Each of the 10 Formula 1 teams have been allocated three days this year to test the 18-inch tyres for 2022 that will replace the current 13-inch version.
Ferrari got the programme under way this week with the SF90, their 2019 car, over three days at the former home of the Spanish and European Grands Prix near Cadiz.
A mixture of tyre types were trialled – wets, intermediates and slicks – even though it had originally been reported that Jerez was not equipped to enable wet-weather testing due to lack of an irrigation system.
However, the Italian version of Motorsport.com reported that tank trucks had been brought in to douse the circuit with water.
Leclerc was first to run on Monday with a ‘mule’ car that had been specially adapted to carry the 18-inch tyres that will be used next year, completing 110 laps on intermediates.
On Tuesday, Pirelli tweeted they were starting with more intermediate runs “to dry the track” before moving on to slicks, with both Ferrari drivers in action that day and completing a total of 85 laps.
Then on day three, the schedule was for slick tyres in the morning and wets in the afternoon, with a later tweet saying Sainz had managed 125 laps and also had a stint on the intermediates.
Our 2022 #Fit4F1 @F1 18-inch tyre development test at @circuitodejerez finished today with 125 laps completed by @carlossainz55 for @scuderiaferrari on slick, intermediate and wet tyres. #F1 pic.twitter.com/xVTujc4FZE
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) February 24, 2021
Although Ferrari had to use the 2019 car for their running this week, the teams that are conducting their tests after the 2021 season has commenced, with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28, will be able to use this year’s car.
This is due to the fact McLaren have changed engine supplier this season to Mercedes from Renault and therefore no longer have access to their former brand of power unit in order to run an older car.
In any case, whichever model a team runs in the 2022 tyre tests, next year’s cars will be completely different due to the sweeping regulation changes that are being introduced.
The Jerez tyre test has meant a second chance for Leclerc and Sainz to gain valuable driving practice ahead of pre-season testing in Bahrain from March 12-14.
The Ferrari duo had previously taken part in a seven-driver test at Fiorano with the 2019 car which featured several members of the Scuderia’s Driver Academy, including Mick Schumacher who will make his F1 debut for Haas this year.