Pirelli calls for more F1 testing ahead of tech regulation overhaul

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Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli has called for increased testing ahead of the proposed overhaul of the technical regulations for the 2017 season.

F1 is set to enjoy its most seismic technical change since the introduction of the new V6 turbo power units next year, with a series of radical alterations planned for the regulations.

Currently, testing is restricted to just a handful of days across the course of the year in a bid to reduce costs and keep the grid on a relatively level playing field.

In 2016, teams will enjoy eight days of testing in Barcelona before the first race of the year, and will get a further four days during the season. Private testing is prohibited.

Pirelli confirmed in a statement issued on Thursday that it would be holding a meeting with all of F1’s major stakeholders next week in a bid to outline its plans for the 2017 season.

“A meeting will be held at Pirelli’s Milan headquarters next week in which key Formula 1 stakeholders will take part,” the statement reads. “The meeting will be to discuss target tire performance guidelines in the light of the 2017 regulations.

“Pirelli sees this meeting as being of vital importance in order to further consolidate the close collaboration that got underway last year with the FIA, FOM, and the drivers. Of the more than 250 championships in which Pirelli takes part worldwide, Formula 1 is the biggest challenge.

“In 2017 the technical aspects will become even more complex, so Pirelli is even more convinced of the need to carry out more on-track testing.

“This is a factor that has been extremely limited in recent years, despite the important evolution of the cars and subsequent increase in performance.

“All these are vital steps towards tire development that takes into account the future evolution of the cars and added performance, which will be particularly notable in 2017.

“This will allow an even more effective use of the advanced technology that makes Pirelli the world leader in performance tires.”

Pirelli has played an instrumental role in spicing up the on-track spectacle in F1 since taking the tender in 2011 by producing compounds that degrade quickly and force drivers to carefully manage their tires.

However, it has faced a great deal of criticism as a result, with drivers complaining that they are unable to push flat-out during races.

As quoted by crash.net, Pirelli’s Mario Isola said that if F1 requests a more durable tire that allows drivers to push throughout the race, it would be happy to provide this.

“It’s a choice. This is part of the target fixed by the Formula 1 environment and as we always said we want to follow what F1 asks of us,” Isola said.

“This is another aspect of the target of development for the future. If we had to produce long-lasting tires we have to focus on that, if we have to produce tires with degradation we have to focus on that.”