In the final two days of dry running, De la Rosa completed 1,400 kilometres, testing all four compounds in Pirelli's dry tyre range, from super-soft to hard. He then tackled two wet night sessions, making history as it was the first time a Formula One car had been run in wet conditions under floodlights.
During the first night, De la Rosa completed 119 laps as Pirelli selected the wet tyre they will use in 2011. The second night’s run focused on testing intermediates. More than 140,000 litres of water were sprinkled on the track by tankers over the two nights to replicate rainy conditions.
“In my opinion, Pirelli is ready now for Formula One,” explained De la Rosa. “The dry tyre test went very well, and confirmed everything we had learned in Bahrain the week before. But the most original part of the test was when we were running at night on the wet tyres, which was as new an experience for me as it was for everyone else.
“The most important thing was that the water levels were consistent, which allowed us to have some accurate results from the test. At the end of it, we’ve come up with two tyres - wet and intermediate - which I believe are both competitive and stable.”
In total, Pirelli completed more than 2,000 kilometres in Abu Dhabi to add to the 1,100 kilometres racked up by the company in Bahrain last week. It means Pirelli have carried out over 20,000 kilometres of testing since they took their first set of tyres to the Italian circuit of Mugello in August.
“While we are well aware that we are new to Formula One and still have plenty to learn, I’m confident that we can approach the start of this year’s official testing next month with a strong package,” said Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery. “It’s been an extremely positive test session here in Abu Dhabi, thanks to the fantastic facilities we’ve had available to us and the usual hard work from Pedro and the rest of our team.
“We’re very proud to have been part of creating a little bit of history by running a Formula One car at night for the first time on wet tyres: we very much believe that Pirelli will be able to contribute to the spectacle of Formula One in the future and seeing the car kicking up huge plumes of spray under the floodlights has certainly been an amazing sight that we will all remember for a long time.”
With Pirelli’s private schedule now complete, the next test for their tyres will take place at the Spanish circuit of Valencia from February 1-3, when all the Formula One teams will run on the rubber. It will be the first time they have sampled the Pirellis since a two-day test last November.