Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Valencia, 2012

Pirelli to use 2010 Renault R30 as test car

2012 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Valencia, 2012
Kimi Raikkonen drove the Renault R30 in Lotus livery in Valencia

Pirelli have announced they will use the F1 car raced by Renault in 2010 for tyre testing.

The R30 last ran in Kimi Raikkonen’s hands at Valencia in January.

F1’s official tyre supplier said the car will be updated to simulate current aerodynamic loads and technical changes.

They added that in order to ensure testing is conducted in an impartial manner, the car will be run by staff who are not connected to a current Formula 1 team. The car will use a black Pirelli livery.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “It was clear from an early point that we needed a more modern solution for our test car, as while the Toyota TF109 has served us extremely well, it is now three years old.

“Technology as well as the regulations have moved on considerably since then, and the Toyota is no longer able to generate the same sort of forces that we need to simulate in order to meet the current requirements of Formula 1.

“At the top of our agenda is the need to treat the teams entirely equally, which is why the test team will be run independently and all the teams will be able to send an observer to the tests.

Pirelli wet tyre test, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Pirelli previously used a Toyota TF109

“Our new test car will be running to current fuel regulations, with no refueling, so we will be able to simulate a full race distance and the change in balance with the car and tyres.

“The final piece of the jigsaw will be to recruit a test driver, and we hope to announce this within a month.

“I?d like to take this opportunity to thank Toyota, who have given us exceptional support as we developed our range of tyres for 2011 and 2012. They have played a significant part in our achievements in Formula One to date, and now we look forward to building on this in the future with a new range of tyres.”

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Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Pirelli/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Pirelli to use 2010 Renault R30 as test car”

  1. So the Toyota F1 is for sale?

    Anyone seen my credit card?

    1. Bagsy on a time-share

    2. no, but according to Craig Pollock some F1 engines for his PURE engine company will be developed there. TOYOTA BACK IN F1????

  2. This looks like a good place for Robert Kubica to make a comeback when he’s ready to – after all he knows the cars and needs to learn the tyres.

    1. Exactly my thoughts Keith :) I think we all hope he finds a place for his own in F1, whatever it is…

    2. They need to stick Kubica in GP2 or Formula Renault 3.5 when he is fit again for a few races, give him some competitive edge. (They, meaning his management team)

      1. @JT19 AFAIK he can’t go to GP2 – GP2 has a rule or something that only allows people who have competed in less than x number of F1 GPs compete in F1.

        1. @jt19 @raymondu999 And he’s already won Formula Renault 3.5 in its earlier incarnation in 2005 so I doubt he could go there either.

    3. I agree as well. It would be just the right amount of car time for him. At the same time it would not be bad if some team (maybe Lotus) gave him a testing role as and when he is ready. I am sure, with the number of contracts up for renewal, he would be in demand and a Ferrari or Red Bull drive or even say Mercedes (if Schumacher leaves and Paul stays with Force India) seat does not seem far fetched.

    4. Definitely, if he hasn’t already sorted something out with Ferrari.

      Until then the job’s got to be a good sideline for the new BBC Radio commentator!

    5. If Kubica does take up the mantle of Pirelli tester – it’ll be interesting how the tyres will then develop with regards to working with compound loading. Kubica is one of the more prolific trail brakers – which requires a tyre that can provide good compound grip. That was reportedly a weakness of the Pirellis in 2011.

    6. I for one didn’t think of that. But it gives me a good feeling, that there actually IS a nice way for him to make his way back.

      I hope sooner than later.

    7. That could be perfect for Robert but I think the likes of Trulli might be more eager to take the testing role and already be knocking on Pirelli’s door.

    8. Now that is a really interesting idea, would be great if he could make it.

  3. I hope that people won’t blame Pirelli if Lotus does well. All precautions aside, I think some will…

    1. @verstappen other than a capital injection from the sale of the car – how exactly would this help Lotus?

      1. @raymond999 One could argue that if you start developing from a certain basis, you end up with something which is very similar to the current Lotus.

        I’ve owned an Alfa Romeo spider 1973 and a Alfa Romeo 147. And there were a lot of similarities in the way they drove and felt – even while one was reardrive and the other front.

        Also, if I remember correctly, Mercedes only this year solves a problem which was in fact inherited from Tyrell: the cars were bad at getting heat in the tyres. But it remained a problem, even in the Brawn.

        So, there’s some logic in thinking that Lotus could have a performance advantage with this deal.

        However, I would say that the measures to prevent this should be enough. But will others when the Lotus turns out to be succesfull?

        1. I think it is very possible that some people will complain about the Pirelli/Lotus tie-in, but it sounds to me like both entities are approaching this the right way, including having all teams able to send an observer to the tire test sessions…ie. I think any complaints will be unfounded and baseless, unless those complaining have a better solution as to how to take even more measures to ensure impartiality, which I think would be very hard to do. I will also assume that the teams have been approached already for their ok on this whole thing.

