Pirelli, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015

Pirelli urges more tyre testing ahead of crunch meeting on 2017 rules

2017 F1 season

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Pirelli has repeated its call for more tyre testing ahead of a crunch meeting over F1’s tyre plans for the future.

The Italian manufacturer has been the official supplier of tyres to the world championship since 2011, during which time it has produced rubber which is designed to degrade in performance, producing more pit stops, at the request of Formula One management.

However drivers have become increasingly vocal in their complaints about not being able to drive as quickly as they can in order to preserve the rubber. There was also a spate of tyre failures during the 2013 championship and two more high-speed failures during last year’s Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Next week’s meeting, which will take place at Pirelli’s headquarters in Milan, will be “to discuss target tyre performance guidelines in the light of the 2017 regulations”. This could include a reappraisal of the current policy of creating ‘designed-to-degrade’ tyres.

“In 2017 the technical aspects will become even more complex, so Pirelli is even more convinced of the need to carry out more on-track testing,” the manufacturer said in a statement.

“This is a factor that has been extremely limited in recent years, despite the important evolution of the cars and subsequent increase in performance. All these are vital steps towards tyre development that takes into account the future evolution of the cars and added performance, which will be particularly notable in 2017.”

The Formula One Strategy Group has called for a performance increase of five to six seconds per lap next year, which is to be achieved by increasing downforce. However Pirelli has said this will not be possible with the current specification of tyres.

Three teams took part in a two-day test in France earlier this week to develop Pirelli’s wet weather tyres.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 14 comments on “Pirelli urges more tyre testing ahead of crunch meeting on 2017 rules”

    1. I am SICK of hearing about tyres in F1 and utterly repulsed by Pirelli’s constant excuses, demands, and ineffectiveness.

      F1 needs tyre SUPPLIERS, not dictators.

      fun fact: i don’t care how much testing is done, just that all teams be allowed to test equally.

      1. I am SICK of hearing about more downforce, and appreciate the brief to Pirelli is a difficult one.

        F1 needs tyre suppliers with the freedom to have a say in the rules making process.

        Not as fun fact: I also don’t care about how much testing is done.

      2. I’m also sick and tired (not tyred) of the total failure of Pirelli to supply a tyre that is in any measurable way superior to the much derided grooved Bridgestones of the past that were capable of being raced hard for the whole 300+km race distance. Keep in mind the fact that the grooves were wide and reduced the contact area by a considerable amount (25-30% ?), another attempt to slow down by regulation F1 cars, imagine the lap times possible if those tyres had been slicks. If F1 re-introduced tyres of that construction and compound but in a slick format we would not only get faster races but real racing as well, then imagine if those tyres were even wider than the current tyres, as they say (said) on Top Gear, “How hard can it be”.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          29th January 2016, 15:47

          I’m slick and tyred of bachelor’s wives and maiden’s children commenting on F1 tyres.

        2. Eventually, someone had to forget Pirelli are contractually obliged to make tyres to a spec completely different to the grooved Bridgestones.

    2. Hopefully someone will come up with a nice solution that doesn’t need 18 strategy group meetings to sort out.

      Hard enough for Pirelli to meet Bernie’s demands with the current tyres, be even worse if they can’t do a lot of work on the new wide ones.

    3. My question is, are Pirelli allowed to have teams test tyres in free practice sessions?

      If not, there could be a rule where Pirelli mandate the use of one or two sets of test tyre in FP1, instead of the usual tyres.

      1. @strontium, this sounds sensible and effective until you remember that this is F1 and there are so many rules that there is always a rule that reacts in an equal and opposite way, teams have to minimise the use of engines and gearboxes so will minimise any testing that is not directly advantageous to them.

      2. @strontium @hohum Yes, They have had the ability to test new tyres in FP1 (And FP2 if FP1 was wet/mixed conditions) since 2011 yet have only made use of that provision a handful of times.

    4. Typically a case of being between the devil and the deep blue sea. Not an easy job for Pirelli.
      Unfortunately testing is just a patch that won’t solve the problem of being asked to produce degrading tyres.

      They should at least be allowed to test and maybe even possess their own year-old car. As a company I’m sure they are desperate to improve their image and also sure they would improve the show if they had their hands free.

      Now they are constantly begging for some test time and it’s quite embarrassing from an external point of view.

    5. Bernie “you want a tyre test??” Walks up to car, kicks tyre “yup, thats a tyre, your good to go!!”

    6. Any meaningful increase in testing is something they are unlikely to get because its something virtually nobody actually wants to do not just because of the cost of testing but also because with 21 races there’s not a great deal of extra time & the crews would not appreciate the extra workload/time away from from home as they are already just about at the limit of what is sensible/practical.

      The other issue is that with more than half the field struggling to get to all 21 races with 2 cars there is no chance of them been able to also add x days of testing on top of that so your going to be left with the top 3-4 teams doing the testing & that granting them a significant advantage over the mid-field/smaller teams when it comes to understanding the tyres.
      Even if you do the sort of blind test that Mercedes got in 2012 the teams/drivers are still going to be learning something & that something is going to be an advantage over those who are not at the test.

      Its also worth remembering that Pirelli do have a way to test new tyres during Friday practice at race weekends which would arguably be far more representative than been off on there own with a handful of teams at Jerez or Paul Ricard. They have had this option to use Friday practice for tyre testing since 2011 yet have only made use of it 4-5 times which is silly given how much they have complained about not been able to try new tyres in that time.

      The only way you can realistically do the sort of testing Pirelli want is to drop races to make room for them, Bring back the test teams to take the strain off the race crews & have organized test’s paid for by Pirelli or FOM which would enable every team to go without having to dig into there season budget’s.
      The problem is Bernie won’t want to drop any races, Neither he nor Pirelli would be willing to pay for them & the teams wouldn’t have any interest in bringing back the test teams because thats added expense for very little gain so its not going to happen.

    7. Maybe they should try using RUBBER instead of plastic compounds. Doesn’t seem too difficult for tyre suppliers of nearly every other series to manage.

      1. Ah yes, because it’s never the fault of the rulemakers, is it?

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