F1: Pirelli tire testing for Mercedes, Alpha Tauri and Aston Martin

Mercedes were in France at the Paul Ricard circuit to test Pirelli’s new tire compounds ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season; the test sees Lewis Hamilton and George Russell back in the W13, Russell taking to the track on Wednesday before Hamilton had his chance on Thursday.

The team say they are going “all in” in 2023 and Hamilton will be hoping the W14 is the car that can get him back to winning ways and on course for a record eighth title.

While George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were in action over the course of two days at Paul Ricard, as of Friday it’s AlphaTauri’s turn.

Nyck De Vries and his teammate Yuki Tsunoda are the latest to put their team’s 2022 car through its paces in a tire test, AlphaTauri picking up where Mercedes left off.

The Japanese driver will be behind the wheel of the AT03 at Paul Ricard on Friday, with De Vries replacing him for the Saturday.

The new teammates will be conducting a full wet weather tire test, the track to be soaked if Mother Nature doesn’t play her part.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen said last year: “I think we need better rain tires. You saw what we could do in the 90s or the early 2000s with the amount of water on the track.

“I’m very happy to do a few test days to try all different kinds of tires because we need better rain tires. The extremes are just slow, and they don’t really carry a lot of water away.”

But watch what you wish for – the more water the tires carry away, the more spray in the driver’s face that is behind you.

And so Pirelli put together a test program, allowing them to focus on the wet tires while also testing new slick tires for the 2024 season.

Aston Martin will conduct further tire testing on the 7th and 8th.

“They cannot use the tests in February to develop the 2023 car,” Pirelli’s Mario Isola said.

“The FIA is sending an observer to each test to check parts and that the configuration of the car has been used at any of the 2022 races, so they cannot develop new parts, wings, floors, or something like that.”