Pirelli set to win battle over 2016 Formula 1 tyre testing

Pirelli is closing in on a victory in its battle over in-season testing during the 2016 Formula 1 season

Pirelli set to win battle over 2016 Formula 1 tyre testing

After securing a new three-year contract to supply tyres to F1 from 2017-19, the Italian manufacturer is now eager to cement plans for a testing programme next year.

Tyre widths are due to significantly increase from 2017 as F1 seeks to reduce laptimes by five to six seconds.

At a recent technical meeting the originally agreed sizes of 425mm rear and 325mm front were decreased by 25mm to 400mm and 300m respectively.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery feels the decision, which he has yet to be informed of in writing, was made in a bid to reduce drag.

Regardless of the final confirmation of size, Pirelli has made clear it has to test if the product it supplies from 2017 is suitable, with Hembery previously suggesting six three-day tests involving the top teams and drivers.

Although there are likely to be compromises before confirmation is given, there is understanding of Pirelli's needs and testing in 2016 will take place.

"There is a recognition from the Strategy Group we need to test to be able to do the job otherwise it's impossible," said Hembery.

"There is also a recognition we will do high quality testing to be able to deliver what's being asked of us.

"But an overall solution for testing is quite complex because the rules haven't been set yet.

"The question is whether you can test on a current car, a current car modified or does it need a bespoke car, so there are plenty of question marks with regard to the practicalities of how we go testing, but it will happen."

POST-SEASON ABU DHABI TEST NOW ONE DAY

Pirelli's test to finalise its 2016 rubber has now been cut to just one day following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 29.

There had been hopes of testing on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 1-2, but the test will now only take place on the former as GP2 and GP3 testing is to run on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Hembery, though, feels "a very intensive programme" can still be done given the Yas Marina circuit's floodlighting system that will allow the cars to "run into the night".

With the new super-super soft compound to be put through its paces, Hembery said: "We want to test on Tuesday post Abu Dhabi, and we want to do 4000 to 5000 kilometres.

"We'll be looking at two things - the new super-soft we are going to use on street circuits, and other venues like Russia.

"And we're also looking at making structural improvements because the cars are going quicker, so we've our minds on that because what jump are they going to have next year? It's a moving target.

"The teams understand something has to be done because we've not had any testing at all this year. It's been the single biggest problem we've had in Formula 1."

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