Lewis Hamilton will undertake a 2018 Pirelli Formula 1 tyre test with Mercedes at Paul Ricard this week, which the world championship leader says he volunteered for.
Last year Hamilton, who is known to dislike testing, declined to play a large role in Pirelli’s 2017 ‘mule car’ test programme ahead of the new rules, in contrast to his current title rival Sebastian Vettel.
Though Pirelli carefully controls tyre testing to prevent teams involved gaining an advantage, many in the paddock believe Vettel and Ferrari benefited from the work they put in last season.
This week’s test will also give Hamilton a chance to sample the 2018 French Grand Prix venue in a current car.
It is believed that he last ran at Paul Ricard with McLaren in May 2008.
“I’ll be doing a test later this week, which is very rare for me, I’m not a tester,” said Hamilton.
“I offered to do it, so I’m looking forward to that – kind of.”
Hamilton will drive on Thursday, before team-mate Valtteri Bottas takes over on Friday.
Pirelli has conducted a strictly organised test programme for 2018, with all teams taking part with their current cars.
Mercedes has already run one day with Bottas, which was combined with the general post-race test at the Hungaroring.
The only remaining in-season tyre test days are on the Tuesdays and Wednesdays after the Mexican GP, with Sauber and Force India, and after the Brazilian GP, with McLaren.
Having already signed off on next year’s constructions in time for the FIA’s September 1 deadline, Pirelli is now focusing on compounds.
These have to be defined by December 1.