Pirelli showcased its full range of Formula 1 tires for the 2017 season in Abu Dhabi on Thursday as its extensive testing program nears its conclusion.
As part of the revised technical regulations for next season, Pirelli will provide wider compounds to all teams that will help reduce lap times and increase grip levels.
The front tires shift from 245mm to 305mm in width, while the rears will move from 325mm to 405mm, making the compounds around 25% wider than in 2016.
All of the tires have been tested through 2016 by Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, with the final round of running set to take place next week in Abu Dhabi.
“We’ve made huge steps forward since trying the new tires out for the first time at the beginning of August and we’re pleased by the results obtained with the majority of the specifications,” Pirelli chief Paul Hembery said.
“We know however that the work is just beginning. The aerodynamic progress made by next year’s cars will lower lap times by around five seconds compared to 2015, and about three seconds compared to this year.
“The new cars that will take to the track for the first time in February will have a downforce increase of more than 20 per cent: much more than we have seen with the mule cars. And that progress will continue throughout the whole of next season.
“So the next phase of our development, aimed at 2018 when the cars will be faster still, already begins in February.”
Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).
It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).
Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.
The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.
“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”
“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”