Reigning F1 world champions Mercedes will be absent when Italian manufacturer Pirelli conducts a two-day wet weather tyre test at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France on 25 and 26 January. The Brackley based squad have opted to miss the test as they prepare their 2016 car for the first scheduled winter test of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona between 22-25 February.
The other three manufacturers, however, will be present with their 2015-spec cars at the French circuit for the wet weather tyre test. Ferrari, the Renault powered Red Bull and McLaren-Honda will take part in a Pirelli controlled test, which will see them do limited running.
According to the Daily Mail, the sole F1 tyre manufacturer was keen on limiting the number of cars, as they cannot run more than three cars at a time on an artificially watered track. Drivers for the three teams are yet to be confirmed.
"Pirelli organizes a wet tyre test to be held at Paul Ricard circuit, on January 25 and 26. The two-day test will be focussing just on wet tyres (no intermediates). Different wet prototypes will be tested. Three teams will take part in the test: Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren. More details on the drivers participating as well the test programme will be made available in the coming days," a statement on Pirelli's official site read.
All the teams and cars are expected to be present when the official pre-season winter test begins on 22 February. The first test will be held between 22-25 February at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, while the second and final test will be between 1-4 March at the same venue. The 2016 F1 season gets underway at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, Australia on 20 March.