Date:Wednesday December 2 2015
The 2015 Formula One season has formally come to an end following an end-of-season tyre test at Abu Dhabi.
All ten Formula One teams remained at the Yas Marina Circuit for a mammoth 12-hour tyre test for Formula One tyre manufacturer Pirelli.
The purpose of the session was for Pirelli to gather data on their tyre compounds and so this was done without the watchful eye of the media, whilst teams were 'not allowed to try new parts on their cars, nor alter their cars in any way during test'.
The secrecy continued, with all tyres unmarked so even the teams and the drivers themselves were not aware of what compounds they were using.
Hidden amongst the tyre compounds was a new tyre, the ultra-soft compound, which when it is painted up will be purple.
For Mercedes, neither Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg took part instead handing over duties to Pascal Wehrlein.
It was a similar story at McLaren with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button clearly not prepared to spend another moment in their 2015 McLaren Honda and instead gave that [rather dubious] opportunity to Stoffel Vandoorne.
At Ferrari though both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen took part.
And the same was said at Red Bull Racing with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat taking the chance for extra time behind the wheel.
Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz shared duties for Toro Rosso, Valterri Bottas drove for Williams, whilst Nico Hulkenberg and Alfonso Celis Jr took the Force India out for a spin.
Jolyon Palmer was given extra time to get acquainted with the car at Lotus ahead of his debut season in 2016, whilst Adderly Fong was in action for Sauber and Manor fielded GP2 driver Rio Haryanto and their development driver Jordan King.
'We had one shot when it came to testing tyres for next season, and we can be satisfied by what we've achieved in this test, even if we have to fully analyse the data,' said Pirelli's Paul Hembery to Sky Sports.
'We've tested different versions of the new ultrasoft compound for 2016, which was one of the targets for this session. The ultrasoft's target for 2016 is to introduce a compound softer than the supersoft and mainly designed as aggressive choice for street circuits: with better performance than the latest version of the supersoft tyre and faster degradation, in order to allow the Teams to take a more aggressive approach to race strategy.
'Whether this will produce more pit stops, or any difference in strategies, it's too early to say for now. We will fully analyse our data and team telemetry once we get back to base. But it seems we are heading in the right direction: the ultrasoft is expected to offer more possibilities for certain races.
'We also tested some different constructions for both front and rear tyres.'
Date:Wednesday December 2 2015
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