In the round-up: Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola has confirmed teams will test prototype tyre compounds for 2024 during this year’s Japanese and Mexican Grand Prix weekends
Pirelli to hold 2024 tyre tests during Japan and Mexico weekends
Last year, Pirelli were permitted to schedule two tyre tests during second practice sessions at the Japanese and United States grand prix weekends. The sessions were extended from 60 minutes to 90 and the teams were bound to run to a tyre programme set by Pirelli in both. Following heavy rain at Suzuka, the test intended for that weekend was postponed to the Mexican Grand Prix.
Speaking to media including RaceFans during the Bahrain test, Isola confirmed they would conduct two more tests in 2023.
“In-event testing will be in Mexico and Japan with the same format that you saw last year,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to finalise the compounds.”
Pirelli will also conduct an extensive in-season tyre testing programme with teams through the year. “We have all the teams involved and we have a total of 35 days,” Isola confirmed.
Gasly expecting some “lonely races” if Alpine retain fourth place
Pierre Gasly expects some “lonely races” as Alpine strive to close the gap between the midfield and the top three teams.
Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes dominated last year’s championship, taking 65 out of 66 podium places in the season. After joining Alpine, who finished fourth in 2022, Gasly says he expects some “lonely races” as the team tries to catch the leaders.
“Clearly the target is to focus on the top three,” he said. “We don’t really want to look back, but then we can never exclude all the teams.
“Aston Martin looked pretty decent during this test. I think there are a couple of other teams which looked pretty strong. But I think the main target definitely is to close that gap with the top three. If it means we have some lonely races, then that will be the case. But if it means that we get a better chance to score a top five or a podium at times, then that will be also more exciting.”
Sargeant “pretty lucky” to have three home races in rookie season
Williams rookie Logan Sargeant says it is “pretty cool” that he will race three times in his native United States during his rookie Formula 1 campaign.
There will be three grands prix held in the US this season, the Miami Grand Prix, the United States Grand Prix and the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix in November. The Florida-born driver says he is looking forward to the opportunity to race in America.
“I think it makes me pretty lucky, that’s for sure,” Sargeant said. “I think it’s just a great opportunity to have family and friends at the race, to be able to feel that home energy and home atmosphere. I’ve never raced at home, so that’s going to be a pretty cool opportunity. I want to make them three of my best.”
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