It was announced yesterday that Pirelli has been granted permission for an extensive test programme to develop its 2017 tyres.
On Monday the F1 Commission and Strategy Group unanimously approved a test programme for Pirelli’s 2017 wider rubber, which is part of the revamped cars hoping to gain a significant increase in lap time next year. The result means the number of Pirelli test days increases from 12 to 25, which can be used at any point over the next three years.
In a statement to the media, an FIA statement said the following:-
‘The further testing was deemed to be essential for the purpose of developing the new tyre sizes permitted by the 2017 F1 Technical Regulations. The changes will allow 25 car days of testing with current cars, fitted with 2017 tyre sizes, in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
‘In addition, there will be an opportunity to test prototype 2017 tyres (in 2016 sizes) on 2013 or 2014 cars – these tests on older cars only apply in 2016.’
Pirelli had warned it would walk away from the sport if the programme was not ratified as it did not feel it could adequately develop new compounds without it. The approval means Pirelli is likely to sign off on its contract to remain the sole tyre supplier in Formula One until 2019.
Five teams have agreed to supply a 2015 car for modification in the Pirelli tests.