Pirelli demands 18 testing days before 2017 if awarded new F1 deal

Paul Hembery believes it is crucial Pirelli is given 18 days of testing next year if is to deliver rubber ready for Formula 1's dramatic 2017 changes

Pirelli demands 18 testing days before 2017 if awarded new F1 deal

Bernie Ecclestone's ringing endorsement of Pirelli in the wake of the events at Spa would appear to suggest he is set to confirm the company will again be F1's supplier for the 2017-19 contract, ahead of Michelin.

Should that be the case, with a definitive answer due in the next few weeks, Pirelli motorsport director Hembery feels it is vital testing is conducted given the looming change of direction.

Tyre width for 2017 will be 425mm for the rear and 325mm for the front, an increase of 100mm and 80mm respectively, as part of the quest for cars to be five to six seconds per lap quicker.

"The one thing that needs to happen is a proper testing programme, and the first-level drivers need to be involved in determining the product we are going to be taking into a season," said Hembery.

"We need their input because they are the ones who push to the limit, who go that little bit extra, more than the other drivers.

"But at the moment we have no testing, they're not involved, so as you can imagine there is a discrepancy there, and that's not normal in my opinion.

"Right now, though, we're a long way off [a decision].

"The first phase is to define what we need, and there are a couple of proposals that have been put forward.

"Once we have that, it's then about how you fit it into a very intensive race calendar year next year with a car that also needs to be different to the current car because it's a wider track, has more downforce.

"So there are a huge number of factors involved in practically delivering what we are asking and how you actually achieve that, and that's something the engineers and teams need to advise on."

As to what is specifically required, Hembery said: "I would suggest we would need six sessions of three days each next year, and then going into 2017 you've pre-season testing."

If such a structure is not put in place, Hembery has warned Pirelli may yet walk away from F1.

"For us [testing] is a condition. You can't carry on with the scenario where we can't actually do our work," added Hembery.

"We've not been given adequate support to allow us to perform all of the development we would like to have done, and we have been asking consistently

"Without a good testing programme we can't stay in the sport for 2017."

As to being given an answer, Hembery said: "It's going to have to be pretty quick, isn't it?"

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Series Formula 1
Author Ian Parkes
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