SEPTEMBER 4, 2016
2017 pre-season test dates emerge
The 2017 calendar is really starting to take shape, as the dates for the pre-season test schedule now emerge in the Monza paddock.
Earlier, it was suggested Pirelli wanted some pre-season running for the bigger 2017 tyres to take place in a hot country, but that now appears unlikely.
"The understanding is that we're likely to be in Europe," said Pirelli's Paul Hembery.
Auto Motor und Sport reports that the first of just two four-day winter test will begin on 27 February, with the final running before Melbourne starting on 7 March.
The report said the teams are favouring Barcelona as the location, but other possibilities are Jerez, Valencia and Estoril.
It is believed Pirelli is concerned that just 8 days of running is not very much, considering how different the wider and bigger 2017 tyres will be.
"We have to hope that there are no problems with the tyres in testing," said Pirelli's Mario Isola. "Because there would hardly be time to react before Australia.
"We would of course prefer to test in warm conditions and on different tracks."
It is understood that some teams have reacted to Pirelli's concerns by offering to run two rather than just one car per test.
The next phase of Pirelli's 2017 tyre development, meanwhile, will take place next week at Barcelona and Paul Ricard, with Ferrari and Mercedes in action with their hybrid test cars.
"There's a lot of work for us to do of course," said Hembery, "and a very challenging time scale to deliver it."