It will take some time before the pecking order clearly emerges in 2017, according to Pirelli chief Paul Hembery.
The Briton said F1’s official supplier has been working hard on the new, bigger and wider tyres for this year, along with Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari who supplied ‘mule’ test cars.
“The problem we have got is that we have been testing with cars that are five seconds slower than what we’re actually going to see in Barcelona,” said Hembery.
“If the numbers aren’t what we have been told they are going to be, then we might have been a bit too conservative.”
And he also thinks the whole situation won’t emerge as soon as official winter testing begins in Barcelona late next month — and perhaps not at the season opener in Australia, either.
“There will be a lot of people trying to hide their true performance level or maybe wondering what they need to do because they can’t even get close to some of the teams who are maybe sandbagging,” said Hembery.
“It’ll be more when we get to China and Bahrain before we see the true performance of the cars,” he added.