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F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Pirelli completes 'mule' tests as it looks to F1 2017

Pirelli wraps up testing using 'mule' cars and turns attention to refining the new wider tyres for the 2017 F1 season.
Pirelli has completed its final tyre test of the 2016 season with nearly 100 prototypes trialled in Abu Dhabi by Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.

The first time all three teams have run the tyres concurrently having conducted a series of dry and wet weather tests separately over the course of the 2016 season, almost 2,000km of running across 331 laps was completed over the course of the day.

With Pirelli testing 96 different prototypes on the 'mule' cars - modified to simulate next year's technical regulations – though Paul Hembery says there is still much work to be done to refine much wider tyres ahead of the 2017 season, he says the 12,000km of testing will prove invaluable.

FIRST LOOK: Check out the latest 'chunky' photos from Pirelli's tyre test in Abu Dhabi

“For the final test of the year, we had five F1 race drivers sample our 2017 prototypes as we completed the development programme with three cars at the same time,” he said.

“Now the hard work begins as we collate and analyse the results of our 24 days and approximately 12,000 kilometres of testing in order to define the tyres with which we will go racing next year.

“These will then be run on the actual 2017 cars for the first time during the official group tests next February. Our latest test in Abu Dhabi went according to plan and we were able to collect the data we needed thanks to the three mule cars from Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari; without whom it would have been impossible to carry out this intense development programme.”

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The final test of the year was conducted by five race drivers with Lewis Hamilton and Pascal Wehrlein sharing duties in the Mercedes, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen driving the Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen completing a full day with Ferrari.

The tyres, which will be 25 per cent wider, are among the technical changes being introduced for the 2017 season as F1 looks to reduce lap times by up to five seconds.

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