In 2017, there are supposed to be a raft of changes in formula 1. At least that’s the prevailing notion but then you know how things go in the sport, draconian changes are threatened and by the time the whinging and face-slapping stops, a compromise is reached. Who know if that will be the case with the 2017 regulation changes but we’ll see soon enough.
The biggest issue at the moment is Pirelli’s contract with the commercial side of F1 and yet seeking ratification as the sole supplier through 2020 by the regulatory body. If the plans come true, the 2017 cars will be heavier with more downforce, wider tires and more weight.
This all adds to the demand for serious tires and Pirelli aren’t about to lodge themselves in the middle of that task without knowing they have proper testing in proper cars with proper environments to create the kinds of loads the tires will experience.
Things have taken a step toward the positive with the announcement that their plan for testing this season has been approved by the FIA.
In an article at AUTOSPORT it outlines the two testing periods the tire maker is seeking with 2015 cars donated by Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull and then two more cars from Williams, McLaren and Force India.
It is now expected that they will sign off on the deal with Pirelli now that the testing agreement has been agreed to. It’s good that they can now focus forward and there is no doubt that many fans would like to see the sport go back to making a really good tire pressed to the limit. If you’re clinging to F1’s road relevancy to justify the hybrid engine, then surely you would agree that making dodgy tires is not in the best interest in perfecting better tires for road cars.
I would like to see a different size tire more akin to WEC but that most likely will not happen as it changes the chassis design radically as the cars are using a lot of the tire’s sidewall as part of their system. Although I have to wonder if Red Bull’s Adrian Newey would like the challenge.