Rosberg tests 2017 tyres at Catalunya

2017 F1 season

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Nico Rosberg had his first taste of Pirelli’s prototype wider tyres for 2017 at the Circuit de Catalunya today.

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However the test which was scheduled to evaluate Pirelli’s dry-weather slick tyre was hit by rain in the afternoon.

Rosberg covered 60 laps at the Spanish Grand Prix venue, 46 of which were on slick tyres. The championship leader drove a 2015 Mercedes W05 chassis modified to simulate the increased downforce levels expected on next year’s cars.

Pirelli’s test will continue tomorrow and on Friday Red Bull will begin a three-day test of the development slick tyre compound at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Formula One’s official tyre supplier is currently lobbying to hold a test of its 2017 tyres in hot conditions in Bahrain next season instead of Europe.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Rosberg tests 2017 tyres at Catalunya”

  1. Is there any technical information on what the exact modifications to the old chassis are? Judging from these photos it looks like the monkey seat is larger, and there are some ground effect-y vertical fins in front of the rear wheels.

    1. @kaiie bigger diffuser, wider front wing and those sidepod winglets.

      For the looks of it the floor is also to the 2017 specification, or at least it looks like it ( i think that’s what you mentioned in your comment as well)

      The rear wing in the bottom appears to have a larger and more tilted component than usual.

      Please don’t have my words as a fact, just observation from the pictures

      1. @johnmilk @kaiie Yeah, that floor is definitely about a foot wider. They didn’t go the extreme skirt route like Ferrari did, but then we know the Merc already had a lot more intrinsic downforce that the Scuderia with their ’15 car.

        I can’t remember looking at the Red Bull test pics – what did they obviously do, given they have even more usable downforce than Mercedes?

        1. Pretty sure the floor is the same width… Lots of posts on F1 technical about the testing cars….

          Second best site for F1 information other than F1F of course!

    2. The wings look standard Spain spec but that monkey seat looks Monaco spec.

    3. Doesn’t the rear wing have a lower beam wing? Those are not on the current cars, are they.

      1. @bascb that was what I was trying to refer to witg my “larger and more tilted conponent” sentence.

        I am with you there, I don’t think that is in the current cars

        1. Ah, right. Yep, that was one of the things they took away to lessen downforce recently, wasn’t it.

          1. Not sure @bascb. The 2013 cars don’t have it but the 2012 do. Probably there was a minor change in regulations in between those years.

            It is a change that I cannot place in a precise time, but it doesn’t look like it happened after the overall of the aerodynamics in 2008 (correct me if I am wrong)

          2. The beam wing was not taken away until 2014.

  2. What I don’t understand is how Kimi’sand Vettel’s comments that the tires seem to have the same or less grip then current is possible, these tires have a substantially larger foot print, why wouldn’t they be a whole lot more grip?!?

    I am also aware that these tires degrade from wear rather then heat like the current generation of tires do. Meaning you cant push them currently because you will step out of the temperature zone and wear prematurely.

    1. >these tires have a substantially larger foot print
      not necessarily.
      The wider the tire is, the less preasure it applies to the road. Thus, deformation also decreases which causes contact area to shrink in longitudinal and something like that happens:
      Also Pirelli promised to take a conservative approach and make tires harder for the next year, which obviously leads to less grip.

    2. The cars suspension and aero isn’t tuned for them yet. Also if they are making them harder they may offer less peak adhesion but be better able to withstand being pushed to their limits than current tyres.

      So 1 lap pace may suffer, but they may be better able to be pushed to that limit for consecutive laps than current spec tyres.

  3. Should’ve had Lewis drive… he wouldn’t have packed his bags to go home the second rain started to fall!

    1. Where is your source of information to say the test session ended because Rosberg had left? The report says the session ended because of rain.

  4. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Those tyres look fantastic! Look how fat that rear tyre looks!

    1. they look great, yes, but then I realise how much drag they add to the car and it really makes me sad. I will miss these impressive top speeds cars have now.

      1. It’s my hope that the added drag will cause them to run less wing in order to maintain said top speeds, thus helping a better ratio of mechanical to aero grip.

        1. Not gonna happen.

          Thank god.

        2. @robbie, cornering performance tends to be much more important than top speed at most circuits, since the performance of the cars at most points of the circuit is traction limited, not drag limited.

          There is also the advantage that, if the leading driver can carry more speed onto the straight and reach his maximum speed sooner than the trailing driver, that is often a quicker approach overall even if the trailing driver has a higher top speed. We saw it repeatedly from 2009-2013 with the RB5 to RB9 series, where the cars were often some of the slowest in a straight line – it’s also been demonstrated at Le Mans where, even though Rebellion had a 20kph straight line speed advantage over the manufacturer prototypes this year, they were actually slower overall in the first sector of the lap simply because the manufacturer LMP1 cars could accelerate out of the slow chicanes and hit their top speed so much more quickly than they could.

          1. @anon I agree with what you are saying in general. But I think there are shades of grey to it. The RBR’s you cite weren’t on the large 2017 tires. Lemans cars neither, nor are the they open wheel cars.

            For sure I take your point about the importance of cornering speeds to have good exit speeds for the straights, thus reaching one’s top speeds sooner, and you’ve qualified that by saying at most circuits. Obviously they don’t run Monaco wings at Monza. Those would hinder high exit speeds on high speed corners.

            I just wonder if the mechanical grip will be increased enough that they can rely more on that for cornering speeds than currently, such that they can get away with less wing and thus have good cornering and exit speeds while also being able to achieve high top speeds without being sitting ducks at the ends of straights.

            I’m sure as always it will be a compromise and of course will depend on the track, and to me if the added mechanical grip does not reduce dependence on aero at least somewhat, then we may just be in for more processions and little change to the product on the track. If that is the case initially then F1 should tweek things for 2018 to curtail aero further and let the tires do more of the work, for closer racing. At least, to me, the tires and cars should lend themselves to such tweeking to get a bit more away from aero dependence and lean a little more on ground effects and tires.

      2. @albedo true, but then from next year, the development tokens are being dropped, meaning we might see some huge changes to the PU designs (coupled with the removal of the black boxing) that will deliver even more power.

        I can’t remember – isn’t the allowed amount of stored & kinetic energy deployment being increased to compensate for the drag?

        1. @optimaximal – The fuel quantity is going to be 105 kg next year, an increase of 5%. I’m not sure if there are any changes on the hybrid side, or the fuel flow rate.

          1. @phylyp I know the flow rate was the same. Maybe I got my increased energy figures confused with WEC or Formula E.

    2. I think they look awful actually. Hopefully they will look less out of place with the new aero packages

  5. Liking the new tires. I haven’t seen many comments from the drivers who’ve tested them. Any sites out there fore this?

    1. these tyres were also tested during Belgian GP, so you might find comments from FP1/FP2 of Belgian GP regarding these tyres. Else it seems like drivers are told not to talk to press yet about these tyres.

      1. Thank you. I was wondering if there might be some type of non disclosure agreement about the new tires. It seems like something is in place.

        1. I don’t know about that. I’m sure it’s possible they’ve been told not to talk about the tires, but then these are blind tests for the drivers so they wouldn’t be able to say much anyway. They don’t know what they’ve tested specifically or even whether a certain set they were on are even going to ultimately be on the new cars in the iteration they tested.

  6. These tyres are going to be exactly the same as always just bigger I can see it now…….

    1. No they’ve already said they won’t have thermal degradation.

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