Pirelli welcomes FIA tyre test provision in 2016 Formula 1 rules

Pirelli believes a step in the right direction has been taken with confirmation it can test for up to 12 days during the 2016 Formula 1 season

Pirelli welcomes FIA tyre test provision in 2016 Formula 1 rules

The newly-released FIA sporting regulations state in article 10.6: "In consultation with the teams and the appointed tyre supplier, the FIA reserves the right to organise up to six two-day tests for the sole purpose of providing the supplier with the chance to test improvements to the design of their tyres."

The rule is primarily designed to help Pirelli test rubber for the planned 2017 rules revamp that aims to improve laptimes by around five seconds.

With front and rear tyre widths to increase as part of this process, Pirelli made clear in recent months it required an adequate testing programme.

The Italian manufacturer's motorsport chief Paul Hembery welcomed the FIA's move to enshrine tyre testing in the regulations, but a major drawback still remains as the nature of the test car remains undecided given aerodynamics are also due to considerably alter for 2017.

"It's the first step forward, so that's extremely positive," Hembery told Autosport.

"It's in the regulations, so in collaboration with the FIA, and as deemed necessary we can go testing, but we still need a test vehicle.

"In reality it's the definition of a test vehicle of a suitable level, and that's clearly related to the regulations which as yet haven't been stabilised.

"We really do need some clarity as to what is required in a very short space of time because we have to start working on that."

Hembery admits Pirelli ideally needs to be testing the 2017 tyres by the middle of '16 at the latest.

"We want to be on track in May/June, but the lead time for the vehicle is the problem, and can there be a vehicle done anyway?" queried Hembery.

"It's far from ideal, with this grey area of not knowing, and depending on who you talk to a vehicle can or cannot be created because if you ask the teams you get different answers.

"So the first step is: what are the regulations? Then we will move from that towards finding a suitable testbed."

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