Pirelli have revealed that they have developed a back-up set of compounds in case the 2017 Formula 1 cars are at a different performance level than they are expected to be, especially with new aerodynamic regulations coming into force.
The tyre manufacturer has gone through a thorough testing programme with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing squads during the 2016 season with mule cars with downforce levels set high enough to simulate expected 2017 levels, with tyres 25% wider than in previous years.
But as back-up, Pirelli have homologated back-up compounds should unforeseen circumstances come into play, which will only become apparently when the true levels of performance of the 2017 machines are realised.
“The compounds in particular make use of entirely new materials and a completely fresh design philosophy,” said a statement from Pirelli. “After a very positive testing programme with the new sizes Pirelli has decided to additionally homologate a back-up compound alongside each of the five new base compounds.
“These extra compounds are formulated using more traditional criteria compared to the new base compounds. For the first part of the championship, only the new-generation base compounds have been selected.
“The back-up compounds could be introduced later during the course of next season to respond to any particular requirements once the real performance levels of the 2017 cars have been identified.”