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Five Formula 1 teams to help Pirelli develop new 2017 tyres

Five Formula 1 teams are poised to assist tyre manufacturer Pirelli commence its test programme for the rubber required for the planned 2017 rule changes

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery enjoyed a breakthrough meeting with a number of F1 team principals in the paddock at the Shanghai International Circuit ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

Following negotiations over a considerable period of time with regard to the development of the 2017 tyres, it appears a positive way forward has now been found.

Autosport understands the 2016 test plan comprises two phases, the first of which will be Pirelli using a pre-'15 car that will allow it do conduct conceptual work on current-sized tyres, but with a view to applying the '17 technology.

Towards the end of July or in early August, Pirelli will then switch to a hybrid car, effectively a 2015 vehicle modified to the '17 aero package.

Five teams have agreed to supply a 2015 car for modification, understood to be Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, and then two others from Williams, McLaren and Force India.

It is also understood there will be an increase in the number of test days, which in the current regulations stands at 12, but looks set to double.

To get the programme up and running as quickly as possible, given the next F1 Commission meeting is not until April 26, the 26 members of the Commission are to fax vote on all the proposals on Monday.

Given the changes to the regulations are for this year, unanimity is still required, although the signs appear positive.

"We have a way forward now and we are hopeful everything will be finalised early next week," said Hembery.

"Particularly for this year, going forward it will be very different. This year it's a question of who [which teams] are able to do what."

Asked as to whether the five volunteer teams would all play a part, Hembery added: "We will use all five. That's for the '15 car modified."

With agreement on the horizon, Pirelli and the FIA are also now set to sign off on the contract from 2017-19, over six months after the Italian manufacturer was confirmed as continuing as supplier.

Hembery said: "It's all come together, and all will be finalised next week.

"There were some elements that needed to be finalised before it could all be sorted, but we've had great support from the FIA, the teams and FOM.

"So everybody is working towards a common goal, which is really positive."

Given the situation was approaching the point of no return, Pirelli can now begin work in earnest.

"We're taking on the challenge, of course, because we've an aero change, which is important, a size change [to the width of the tyres], which is very important, and change to the characteristics of the tyres," said Hembery,

"So there are a lot of things going together in one phase, which from our point of view is a big challenge, an interesting challenge, that's for sure.

"There are a lot of aspects that will lead to faster cars, more challenging cars and better racing."

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