WORKING ON 2017 TYRES: Pirelli will be testing its 2017-spec tyres later in 2016 with the help of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Image: AFP
Monaco - Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will be the first Formula 1 teams to test the new-look Pirelli tires for the 2017 season when testing for wider tyres begins in August 2016.
Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola made the announcement Saturday in the F1 paddock at the 2016 Monaco GP, where he showed a prototype of the tire on a demonstration car. See video below.
Isola said: "The time is the big challenge because we have little time to develop not only the new construction but all the compounds. We will start soon to test on track with teams that are able to provide 2015 modified cars: Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull."
The new tyres are expected to withstand more speed around corners and improve lap times by up to five seconds. They are part of 2017 aerodynamic changes that are designed to make F1 more exciting again.
The thicker tires will increase by 60mm to 305mm at the front and by 80mm to 405mm at the back.
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Pirelli is working on five tire compounds for next season but this is subject to change, Isola said.
Following the first batch of testing, more testing is planned between the Belgian GP in Spa in late August and the Italian GP in Monza in early September.
Further testing is hoped for in Abu Dhabi in November - at which point Pirelli wants to have its final 2017-spec tire ready.