Aston Martin completes Pirelli tyre test with Vandoorne

Aston Martin completes Pirelli tyre test with Vandoorne

Aston Martin test and reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne experienced his first laps in the AMR23 on Wednesday at Spa-Francorchamps in the penultimate day of Pirelli tyre test.

Aston Martin reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne made his track debut with the Silverstone team in a Pirelli Formula 1 tyre test at a soaking wet Spa on Wednesday.

The former McLaren driver made his first appearance behind the wheel of an F1 car since 2020 while sharing testing duties with Lance Stroll.

The ninth-placed Canadian from last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix did 71 laps of Spa on Tuesday in the pouring rain, and Vandoorne finished the test with 53 laps.

“It was great to be back in an F1 car today driving the AMR23,” said the 2022 Formula E world champion. “It’s been a while and it was also my first time driving in green with Aston Martin.

“To do it at Spa was also very special for obvious reasons despite the wet weather.

“We ran on Wet tyres in the morning and then as conditions improved into the afternoon we ran through the programme on the Intermediate tyres. The car felt good even in these wet conditions and I enjoyed every lap.”

The Belgian had not driven an F1 car since the end of 2021, when he tested for Mercedes in Abu Dhabi.

Vandoorne did not have the opportunity for a dry run during the test, but it was still a great opportunity for him to get to grips with the AMR23 in case he had to step in as a reserve at any moment. It also enabled him to correlate his simulator runs.

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Only wet and intermediate tyres were put to use throughout the two-day session, which was also attended by McLaren.

Pirelli didn’t test its no-blanket soft tyres due to the bad weather. The tyres won’t be used in 2024 as a result of a recent F1 Commission decision and they might never be raced at all if Pirelli loses the F1 tyre supply contract to Bridgestone in 2025.

Pirelli rarely has the opportunity to test in such conditions in an existing racing circuit, therefore wet running was perhaps more beneficial to the company than artificially saturated Paul Ricard or Fiorano.

Vandoorne finished his 2023 Formula E season with DS Penske last weekend in London. The 31-year-old finished eleventh in the Drivers’ standings after a difficult season in which he achieved his best finish, fourth, in the season opening race at Jakarta.

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