F1’s sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli announced which three compounds it will bring to the first two venues of the 2017 campaign. The Milan-based Italian company also revealed its plans about ‘back-up’ tyres.
The company was charged with an enormous task for 2017. It had to develop significantly wider tyres to enhance mechanical grip. Next year’s tyres will be around 25 per cent wider which means the width of the front tyres will increase by 60 mm while the width of the rears will grow by 80 mm.
Pirelli has also modified the structure and the compounds of the tyres. However, the sporting regulation regarding the tyres will remain the same for 2017.
Five different compounds will form the range of Pirelli’s dry-weather tyres from which the company will choose three for every circuit. 13 sets of slick tyres will be available for every driver. One set from each compound nominated for the specific circuit has to be available, which leaves 10 sets for the teams to pick out from the three nominated compounds.
Pirelli announced which compounds it will supply to the first two race weekends of the new championship campaign.
For Australia, the three softest compounds – ultrasoft, supersoft and soft – will be available. One set of ultrasofts has to be stored for the last qualifying segment while one set of supersofts and softs have to be available for the race.
For the second race which takes place in China, Pirelli went one grade harder. Supersofts, softs and mediums will be used on the Shanghai International Circuit which features more long fast speed turns. Supersoft is the nominated qualifying tyre while the other two have to be available for the 56-lap-long race.
The Milan-based company also announced that it has prepared ‘back-up’ tyres for 2017. As cars will generate more downforce next year due to the wider chassis and wider, bigger, lower-lying wings, Pirelli has had concerns about degradation.
The tyre manufacturer thinks that the downforce level will gradually increase as the season goes on because engineers will find enormous leaps by finetuning the car’s new aerodynamics and discovering the new aerodynamic rules. The company therefore designed back-up tyres which will feature more conventional compounds and structure. These tyres have already been homologated by the FIA and will be available in the second half of the 2017 campaign if the increasing downforce levels will result in significantly higher degradation.