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Pirelli ready to test and push forward with more raceable tyres in 2017

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Pirelli ready to test and push forward with more raceable tyres in 2017
Apr 16, 2016, 7:50 AM

This weekend has seen significant activity on the tyre front for 2017 with a basic agreement between teams, FIA and FOM on tyre testing for next se...

This weekend has seen significant activity on the tyre front for 2017 with a basic agreement between teams, FIA and FOM on tyre testing for next season and a commitment from Pirelli to make tyres that the drivers can push.

Pirelli had asked for 25 car days of testing and there have been weeks of discussions about how best to achieve that, with the wealthier teams able to provide cars, but with plenty of suspicion around about how much advantage might be gained by individual teams from testing the tyres.

Speaking to Sky today, Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery said, "We got an agreement on testing. Thanks to a good effort from the teams, the FIA and FOM, we finally have some clarity," he said.

"We will use the old V8 cars to do some work on the current tyre size looking at technologies for next year. Then we move on to a hybrid car a 2015 car with 2017 aero on mods."

Paul Hembery

Pirelli will pay for the V8 tests, but the cost of upgrading the cars to run 2017 bodywork simulation will fall to the teams that have expressed an interest in running the hybrid test. The data will be open to all the teams, even those who are not able to test. Hembery said that the five teams who have expressed an interest may reduce to three in the end.

Hembery added that the tyre philosophy for 2017 will be "quite different. We are moving towards a much larger thermal zone than we have now. You hear the drivers saying 'We want to push on', so they will be able to. There will be much less degradation and a different type of performance.

"The three compound choice will stay. It's been a success and I think going forward we are going to see that again. There is no discussion to change the rules, so we envisage that the three compounds are probably here to stay."

One of the key talking points will be the tyre pressures that are mandated. That is something that has also affected this weekend's running in China, with many drivers regretting that that the tyre pressures are four psi higher than last year and that is leading to low grip in the slower corners and tyres getting hot.

Pirelli

As the 2017 cars step up to a higher level of downforce, Pirelli needs to work hard in the test days it has this season to ensure that there is not too much compromise on the tyre needing to run at higher than ideal pressures to cope with the extra downforce.

There is little point in all this effort to make the cars five second a lap faster with extra downforce only to lose seconds because overly high tyre pressures mean that the cars slide in the sub 130km/h corners, which are the most common on F1 tracks - and lose time as a consequence.

What do you think of this development? Does this sound like the right way forward? Leave your comments below
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Series Formula 1
Tags innovation