F1 Tire Supplier Pirelli Demands 18 Preseason Testing Days In ’17 If Awarded New Deal

Pirelli Motorsport Dir Paul Hembery believes it is crucial his company is "given 18 days of testing next year" if it is to deliver rubber ready for F1's "dramatic" '17 changes, according to Ian Parkes of AUTOSPORT.

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone's "ringing endorsement of Pirelli in the wake of the events at Spa" would appear to suggest he is set to confirm the company will again be F1's supplier for the '17-19 contract, ahead of Michelin. Should that be the case, "with a definitive answer due in the next few weeks," Hembery feels it "is vital testing is conducted given the looming change of direction."

Tire width for '17 will be 425mm for the rear and 325mm for the front, an increase of 100mm and 80mm, respectively, as part of the quest for cars to be "five to six seconds per lap quicker."

Hembery: "The one thing that needs to happen is a proper testing program, and the first-level drivers need to be involved in determining the product we are going to be taking into a season."

As to what is specifically required, Hembery said, "I would suggest we would need six sessions of three days each next year, and then going into 2017 you've pre-season testing."

If such a structure is not put in place, Hembery has warned Pirelli "may yet walk away from F1." He said, "For us [testing] is a condition. You can't carry on with the scenario where we can't actually do our work." Autosport

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