Fernando Alonso feels F1 teams and drivers who have enjoyed private Pirelli tyre tests with the 2017 prototypes ahead of next season will gain an advantage with its behaviours and response.
For next season Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have been running an intensive testing programme with Pirelli using unmarked prototype compounds in order to provide the Italian tyre manufacturer with representable data and information ahead of its finished version of the 2017 tyres.
Despite all data being shared between every F1 team and the tests being run unmarked and anonymous tyres – to ensure drivers and teams don't know which compound types they are testing – Alonso is certain all drivers and teams getting an early feel for the 2017 rubber will get a distinct advantage ahead of next year.
“I think it is always nice to prepare on exactly what you expect from the tyre and its behaviours for the following year if you have some tests,” Alonso said. “In 2007, it was a similar situation with an unknown tyre coming into play from one year to another [Alonso switched from Michelin to Bridgestone when he first joined McLaren].
“We had to same thing in 2010 switching from Bridgestone to Pirelli, but at that time it was the same for everybody while this time a few drivers have had the possibility to test. It feels a little bit unfair this year.”
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“I think it is still in the early days so we will have to wait and see the final result. Unfortunately, we are not able to test the tyres so only a few drivers will test them. It would be nice for all drivers to have the same opportunity after the last race but I know there are some implications on the car designs and the tyres as well.”
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As a result of the testing schedule Alonso is waiting patiently for his first chance to run the new rubber at the all teams test in Abu Dhabi on the 29 November to 1 December immediately after the final round of the season.
“They are testing more than they have any other year and before the quality of the tyres has not been as good as it could have been because of the lack of testing,” he said. “They have the test programme in place so I expect the tyres in place next year.”
On Thursday Mercedes completed its final private test at Barcelona while Red Bull is set to begin a three-day test in Abu Dhabi over this weekend.
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