3 June 2016
Pirelli lays out 2017 tyre testing schedule
Pirelli chief Paul Hembery has laid out its plans for track tyre testing for its 2017 compounds with the goal of a three-month development window.
Pirelli chief Paul Hembery has laid out its plans for track tyre testing for its 2017 compounds with the goal of a three-months development window in preparation for next year.
The tyre manufacturer has agreed a new deal as sole tyre supplier to F1 until at least 2019 while also securing a doubling of test days, from 12 to 25, ahead of next season's regulations revamp.
Pirelli revealed a prototype of its wider and fatter 2017 tyres in Monaco with Hembery plotting out its planned stages of development.
“We never have enough time – you always want more time, that's for sure – but we're progressing and we don't actually hit the track until September,” Hembery said. “We don't have a lot of time to complete our work.
“We've been able to do, on the V8 cars, some technology screening, looking at some philosophies of structure and compounding, and that's worked relatively well.
“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.
“September, October, November – that's how it is at the moment and, when we've got it all finalised with the teams, we'll give you a little announcement to let you know where we're going.”
Hembery also hinted at a back-up plan if Pirelli feels it needs more track time with the tyres in preparation for next season. The fine details are yet to be finalised but it would require teams to supply V6 hybrid engine cars to the warmer climates of the middle east tracks, which could entail high freight costs.
“It is a factor, the weather, that is for sure, but you can still test - Paul Ricard is okay well into October, but it's if you need to do work into December and January that you get stuck,” Hembery said. “Then you will have to go to Bahrain or Abu Dhabi.”
Hembery feels the trickiest tyre to perfect will be the wet compounds due to the lack of testing mileage Pirelli is likely to notch up.
“The biggest challenge will probably be the wet tyres because we don't have a lot of running on them and while, you can do a fair bit of simulation, it is a wider tyre, so it is going to be a good challenge,” he said.
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