Date: 19th July 2013 at 10:48am
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The young driver test that is currently taking place at Silverstone obviously took a much grander stage following the events of the British Grand Prix.

Four major tyre failures which included race leader Lewis Hamilton’s rear tyre exploding at speed thrusted Pirelli into the spotlights with question marks over safety.

The FIA immediately intervened and made various regulation changes and the young driver test parameters were altered to allow race drivers to run for one day to test new Pirelli tyres ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of this month.

This began on Wednesday with Max Chilton completing 27 laps for Marussia, while Paul di Resta completed 58 laps for Force India.

On Thursday Paul di Resta completed another 41 laps as he had only ran half a session on Wednesday, while Nico Hulkenberg chalked up 52 laps for Sauber with Pastor Maldonado doing 71 laps for Williams.

Daniel Ricciardo spent the day split between Toro Rosso and Red Bull, driving 48 laps in the morning for his current team and another 59 laps for his potential new team next season.

In total over the first two days of the test, between those five Formula One drivers 356 laps were completed which equates to almost 2,100 miles of testing for the new Pirelli tyres which are built to last seasons specifications but with this seasons rubber compound.

So how have the drivers found it? Has it been the important exercise that Formula One chiefs said it would be?

‘Today the track was very, very stable, We need to see what is happening in a proper race weekend situation when the track is always changing from P1 until qualy.

‘In terms of reliability and problems there is a step forward, clearly. We did a long run, no vibrations as in the past. In terms of performance we don’t know because we didn’t work with the tyres. Even [with] the pressures, they [Pirelli] put the pressures on the tyres. We didn’t touch the car.’
Williams driver Pastor Maldonado told the media after Thursday’s session.

Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg also refused to say if he felt there had been an improvement in the tyres: ‘A lot of factors are different here. The conditions are quite a lot hotter to the race weekend, the tyres are different, we had an update on the car. So many things and it’s difficult to filter everything out. But the car still feels the same pretty much, I think we really have to start a race weekend and see how it develops.’