By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
The F1 powers at be have granted an extra pre-season test day for Pirelli to develop their wet weather compounds for 2017. This comes after the company put in a request to the teams and the FIA to further develop the full wet tires before the season begins in March.
It is understood that one of the 2015 mule cars developed by Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari will be used at a two day test at a so far unspecified location, likely Paul Ricard. The test will be for the extreme full wet tires as Pirelli boss Paul Hembery believes the intermediate tires to be ready for action.
Pirelli took a lot of criticism for the way their wet weather compounds behaved in 2016, especially at the rain soaked, incident riddled Brazilian Grand Prix. It is nice to see them taking a more proactive approach, as many have warned that the wider compounds on offer could struggle for traction in the wet.
It is increasingly important for 2017 due to the new rule of standing restarts after a safety car period. Since most F1 safety cars are triggered by rain, standing restarts on a wet track will be particularly challenging and Pirelli has got to get the tires right for them to be a truly viable option in a season of many unknowns.