Pirelli says they can shave 4 seconds off F1

The F1 Committee is set to meet this coming week and discuss the new engine tender that the FIA have released. According to reports, AER and Ilmor have joined forces with an interest in responding to the tender by using one of the P60 WEC engines.

The desire for the FIA is to get a new 2.5 liter V6 engine without ERS and AER feels they have the answer. The main issue here is to reduce cost (and perhaps get an engine for Red Bull Racing) but the FIA and F1 management are keen to see the series return to faster lap times and better entertainment in 2017.

The teams may not be keen to a second engine formula in F1 but they could be overruled through a vote in the World Motor Sport Council. It remains to be seen how the current power brokers such as Mercedes and Ferrari feel about the desired changes for 2017 which include fatter tires.

Interesting bit on the tires is that Pirelli feel they can recapture at least 4 seconds of the desired lap time just through the tires as Paul Hembery said:

“Just by the tyre size change we will probably gain two seconds.

“If you then gave us a proper testing programme, probably by the tyres alone, and with a natural evolution of the current car, we can deliver four seconds, and [the teams] won’t need to do much else.

“It would be cheaper for everybody, and cheaper if they helped us do that than for everybody to redesign all the cars.”

One thing that the teams are very reluctant to do is provide a current spec car for Pirelli for fear of the intellectual property being compromised or acquired by other teams…not to mention the cost.

The last time I recall Pirelli having a Mule Car in order to test was a year-old Lotus F1 car a few years ago but that became irrelevant with the new engine regulations.

It’s interesting that Pirelli could make tires that you could hammer on for 15 laps and then experience a drop off. That alone might change some of the way F1 approaches their races through strategy alone.

Let it be said that Pirelli have always been willing to help F1 find alternative means of gaining performance whether that be 19″ wheels or fat tires etc. They would like to have a much better testing program and that’s for sure. Can you blame them?

It would be much better for Pirelli to have a full testing program with a current car so they can pound out laps and really perfect their tires.


I have a simple solution borrowed from NASCAR. Just like the team who wins the Daytona 500, they have to leave the winning car at the circuit for the remainder of the year…or at least they used to. I don’t watch the series so any of you NASCAR buffs out there who know differently, let me know.

I say the team who won the championship last year has to donate one of the cars to the Pirelli testing program. They can get it back at the end of the season. They can help with replacement parts and maintaining the car. All information gained from each test would be shared with all the teams equally.


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Paul KieferJr

That is correct: Winning team at Daytona surrenders the car to the track for display, and that’s an interesting thought for testing. I have to ask, though: Would it be a bit expensive? They have to replace that car somehow.


Very few teams start the season with last year’s car, those that do so tend to be the ones struggling at the back. So the cost of replacing it shouldn’t be an issue. Having a team to run the old car, with all the necessary spares and support equipment may be more of a problem. While the championship winning team could easily do this, they would then have direct access to the tyre tests, and I am sure some other leading teams would complain that they were testing outside of the regulations. If the tyre test took place at different… Read more »

Patrick Chapman

What you are saying make good sense but the existing engine rules alone rule out a sensible test program both for the teams and for Pirelli. Remember that the teams can only use 4 engines per season before grid penalties kick in and of course at 5 million per extra engine, testing will drive costs up significantly. I doubt that you could ask the manufacturers or Pirelli or the FIA to cover the cost of the extra engines so it seems that all the good ideas that we can come up with regards testing will not come to fruition any… Read more »


The engines the teams use in testing don’t count against the 4 engine limit. They already have the ones they bring to Jerez etc. that they could potentially use again (although there is a very good chance that they wouldn’t fit in the updated cars). If the engine allowance was increased perhaps to take that into account (i.e. 5 total for the season, including testing) then it may work.

Patrick Chapman

Take into account that we are discussing Extra testing here. That means extra Pu’s for this purpose. At 5 million per engine the big teams can probably afford that but what about the smaller teams? It leaves them at a disadvantage. While F1 PU’s cost what they do, unlimited testing is going to be an unbearable situation for a lot of teams. Horner was saying the other day that they had been quoted 30 million euro’s for the 2016 season, and his comment was, that’s ludicrous. So how will the smaller teams afford it. So just adding extra engines into… Read more »


I agree with you, without testing F1 will not return to top form any time soon. What we need is in season testing and development back. It’s should be open and left alone. As for the costs of testing for all the teams, make it a requirement for every single team to have a PRIVATE track similar to Ferrari’s Fiorano, next to the factory or at an immediate proximity. It really wouldn’t be that expensive to maintain and run compared to the current costs. If you can assure that, they can even LIMIT (not ban) the wind tunnel and CFD… Read more »


Your suggestion that all F1 teams be required to own and maintain a private test track would quickly reduce the size of the field. McLaren are the only UK based team to try this approach, when they purchased Lydden Hill. Planning permission to use the circuit as an F1 test facility was refused.
With seven of the current ten teams based in the UK such a restriction would cut the field to Ferrari, Toro Rosso and possibly Sauber. Still it may make things easier for Haas.


Well then they should come together as a certain british band sang it, and try to push it through. If that’s the only obstacle I don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to overcome it. I said it wouldn’t be easy, but you have to look in long term regards. As far as I know, I may wrong, but doesn’t Haas EU factory (the ex-Marussia) is also located in the UK. They have an aerodynamic facility in Italy, tho I am not sure that this will be the best choice, as this is more of an administrative rather than factory… Read more »


Anyone in the F1B family got links to Gary Anderson, Ross Brawn, or after the end of the season Bob Booth? It would be interesting to hear the views of these fellas who have been on the inside of F1 long enough to have experienced the different regimes of testing, simulations, tyre wars etc, and who would have some insight into the pros cons and costs of the options.
A.K.A – I’ve no idea how they dig their way out of the current mess :-(


I always liked the idea of the worst teams getting a bit more testing, help them come up a bit. Rather than using the best car, it helps those at the bottom get a bit of a leg up.

Let the bottom team supply a car to Pirelli who pay for all the testing and both get some benefit from it. Obviously it faces an issue raised below, Pirelli will target their tyres to the car they have at hand. This maybe isn’t such a bad thing though given the performance delta.