The Michelin LMP1 tyre test, added to the Shanghai schedule last week took place this morning. Conditions were far from ideal but all but one of the cars headed out for some valuable general testing time in light drizzle with the track wet throughout the Hour and 45 minutes.
As previously noted on DSC DragonSpeed opted not to take part in the test.
There was one brief Red Flag, Oliver Webb caught out at Turn 10 and half spinning into the gravel, the car rejoining the session after recovery.
There was, in the prevailing weather, none of the intended tyre testing/analysis undertaken.
The test had been intended to provide an opportunity for the LMP1 Privateers to sample the range of compounds available, and for the results of the test to be analysed by Michelin to assess whether further development was required ahead of the WEC races next year.
Michelin have been very clear, tyres have been developed, and are available, that are designed for the non-hybrid cars. Those developed for the factory hybrids need to take account of the demands, and performance opportunities, of the front-axle mounted hybrid systems.
The issue has been that the new non-hybrids were, for the most part, developed in a very short time-frame, and have had relatively little opportunity to undertake intensive testing, including the level of tyre testing that might, more normally be the case for the class.
Looking forward there are a range of options now available, including better information (based on testing conclusions) to the teams on the optimal selection amongst the current range, or indeed a potential new offer might be possible, understood to focus on compound and not construction.
In the test session Andre Lotterer was fastest, a lap in 1:57.812 for the #1 Rebellion 34 thousandths faster than the #8 Toyota with Jenson Button third quickest in the #11 SMP Racing BR1.