MAY 27, 2016
Ferrari to be first with 2017 test car
Ferrari looks set to get the jump on the F1 field for 2017 by being first out of the blocks with a test car.
Top teams have put their hands up to help official supplier Pirelli develop its bigger and significantly different tyres for the wider and faster cars of next year.
And Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that with Pirelli wanting to kick off track testing with specially-modified 2017 test cars, Ferrari is first in line.
"At the moment is looks as though Ferrari could be ready before the German grand prix" in July, revealed correspondent Michael Schmidt.
It is expected that test, featuring a 2015 Ferrari modified to stimulate the 25 per cent higher downforce load of 2017, will take place at the team's own Fiorano test track.
And the report suggested that Red Bull will be next to finish a 2017 hybrid test car in early August, with that running to get started in Paul Ricard.
The only other team preparing a 2017 hybrid test car for Pirelli is Mercedes, whose car will be ready in late August and run at tracks including Silverstone.
It might be argued the top three teams are getting a significant advantage, but it is also costing them, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner estimating a minimum $1.5 million additional expense.
That will be spent on special suspension layouts, crash testing and and extra wind tunnel and CFD hours, although Mercedes' Paddy Lowe insists that "We have to show that none of this time is used developing 2017 parts".