Ferrari assigns Leclerc to Pirelli tyre test at Paul Ricard


Ferrari has confirmed that new recruit Charles Leclerc will drive its SF71-H this Thursday and Friday at Paul Ricard as part of Pirelli's 2019 tyre development programme.

The Monegasque, who will replace Kimi Raikkonen at the Scuderia next season, will be running in southern France alongside Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the two-day test conducted by F1's exclusive tyre supplier.

"We are testing at Paul Ricard for two days," said Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola.

"We are still developing the product for next year. The test is as usual blind for them. We are evaluating a number of constructions, and we are evaluating also some new compounds.

"In terms of construction we are at the end of our development, because October 1 is our deadline to supply the data for the new construction, so it's final validation.

"We tested different constructions during the year, converging towards the final one for next year," added the Italian engineer.

"We still have to test some new ideas and constructions, and obviously from this test we have to define the 2019 tyres. To have the two top teams is important to ensure that the validation is successful."

Pirelli will conduct two additional compound validation tests this season, in Japan with Renault and in Mexico with Sauber, before the definitive tyres are put to the task by all teams in F1's final test scheduled to take place after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"To be honest, it's good that we have all the teams attending sessions, because we don't want to design a tyre that's just for the top teams," said Isola.

"The fact that we have all the teams involved means that we can understand on different cars how the tyres are working. It's always the best solution."

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