First Formula 1 pre-season test will feature wet-weather running

Formula 1's opening 2017 pre-season test will feature at least one day of wet running, in a bid to ensure teams gain some experience of the new, wider rain tyres

First Formula 1 pre-season test will feature wet-weather running

F1 tyre supplier Pirelli has already been granted a standalone two-day wet-tyre test with a mule car, but it also wants teams to try the new rain designs before the Australian Grand Prix in March.

The current plan is for this to happen during the first of Barcelona's two tests, on February 27-March 2.

It is understood that an agreement has been reached that if there is no rain on the opening three days, the track will be soaked with special tanker trucks to help simulate wet conditions on the final day.

Without the running, there could have been a scenario in which drivers experience the new wet rubber for the first time during the race in Melbourne, where standing starts after safety-car periods are also set to be introduced.

The use of one day of pre-season testing for wet running is mandated in F1's sporting regulations, but it has always proven difficult to simulate, and teams were never keen to devote a full day of running to it, given their existing wet-weather tyre knowledge.

The move to wider tyres in 2017 means the performance of Pirelli's intermediates and full wets will be different, not only in terms of how they perform but also their ideal lap-time windows.

Last season's crossover point to an intermediate was approximately 112% of a slick lap time, with the extreme wet more than 118%.

These values are expected to be different this year given the characteristics of the new cars, and Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery has forecast changes to the performance of the full-wet tyre during the year.

"The only area where we will be working during this season is with the wet tyres, and we are trying to improve the warm-up time of the wet tyres - especially in relation to the standing starts," he said.

"So that is one area where we will have development during the season."

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