Formula 1 tyre supplier, Pirelli, has been negotiating with Mercedes, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari to be able to use one of their mule cars for a special tyre testing programme, which is scheduled for next week. Pirelli recently reached an agreement with Ferrari for next week’s test and talks are ongoing with the other two teams for future running.
Formula One tyres play a significant role in the performance of a Formula One car and the rules shake-up for 2017 make it even more important for Pirelli to be fully prepared, as the new F1 season is approaching. Pirelli has up to 25 car days in a season in which to test improvements to the design of the tyres and the focus for this testing programme is the wet tyre development. This will be the priority in next week’s two-day test, which begins on February 9 at the Fiorano Circuit, the private racetrack owned by Ferrari, as indicated by Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery, who said at Autosport International last month that test improvements are necessary in order to gather accurate information for the development of the 2017 full wet tyre. Pirelli wants to improve the warm-up characteristics of the wet tyres, particularly as there will be standing restarts in the 2017 Formula 1 season. The data and information gathered at the end of next week’s two-day test session will only be available for Pirelli and not for Scuderia Ferrari, who will not have access to any specific details, as the agreement has been made.
A series of other wet tests are set to take place over the next two months, while the official Formula 1 2017 pre-season testing programme is scheduled for two periods: February 27-March 2 and March 7-10, as both sessions will take place on the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona.