The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team have completed the final day of three at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France as they did more testing of 2017 tyre compounds for Pirelli.
Pascal Wehrlein was back behind the wheel for a third consecutive day, and added an additional 63 laps of the French circuit to add to the 134 laps on Tuesday and 89 on Wednesday as Pirelli tested their slick compounds.
The car Mercedes were using was modified to try and simulate the downforce levels expected to be seen on 2017 machinery, and coupled with the work Scuderia Ferrari did at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday and Wednesday it was a productive week for Pirelli.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport boss, feels the prototype tyres being used in the tests by Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing are not what they feel will be the final product when 2017 comes around.
“It’s the ongoing development of next year’s tyre, again a mix of things between structures, compounds, profiles, there’s nothing yet that’s remotely close to what we’re going to have,” said Hembery to F1i.com. “We’re screening through different ideas and concepts that we’ve tested on our simulators.
“It’s a long process in many ways but it’s a short process in the sense that we’ve got to be ready by the end of November. So it’s a very intense period, we need to make sure we’ve got the right downforce levels, that’s a factor that we’re a little bit concerned that we won’t actually achieve the numbers that we’re actually seeing from the simulation data that we’re being sent.
“I have to say the simulation data has started to normalise, the teams are staring to normalise. It’s not to say they’re the same but you can see there’s a trend in the way that they’re expecting next year’s cars to go.”
The tests resume on 21-22 September with Mercedes again at Paul Ricard, but with the wet tyres rather than the slicks.