Formula 1 stands on the brink of becoming “amazing,” according to Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera.
The Italian tire manufacturer unveiled a protoype of its rubber for 2017 over the course of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, with the tires increasing in width to 305mm at the front and 405mm at the rear.
Asked about the task ahead of Pirelli in terms of getting the tires ready in time for next year, Provera said: “It’s a major change, but technologically speaking it is very attractive for us.
“People are very much involved and willing to deliver the best possible performance, and these tires can provide an amazing result. To improve by just tenths of a second you have to do a lot of things on a car and the engine.
“With these tires we can improve by seconds, which shows you the importance of the tires, and to all viewers. So we have to fix what is on top [of the car], because we have the only piece [the tires] that touches the ground.
“But next year’s tires look powerful, they give a sense of power, and after the first test in the wind tunnel they are proving the outcome can be amazing, and with lots of fun I hope.”
Pirelli at least now has a test plan in place after finally reaching an agreement with the FIA and FOM earlier this year that should help its cause.
Provera added: “There is a more transparent flow of information, which makes life easier for everybody. Before it was difficult to have, let’s say, full visibility on all the details on how the tires were used.
“But the agreement we’ve made with the FIA and FOM is now giving us what we need, mostly with the tests. Now we can deliver. We were the only customer in Formula 1 who were impeded to test.
“Just to give you an idea, for a new set of tires for a road car we work with our clients for two to three years, testing 20 to 25 times the tires. That is for a normal car that goes on the streets.
“In Formula 1 we had maximum performance, but with no testing. Now we are back to normal. With this proper flow of information we know we can deliver.”
DRIVER RELATIONSHIPS IMPROVING
Provera claims regular meetings with the drivers, such as the one that took place at Pirelli’s headquarters in Milan earlier this year, have also played their part.
“It was helpful for us and for them. We had a proper flow of information with the drivers,” said Provera. “In the past we couldn’t talk directly with them, but in an agreement with all the teams we now meet them regularly and we explain to them what’s going on.
“There has been an improvement, and the meeting was very positive.”