F1's 2017 rules remain in limbo after meeting

Formula 1's 2017 car changes may remain far from sorted after the latest meeting of teams with Pirelli on Tuesday, but there does appear to have been progress made with regards future tyre testing.

Pirelli had originally called the meeting to discuss tyre philosophies with drivers, teams and the sport's chiefs, in a bid to better understand what direction F1 should be heading in.

However, following growing uncertainty about the scope of aerodynamic changes being planned for 2017, the meeting transformed into one that would debate the wider issues at stake.

Such is the importance of the situation right now, that Pirelli's bosses were joined by Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt, as well as a host of senior team bosses including Ferrari's Sergio Marchionne, McLaren's Ron Dennis, and Mercedes' Toto Wolff.

On the driver front, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas and Daniil Kvyat were all present to voice their opinions about what needed to be done.

Last chance for 2017

While there had been some hope before the meeting that the team bosses present could agree on a common direction for 2017 car changes, sources suggest such consensus was not forthcoming.

There remain philosophical differences between the big players in the sport, which means there is now only one series of meetings – of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission in Geneva on February 23 – to effectively try to get the rules framed before they would have to be delayed until 2018.

That is because F1's regulations state that any changes to a following year's regulations can only be approved by unanimous support after March 1, something that under the current situation would be highly unlikely to be achieved.

Tyre testing

One positive aspect that does appear to have come out of the Pirelli meeting though was a greater appreciation of the need of F1's tyre supplier for testing.

The Italian company has long made it clear that it is happy to do what F1's chiefs ask of it, but it requires a proper testing programme if it is to achieve its ambitions.

It is understood that Pirelli and the teams have now been asked to come up with a proper framework for testing this season to prepare for 2017, when wider tyres are set for introduction.

The hope is that these new testing rules can be put in to the regulations by the end of this month.

Drivers debate

F1's drivers were also believed to have been quite eager for Pirelli's tyres to edge away from high degradation in the future and better able to cope with being pushed.

Nico Rosberg was understood to have been quite explicit in his belief that the F1 spectacle would benefit if drivers could push flat out more.

 Additional reporting by Franco Nugnes

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news