Pirelli has warned that improving its much-criticised wet weather rubber will not be made easier by F1’s adoption of wider tyres in 2017.
The sport’s official tyre supplier is seeking a recent-specification F1 car to conduct further tests of its wet weather product. Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix prompted further complaints from drivers about aquaplaning.
“You can imagine wet tyres, we’re going wider, and that’s not a direction you want to go in when you’re trying to do wet tyre performance,” Hembery admitted in an interview at the Autosport International show.
Pirelli conducted three wet weather tests for its 2017 compounds last year but Hembery says the development programme needs to go on.
“We’re working actually on an ongoing development during the season, which is something we’re allowed to do this time around, before we weren’t able to test at all,” he said.
“In the last three years I think we’ve had three days’ testing. Now we have up to 25 car days’ testing in a season, So we have a programme to change the wet tyres in the season.”
Hembery said Pirelli also needs to take into account new regulations intended to increase the use of standing starts in wet races.
“We want to improve the warm-up characteristics [as] we’re going to have standing starts, for example, so the tyres are going to be cold,” he said. “So we’re going to do like we do in GP2 where we don’t have [tyre warming] blankets, trying to get a product which warms up a lot quicker. So that’s ongoing and those tests will be February and March.”
“We’re already doing some of those, trying to get one of the hybrid cars that we used in the last months of last year. So we’re trying to convince one of the teams to get that out of the museum and allow us to do a bit more work.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year