  4. Pirelli also said they will be running the R30 in naked carbon fibre guise. Going to make for some good pictures!

    1. @GeeMac I’d still prefer the bumblebee livery :P

      1. I do like the bumblebee livery @raymondu999 , but I think the “naked” look has a bit more novelty value.

        1. The “naked” look?! They could paint shots from the Pirelli calendar on the car…

          1. The tailfin engine cover on the Renault R30 looks so hopeless when viewed from the side. F1’s trend of creating revolting shapes doesn’t seem to end.

  5. Alguersuari perhaps? Kubica would be nice though, @keithcollantine

    Anyway, this makes sense, no sense running with old machinery.

    They say it will be amended to reflect current trends. So does that mean it will be retrospectively fit with DRS and perhaps even KERS?

    It depends how accurate they want to be but I guess instead of KERS they could just simulate the weight of it with ballast?

    1. I don’t think DRS or KERS would change the way tyres work, but I’m certainly not an expert in this area!

      1. KERS would increase rear tyre wear. DRS wouldn’t do much to the rears; but because you’re traveling at higher speeds; the front has a lot more downforce and would affect blistering a lot more

      2. Because of DRS there would be slightly less load on the rear tyres on the straights (less drag and therefore less downforce from the rear wing so they’re not pushed into the track as much). KERS recovery is likely to affect braking balance, which may cause front tyres to absorb more or less of the load depending on whether the batteries are full.

        The weight distribution is governed by the regulations, so the weight of the KERS system wouldn’t change that.

        1. Sorry that wasn’t meant to sound so dismissive!

        2. Thanks for that!

    2. @ AndrewTanner

      I too think Alguersuari should be given a chance. He has the right amount of experience, plus he can give some inside knowledge to the Beeb viewers :)

  6. Why did they choose the Renault R30?

  7. Paul Hembery: “Our new test car will be running to current fuel regulations, with no refueling, so we will be able to simulate a full race distance and the change in balance with the car and tyres.”
    That’s the answer why Pirelli tires were so unpredictable and inconsistent. They never knew exactly the loads to the tires when the tank was full. I’m taken back by this appalling lack of competency.

    1. Oh, ok.

      Did you watch F1 last year? “lack of competency” isn’t exactly the first thought that comes to my mind when thinking of what Pirelli did.

      On the contrary, I think they took the best available opportunity (the Toyota, which had no possible links to any of the running teams) and did an amazing job with it. The amount of time it’s taken them to get a deal together for a more up-to-date car alone should tell you what a minefield that is.

      Honestly, I fail to see what leads you to conclude that they are or have in relation to this stint in F1, been in any way shape or form incompetent.

      1. Compared to Bridgestone or Michelin they are so poor in performance, it hurts to watch it. In 1997. when Bridgestone appeared it was clear that their tyres had the edge over Goodyear’s in some aspects of performance. That’s a good company! When Michelin came back it was clear that they’ll catch Bridgestone sooner all later. Not to mention their NZG technology, which is ingenious engineering from aviation down to automotive industry.
        Even Pirelli in 1990. had the edge over Goodyear in the first half of the season. Who can forget Tyrell leading McLaren in Phoenix. They also responded well to John Barnard’s request to make narrower rear tyres especially for Benetton team. That was a good job. What they do today is not.
        The carcass of the rear tyres distorts so heavily that I wondered, many times, are they going to slip off the wheel rim. Huge chunks of marble hitting drivers and producing extensive dirt outside the racing line. Now, Paul Hembery is making claim that three stops per race should be ideal. They are supposed to build tyres of harder compound to counteract cars’ increasing performance. Now they say 4 sets, FOUR SETS, of tyres are ideal for the race distance. Four sets of rubber guessing games. That’s better than Fools and Horses show. Luckily I’m sure I’ll enjoy it as well as I enjoyed BBC’s show.

        Pirelli as tyre manufacturer are lucky not to have another tyre supplier to compete with in F1. I’m not saying that they don’t posses the technology to make good tyres because they do and they enjoyed a lot of success in other racing classes but they are not up to the job in F1. Their approach is based much more on guessing than predicting exactly what will happen. As a manufacturer you must know what is your product capable of within parameters you specify!

        I agree, it makes the sport exciting to watch. But, excuse me, no one will convince me they are competent enough to build tyres for F1.

        1. They did what they where asked to do, do you realy think that if they had competition that they couldent make a good tyre

        2. Considering Bridgestone didn’t even bother to run a car for testing, I’d say your point is spectacularly off.

  8. Pirelli want five tests, One at Barcelona, Spa, Jerez and Monza are wanted..perhaps they should join in at Mugello. Would be trés interessant!

    1. Hm, this was meant as a reply to my own post above. But after checking if I had the correct name and then clicking ‘back’, my post ended up here.

  9. With Pirelli being Italian and the fact that there is no Italian driver in Formula One this year, it’s a good opportunity for Pirelli to have an Italian test driver.

    If they want an experienced driver there is Trulli or Liuzzi or if they want a young driver there is Bortolotti or Ceccon, both of these youngsters won Championships in 2011 yet do not have a confirmed drive for season 2012.

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