Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes first to test 2017 tyres
MONACO (Reuters) - Ferrari, Red Bull and Formula One world champions Mercedes will be first to test Pirelli's wider 2017 tyres in August, Pirelli's racing manager Mario Isola said at a Monaco Grand Prix presentation on Saturday.
"This is the first, first version," he said, speaking in front of a demonstration car to show off the bigger prototype tyres.
"We are working with the teams to have 'mule cars' available as soon as possible, they will be 2015 cars modified for the new tyres with additional downforce to simulate the performance expected for next year.
"When we start, probably in August, we will have a concentrated test plan because we need to find a final version of the tire by the end of November or December... we don't have a lot of time."
Isola said the new tyres would take a lot more speed through the corners, with an expected improvement of four seconds in lap time.
The plan was to stay with five compounds for 2017 but that could change once they had been tested. Pirelli have brought a new ultrasoft tire to Monaco this weekend.
The new, wider tyres have eight centimeters more at the rear and six at the front -- equal to about a 20 percent increase on the current size.
Formula One is planning sweeping changes to the aerodynamic regulations for next year which will increase the levels of downforce.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by John O'Brien)
© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved.