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F1 Belgian GP: Vettel talks ‘interesting’ 2017 Pirelli tyre test

Sebastian Vettel says it was 'interesting' to give Pirelli's striking new 2017-specification tyres a maiden run in Italy during the summer break
Sebastian Vettel says he will make himself available to conduct more testing of Pirelli's 2017 prototype tyres following an 'interesting' outing at Fiorano earlier in the month.

As part of Pirelli's development programme for the revised 2017 tyres, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes will run the rubber using modified machinery in an effort to better prepare for next season's revised technical regulations.

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With Ferrari getting a first taste of the visibly new rubber before Red Bull conducted its own test in the following days, Vettel admits they indeed 'felt a bit different'.

“It was an interesting experience, I was able to get a few laps in the dry before we obviously switched to wet tyres,” he said ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix. “They look quite different, felt a bit different but I still think there is a lot of stuff to do and a lot of homework to do for Pirelli but also for the teams.

“We drive with a sort of modified car and as you can imagine on its first day on the track we had some difficulties there. But all in all we did a few laps and got an interesting feel.”

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Revealing he will make himself available to drive again for Ferrari's remaining test days with Pirelli, Vettel says he wants to be part of the process having criticised Pirelli in the past, not least in the wake of last year's Belgian Grand Prix when he suffered a final lap blowout at Eau Rouge.

“I like driving so I don't mind! I'm going to be back, we have another test in Barcelona I think in a couple of weeks so I'll be back in the car. I think it's interesting being part of the process, as I said there's plenty of homework still to do for tyres. The cars are different but to be completely frank any opportunity you get to drive the car, I'm up for it.”

With only three teams conducting the Pirelli tests, the Italian firm has sought to limit the perceived 'advantage' teams and drivers could get by making the tests blind. This involves not letting the drivers know which tyres they are using at any one time.

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Related Pictures

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Pirelli F1 2017 tyre test, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari [Credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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