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Pirelli hoping more teams will test 2018 tyres

NEWS STORY
07/12/2016

Already looking ahead to 2018, Pirelli is seeking wider cooperation from the teams in terms of testing.

In preparation for 2017, Pirelli, having persuaded the FIA to modify the sporting regulations regarding tyre testing - and having agreed to remain the sole tyre supplier until 2019 - began a programme that saw Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari test at five different circuits in both wet and dry conditions.

While the 2017 cars are a couple of months away from making their track debuts, the Italian manufacturer is already looking ahead to 2018.

In preparation, Pirelli is seeking to carry out a test programme similar to this year's but with a wider range of circuits and teams.

Though some teams claim they were never asked to participate in this year's tests, others cried off at the cost, nonetheless, Pirelli is hoping for wider cooperation next year.

"The format is similar to what we had this year with the difference that we don't have the mule cars but we have a race car," Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola told Autosport. "So I expect to have more teams available to test.

"We don't have the numbers," he admitted, "but we are now finalising a plan. We will offer testing to all the teams and we will see who is available to test. Once we have the list of teams available we will make with the FIA a calendar in order to distribute or to make a rotation of the tests and distribute the tests equally."

The Italian manufacturer, which was thwarted in its efforts to have pre-season take place in the Middle East, in conditions similar to those expected at the opening races, is looking to hold its 2018 tests after various races next season in an effort to reduce costs.

"There are many venues but they are still under discussion," he said. "We have some reference circuits like Barcelona, for example, or Paul Ricard for wets and I think we will use these circuits again.

"Probably we will stay, if possible, on the same tracks where we have the race on Sunday," he added, "in a system that is similar to the in-season test. So the teams are already there and then from Tuesday, you have two or three days of testing. That's why we are evaluating different circuits."

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