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Pirelli hints at Maldonado involvement in 2017 tests

Pirelli boss Paul Hembery says Pastor Maldonado could be used as a development driver for the 2017 tyres but the decision is made by the teams.
Pirelli boss Paul Hembery says former F1 driver Pastor Maldonado could be used as a development driver for the new 2017 tyres but says it is up to the F1 teams to make selections.

Maldonado has been linked at a possible return into the F1 fold as a test driver for Pirelli ahead of its new tyre specifications for the 2017 regulations revamp.

The former Williams and Lotus driver had been set for a full-time race seat with Renault this season but after his personal sponsorship fell through in January he was swiftly replaced by Kevin Magnussen.

With effectively no F1 drives available on the 2016 grid at the time Maldonado has been forced to take a year out but is plotting a return next season and linked to a Pirelli test role to maintain his involvement in the sport.

Hembery confirmed Maldonado could be called upon if Pirelli needs to test the new tyres in the previous V8 cars, which he has three years of experience with, but says the final decision remains with the F1 teams.

“The teams will provide them [drivers], we have no say in that,” Hembery said. “He [Maldonado] might do if we need some work in one of the V8 cars and don't have a driver available, but it's not foreseen at the moment.”

Hembery did confirm Pirelli is ready to go testing with prototypes in preparation for 2017 and are waiting for a final timetable and teams to be supply cars.

Pirelli gave a brief presentation of next year's prototype tyres at the Monaco Grand Prix but says the final designs and constructions are yet to be completed.

“We'd physically have the tyres,” he said. “We wouldn't necessarily run lots of indoor drum testing, but they can't get the cars ready in time. They've got to build a hybrid car, and we're thankful to the teams who are involved for doing that, as it's a big challenge, it takes up resources.

“We don't actually hit the track until September, but we don't have a lot of time to complete our work, but we've been able to do, on the V8 cars, some technology screening, looking at some philosophies of structure and compounding.

“That's worked relatively well, I would say. Then there's the other aspects, which are all really drum testing, sort of indoor testing, that we do, so that's where we're currently working flat-out.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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Pirelli tyre compound choices, Malaysian Grand Prix [Credit: Pirelli]
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18.09.2016 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
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18.09.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
18.09.2016 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38 with a puncture.
18.09.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
18.09.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
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18.09.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
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