Pirelli: 2017 safety concerns show why testing must happen

Pirelli says safety concerns raised by Mercedes about the impact of new Formula 1 aero rules for 2017 shows why it is vital it is given a proper testing programme next year.

As Motorsport.com revealed, Mercedes submitted a report during a technical director's meeting last week suggesting that predicted aero loads that could arrive in 2017 may be too much for the tyres.

Although rivals did not agree with their view, Pirelli and a number of teams are now conducting a study to check in more detail how much tyre loads will be impacted by the aero advances.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery welcomed the approach to understand potential issues better, but said it showed even more how essential it was F1 helped his company out by allowing a full-scale 2017 testing programme.

"It will become a safety issue," said Hembery about the potential for unchecked aero gains.

"If we are talking about currently having the highest aero loads we have had, then we are already approaching levels that anyone who has been involved in F1 for the last 10-20 years has not had to face. So it is a new challenge for everybody.

"There isn't a perfect answer, but it is important we don't do the classic throw the baby out with the bath water, and make a change that we all regret afterwards."

Testing discussions

Pirelli has not yet been provided with a plan of how it can conduct 2017 testing next year, with teams unable to agree on what to do.

Hembery admitted that there were tremendous complications in finding a way forward - whether through using a modified car or an older specification - but said it was important something was done.

"We would have to imagine that testing would be based on a current car modified, because you can't ask someone to build a new car as the costs would be prohibitive," he said.

"And then you also get to an area where who is going to build that car? Who will run it and what advantages will they get? So it becomes a never-ending issue of intrigue.

"Something has to happen as it is such a big change that you cannot not do something. We cannot turn up in February before the season starts and suddenly see these things, because you have not time nor opportunity to change.

"Can the sport realistically provide us in June next year a vehicle that adequately represents what the car is going to be like in 2017? That is the real question and that is the one that has not been answered."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news
Tags pirelli