Pirelli Motorsport had a busy day at Paul Ricard with the first run of the 18-inch F1 tyre with Sergey Sirotkin and Esteban Ocon running the 2020.
Pirelli continued on with their 2020 F1 tyre test with Mercedes opting to give Ocon a track run at Circuit Paul Ricard as the Frenchman completed 106 laps in all on Day 1 of the two-day run.
In a surprising move, Mercedes opted to give Ocon a chance in the car instead of their regular drivers unlike most of the other F1 teams. This is the first run for the German manufacturer undertaking the 2020 tyre test.
At the same time, it is Pirelli’s last as the next scheduled run will be in the post-season Abu Dhabi test – unless they fit in a special test before that. Ocon, meanwhile, shared the track with Renault’s Sirotkin.
The Russian became only the second F1 racer to run the 18-inch tyre after Lotus’ Charles Pic. This is the first of the three planned test runs with Renault, McLaren and Mercedes for the 2021 tyres.
Sirotkin completed a solid 94 laps, running the slick prototype compound as he will continue to add further miles on Friday. Unlike the white rims for other test runs, Pirelli had an all-black look for the 18-inch run.