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Pirelli announce test programme for 2017 tyres

06 Jul 2016

Pirelli have revealed details of the test programme it will use to develop 2017’s wider, faster tyres, with Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes all set to take part.

There will be 10 sessions in all, comprising 24 days, with each of the competing teams to provide specially modified 2015 cars, built to a precise specification established by the FIA that simulates the performance anticipated for next year, principally including more downforce, a wider track and tyres that are 25 percent wider than at present.

Ferrari will undertake the first track tests of the new-specification rubber over two days of testing at Fiorano in August, which will be artificially dampened in order to carry out tests with intermediate and full wet tyres.

Red Bull will then put Pirelli’s new slick tyres through their paces at Mugello, before Ferrari and Mercedes sample the treadless rubber in September at Barcelona and Paul Ricard respectively.

Testing will conclude with a final validation test at Abu Dhabi on 29 November, two days after the final Grand Prix of the season, during which all three teams will take part.

For reasons of sporting equality Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes are obliged to share all the data gathered during these tests with the other teams.

The new for 2017 tyres are expected to help cut lap times by around four seconds. The front tyre, currently 245mm wide, will increase to 305mm, while the rear will grow from 325mm to 405mm. So the new sizes for slick tyres will be 305/670-13 at the front and 405/670-13 at the rear (the total diameter will go from the current 660mm to 670mm). Wheel rim diameter remains unchanged at 13 inches.

Pirelli began testing prototype materials and structures for 2017 with a private test at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in May, during which a prototype current-size tyre was fitted to a 2014-spec Ferrari F14-T driven by Jean-Eric Vergne.

This separate programme continued with in June with Red Bull at Paul Ricard and will conclude in July with three further tests at Silverstone on July 12-13 (Mercedes), Fiorano on July 16 (Ferrari) and Vallelunga on July 18-19 (Red Bull). 

Test dates for 2017-specification tyres
1 Aug 1-2 2 Fiorano Ferrari Wets
2 Aug 3-4 2 Mugello Red Bull Slicks
3 Sep 6-7 2 Barcelona Ferrari Slicks
4 Sep 6-7-8 3 Paul Ricard Mercedes Slicks
5 Sep 21-22 2 Paul Ricard Mercedes Wets
6 Oct 12-13 2 Barcelona Mercedes Slicks
7 Oct 14-15-16 3 Abu Dhabi Red Bull Slicks
8 Nov 2-3 2 Abu Dhabi Red Bull Wets
9 Nov 14-15-16 3 Abu Dhabi Ferrari Slicks
10 Nov 29 3 Abu Dhabi All Final validation