Vettel signs up for final Pirelli tyre test before Japan

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Sebastian Vettel will take part in the final test of Pirelli's tyre development programme for 2020 scheduled at Barcelona just days before the Japanese Grand Prix.

The test was added just recently to the tyre supplier's schedule despite opposition from several midfield outfits who believed that the big three teams taking part in the test - Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull - will enjoy a head start over the rest of the field with regard to tyres for 2020.

However, the FIA pushed through the two-day Pirelli session that will take place in Spain on October 7-8.

Vettel will run on behalf of the Scuderia, while development drivers Esteban Ocon and Jake Dennis will handle testing duties respectively for Mercedes and Red Bull.

"We've asked so many times different things of Pirelli, it was only our duty to do these tests when they ask us to go and test these latest evolutions," commented Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies.

"Yes, logistically it is complicated. Sebastian will drive there and at the very end of the test he will fly to Japan."

Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan admitted the Milton Keynes-based team felt compelled to take part in the test despite the proximity and importance of Suzuka.

"We are heading to Suzuka and with Honda we want to be in the best shape we can be and now we're being pulled to Barcelona as well," he said.

"We will do it. We'll run a car. Mr Dennis is down to drive it, I believe he's going to drive it.

"He's driven our car plenty of times before and he'll be fine, he'll do a good job for us, and we'll go and do a tyre test."

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