Testing and development of Pirelli’s new 2017-sized tyres is continuing this week, with Ferrari and Mercedes in action at Barcelona and Paul Ricard respectively, using adapted mule cars designed to simulate 2017 levels of downforce. The new tyres are 25% wider than the current tyres at both the front and rear: part of a package of measures being introduced to make next year’s cars notably faster. In 2017, the slick tyre sizes will be 305/670-13 (front) and 405/670-13 (rear).
Manor racer and Mercedes-Benz Junior Driver Pascal Wehrlein took the wheel of the world champions’ 2015 F1 W06 Hybrid for the running at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France, with the car set up to simulate 2017 levels of downforce. It makes Mercedes the third team to trial the new tyre size – 25 percent wider than in 2016. Wehrlein completed the entire planned programme, which took in 134 laps on Tuesday, 89 laps on Wednesday and 63 laps on Thursday.