Pirelli could resort to using an F1 car that is upwards of 10 years old next year in an effort to conduct its tyre tests ahead of a change in the regulations for 2017.
Having secured an extension of its tyre contract until the end of 2019, Pirelli has been firm in its demand for more days of testing next year to help it prepare for 2017 when F1 is set to introduce a raft of new regulations aimed at improving lap times by upwards of five seconds.
Indeed, with much of the time gained set to come from modifications to the tyres, Pirelli is eager to make a start on preparations as early as May but faces difficulty in getting its hands on a modified 'older' car that will provide representative on track data, while a mule would be too costly to build.
As a result, Pirelli will likely seek a comparative older guy of up to ten years old having been informed certain machines would be 'adequately representative' of the provisional 2017 load and downforce demands.
“We want to be testing in May and of course if you need a hybrid vehicle it's going to be nigh on impossible,” Paul Hembery said. “We have information into some teams that believe used on the information they there are cars from the past years of Formula 1 that would be adequately representative if you could change the suspension geometry but in terms of aero loads you could find the solution. The car won't be anything over 10 years old.”
Even so, Pirelli says it is still waiting for a 'consensus' regarding direction of the regulations so it start laying the foundation for 2017 behind the scenes.
“There is a few other discussions going on looking for solutions, but it's too early to give you indications about what those are
“The teams seem to have different points of view. So you have others saying that old cars could represent the figures portrayed saying you can build a car and the engineer you spoke to said it's impossible.
“Until they define what are the regulations are and we have some clear indications of the values and its big discrepancies amongst the teams at the moment what they feel the impact of those changes would be, then the solution is impossible to define.”
Pirelli conducted a lengthy one-day tyre test after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw the track debut of the new ultra-soft tyre.