The 2017 Formula 1 season will bring a lot of important changes regarding several technical aspects, mostly to the bodywork and aerodynamics of the car, but also to the Pirelli tyres, which will be wider and therefore are expected to have around 25 per cent more grip and more thermal stability. As a result, the tyres will last longer than their quick-wearing predecessors that forced drivers to pit as the performance tailed off.
Next season we should therefore be ready for more aggressive-looking cars and also expect to see fewer pit stops, according to tyre supplier Pirelli’s motorsport head Paul Hembery: “The tyre degradation wear levels will be reduced substantially compared to the past. And also the gap between the tyre compound levels will be much reduced so I think the strategy elements that we have seen during the last few seasons will now be greatly reduced, because inevitably there will be fewer pit stops. I am quite sure that we’ll see many more one-stop races in the 2017 Formula 1 Championship.” – said Paul Hembery, as reported by the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.
Tyre strategy proved to be very important in Formula 1 during the last two years, and it was one of Scuderia Ferrari’s major issues in 2016, especially in the qualifying sessions when the car was frequently working outside the optimal temperature of the Pirelli tyres. Hembery now confirmed that some of the prototype 2017 tyres already used early on in testing last year were so conservative they could have lasted for the duration of three grands prix. This situation may generate negative reactions from the fans, as was the case a few years back: “We are aware of the fact that it will probably go the other way from now on and people will be complaining, ‘How does Pirelli feel now that the racing is boring, there’s no overtaking and no pit stops’, but it was a situation everybody agreed to when the major regulations changes were discussed. There will be many different changes next season and I am absolutely sure we’ll see things we want to change during the F1 year.” – Paul Hembery added.