The in-season testing at Mugello in the Italian foothills marks the crucial return of evaluation of performance upgrades and checks within the season outside racing weekends since 2008 when Bridgestone tested in september.
The likes of Lotus, Force India, Williams and Caterham will line-up their reserve drivers. Mclaren opts for their reserve duo for the entire three days, decided to put less fatigue on their regulars after four fly away races. Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffett shares the workload.
After coming from the winning weekend, Redbull will make use of their usual pilots – splitting equally the testing times. In Lotus, the ousted d’Ambrosio from Virgin(Marussia) will get his first chance at the wheels of Lotus E20.
Mercedes have to work for their goodwill by exploiting the test to work on their promptly degrading pirellis.
Ferrari grabs more attention, there could be a “B” version of F2012, they turned their attention towards it even in the midst of last year but unabling to deliver much out of it; the major upgrades will come at the forthcoming Barcelona race. Exhaust configuration and new nose work are a few upgrades Ferrari are expected to introduce in Mugello with trialling of rear bodywork.
Caterham’s young talent and their 2010 and 2011 young drivers’ programme representative Rodolfo González will get his first taste of F1 testing.
Jules Bianchi, Force India’s regular practice session driver will give his feedback on new parts to them. Meanwhile, Sauber and Marussia looks set to make a comeback by working their way through in Mugello with their regular pilots.
The main drivers of Williams along with their reserve Bottas will take a day each in testing. HRT elected not to participate as they are shifting their base to Madrid.
Mugello was where the Pirelli’s prototype Formula One tyres first took to the track in August 2010. They believe just like last year, the vital information gathered on the track over the three days about the tyres are more valuable for the entire season in terms of tyre management.
Pirelli will bring all four slick compounds to Mugello – supersoft, soft, medium and hard – 100 sets were allocated for testing purpose totally per car in a season. Mugello track has fast corners from direction changes in the first sector to long straights but it is typical to only Silverstone and Suzuka in terms of nature of the track.