Formula 1 official tyre supplier, Pirelli, has been allowed an extra wet-tyre test before the start of the 2017 season, to help its preparations with the different compounds ahead of the new F1 championship, as the private racetrack owned by Ferrari for development and testing purposes, Fiorano, is set to stage it.
Many drivers questioned the performance of Pirelli’s Full Wet compound during last season, after several races which took place in wet conditions, most notably Scuderia Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who said that wet-weather tyres have regressed over the last decade, after the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, when Kimi crashed out in the treacherous wet conditions at Interlagos. Marcus Ericsson, who was also forced to retire after aquaplaning into a barrier and coming to rest in the pit entry, agreed with Kimi’s view, adding that they were struggling a lot to drive, unlike 10 years ago, when people were driving in similar track conditions without any problems.
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery, recrently confirmed that the F1 tyre supplier has been working hard on its Wet tyre, with the purpose of switching to a much wider profile for 2017. Pirelli has now announced that it has also been granted a special wet-weather test with a mule car at Fiorano, around two weeks before official pre-season testing begins.
Barcelona will host both four-day pre-season testing sessions ahead of the 2017 season. The tests will run on February 27-March 2 and March 7-10: it will be the first time Formula One fans will get the opportunity to see the new-for-2017 cars after the expansive rules overhaul in the sport. Pirelli, strongly supported by Mercedes, had been insisting for at least one outing in the guaranteed warmer and drier climes of Bahrain, but the idea was dismissed by the F1 teams, due to financial and logistical reasons. However, Formula 1’s opening pre-season test is also set to feature at least one day of wet running, either artificial or natural, depending on the weather conditions.