By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Testing resumed today for Pirelli’s 2017 Formula 1 tires. This time the tests occurred in two locations and with two teams sampling the new rubber. Ferrari got their second look at the tires with Kimi Raikkonen trying them at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, and Mercedes drafted in Pascal Wehrlein for the team’s initial impression of the compounds by turning laps at Paul Ricard in France.
Wehrlein completed 134 laps, Raikkonen a few less on 111. The laps turned by Raikkonen will provide the more crucial data however as Barcelona is the home to F1’s winter testing and any insights gained will not only help Ferrari develop their car, but Pirelli to further develop the tires for the lofty performance gains that are expected with the coming generation of F1 cars.
The teams testing the tires; Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull are providing Pirelli with modified cars meant to closely approximate the gains in downforce the 2017 designs will have over the current cars. An important fact that will have a huge bearing on how the tires turn out considering lap times around Catalunya are projected to drop a massive four seconds, which will in theory make the 2017 cars, the fastest F1 has ever seen.
“We need to make sure we have a test basis, and by that we mean a level of downforce that is at least close to what we are anticipating for next season because that has a big impact on the way the compounds will react and behave.” said Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery.
Wehrlein will lap Paul Ricard again on Wednesday and Thursday for Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel will take over from Kimi Raikkonen to wrap up Ferrari’s testing tomorrow from Barcelona.