It is expected that the draft regulations will be presented at the strategy group meeting on 24 November, with wider cars and tyres to slash up to 5 seconds per lap off the average laptime of today.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, however, Pirelli is arguing that its much-faster tyres, with more grip and to withstand higher aerodynamic loads, will require extensive testing.
In short, the cars of today are simply too slow to provide meaningful feedback to F1’s official tyre supplier, who are keen to avoid the kinds of problems that saw Michelin suffer tyre failures at Indianapolis a decade ago.
One proposal, that teams modify their 2013-specification cars to generate higher downforce, has been rejected by the teams.
“We would need four to six engineers to work on it, costing 2 million euros for two days of testing,” a figure at Force India said.
And Pirelli’s idea that a single, custom test car be put to tender among the F1 teams has been ruled out on the basis that the successful team would get an advantage.
So McLaren boss Eric Boullier has proposed that F1 teams pull out their old cars from 2008. “They have the downforce that we are talking about for 2017,” he said. “No one would have to build anything new.”
But even that idea is meeting resistance, causing one paddock observer to muse: “Maybe the 2017 regulations will not come at all because we can’t agree on how to test the tyres.” (GMM)