Pirelli prepares backup tyres for 2017

Pirelli has developed a range of 'backup' tyre compounds for 2017.

The F1 tyre supplier has said designing its significantly bigger, faster and less degrading slicks has been difficult due to a lack of testing.

"Even the modified 2015 cars could not simulate the downforce of this year, so we've had to rely on simulations," Pirelli chief Paul Hembery said.

He told the German broadcaster RTL: "The biggest challenge for us is not having seen the new cars. We'll probably only see if our data corresponds to reality on Saturday night in Melbourne."

Hembery's Pirelli colleague Mario Isola explained: "In the first five races, we will only use the basic compounds.

"We developed them on the basis of the information collected from our testing and the simulations.

"But some elements are difficult to predict, so we have prepared five reserve compounds that can be used if the real track data does not coincide with what we simulated," he said.

(GMM)

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