Pat Symonds: Pirelli tyre testing gives ‘enormous’ advantage


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Pat Symonds believes Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will have an ‘enormous’ advantage regarding 2017 Pirelli tyres.

The big three Formula 1 teams will be sharing the preparation work that Pirelli are doing for next season’s wider tyres. They have also had to build a hybrid car to simulate the higher downforce levels that are expected to come into force in 2017.

Both the FIA and Pirelli have said that the data gathered from the tests will be available to all eleven teams on the grid. Technical Chief for Williams Martini Racing Symonds, believes their rivals completing in the tests will still achieve big gains.

“I think it’s an enormous advantage and I think it’s something we need to consider,” said Symonds.

“Even in this sort of blind testing they do, there always is the advantage in that the comments you make steer the direction of the tyres. I think when Lotus were running the Pirelli test car, they went through a bit of a cold period, and I’m sure that it wasn’t that they were saying ‘make the tyres like this, make the tyres like that’.

“What they were doing, they were testing the tyre and saying ‘well, I like that one and I don’t like that one’. Based on that, Pirelli would say ‘okay, we’d like to move forward with that one’. Now, another team might have said ‘well, actually, we preferred the other way round’ and then there’d have been more debate. I think those doing the testing have the advantage from that.”