tests during December.
It had been thought the post-season tyre test and young driver test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday November 22 would represent the year’s final F1 action.
But three more tyre tests have been confirmed by Pirelli, along with another two in early February when the 2022 cars will again be used.
Paul Ricard, home of the French Grand Prix which has been dropped from the 2023 calendar, will host Alfa Romeo in a wet tyre test on December 3-4.
On December 6-7, Fiorano, Ferrari’s local circuit, stages another test of the 2023 wet tyres where the F1-75 will be in action.
Then on December 14-15, attention turns back to the slicks when AlphaTauri will run at Portimao, which hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix in 2020 and 2021.
The start of February sees three more tests, the first two of which are back-to-back at Paul Ricard – featuring Mercedes (February 1-2, dry tyres) and AlphaTauri (February 3-4, wet tyres).
After a break of a couple of days, the final test will be at Spanish venue Jerez on February 7-8 when both Mercedes and Aston Martin put the dry tyres through their paces.
Mario Isola, Pirelli’s head of motorsport, explained to media including PlanetF1 in Abu Dhabi: “We realised it was impossible with the 2022 calendar, and also with next year’s calendar, to organise all the test sessions we needed.
“One idea was to use FP2, as we used in Mexico and Austin, and another possibility was to organise a test [in the] off-season.
“In the regulations, we can use the current cars until December 15 and from February 1 to the first race of next year’s championship, using the 2022 cars. They cannot use the test in February to develop the 2023 car.
“The FIA is sending an observer to each test to check the configuration and parts used on the car have been used in any of the 2022 races.
“We have three wet sessions, three dry sessions. You have to have some wet sessions in cold conditions because one of the targets is to try to remove the blankets from wet-weather tyres in 2023.
“I hope the conditions are not too cold because maybe at Fiorano in December we find the snow! But hopefully it will be good enough to have a wet-weather test.”
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher