Earlier this week, Pirelli has started its development programme for next year’s tyres with a day of testing at Ferrari’s private test track using a 2014-spec F1 car.
Pirelli secured a testing agreement with the FIA two weeks ago to allow it to develop the wider tyres required under next year’s regulations. One of the agreements allows Pirelli to test prototype tyres (in 2016 sizes) with 2013- or 2014-spec cars this year.
In a statement to the media earlier this week, Pirelli confirmed the news as follows;-
‘Pirelli is testing today at Fiorano circuit with Ferrari. The team’s test driver Jean-Eric Vergne is driving a F1 Ferrari F14-T.
‘The tyres are the 2016 size and contain a number of prototype elements as we start developing larger tyres for 2017: the first season of a new three-year programme for Pirelli.’
Pirelli has been asked to change its philosophy to tyre design next year to make it easier for drivers to follow each other. The tyres will have a wider footprint (front: 305 mm, rear: 405mm) and are also being designed so that they do not suffer from the same levels of thermal degradation as the current tyres.
The teams will also be expected to cope with increased loads from the added downforce of the new regulations, while still allowing for multiple pit stops in races.