France, Marseille – Mercedes-Benz tested sample 2017 tires from Pirelli this Tuesday. The wider wheels will feature on all Formula One cars next season, and the company’s team began a three-day test as part of the Italian tire-maker development program for 2017.
Mercedes’ junior manor racer Pascal Wehrlein took the wheel of the F1 W06 Hybrid, a modified version of last year’s world champion vehicle, to drive around the Circuit Paul Ricard in Fran, with the car simulating 2017 levels of downforce.
Mercedes became the third team to trail the new tires, a model 25% bigger than the current ones. Red Bull already began testing in Mugello, Italy; while Ferrari did so at Fiorano, Italy. Red Bull is planning a four test-trail o the tires.
Ferrari, meanwhile, is continuing its evaluation at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, with Kimi Raikkonen driving a 2015’s car with a 2016’s power unit. He follows several runs that Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Gutierrez already conducted last month.
Pirelli altered their tires to both have a more dramatic look and fit into the new aerodynamic regulations while also pushing the racing speed.
Changes in aerodynamic regulations will lower lap times up to five seconds
Pirelli says 2017’s tires will be “fantastic” for the motor-sport. They see the introduction of the wider model as a boost for the driver’s performance.
The new rear tires are 80mm wider than 2016’s models, while the front ones are 60mm ampler than the current rubber. Next year’s tires will also be heavier, reason enough to provide an improvement in lap times.
How 2017’s new aerodynamic rules will change the game
Three years after the revolution of F1 engines, 2017’s season introduces the biggest overhaul of aerodynamic regulations in almost two decades.
First off, the narrow-track format will be replaced by 1997’s two-metre wide cars. The front and rear wing design will also see substantial changes as the sport pursues a more aggressive look for the cars.
The vehicles will have a mandating delta-shaped front wing, leaned back side pod inlets and new wing plates.
The overall wide of the car will gain an extra 10cm. With plus larger tires, the cars will have bigger fuel tanks, a rise of 5kg gasoline per race.
Source: Motor Sports