Pirelli will take some of next year’s development tires to the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix to give teams an early look at them.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery expects a little bit of early testing to take place during the first practice session at Interlagos at the end of this month.
“We will be bringing to the Brazil race for P1, a couple of sets of tires of the prototype for next season,” he said on Saturday. “We’re hopeful to do a couple of tests in December and January with an old-generation car and there’s been some good ideas going forward as to what we could do during the preseason itself.”
The Bahrain International Circuit will host two sessions of preseason testing next year — from Feb. 19-22 and Feb. 27 to March 2.
“It’s clearly a big step forward, if we’re looking at it selfishly from our point of view, to be in Bahrain for preseason testing,” Hembery said. “The temperatures will be right, aggressive track and that will be very, very useful for us to understand the real impact of the new cars.”
Pirelli has had a troubled season in Formula One, with its tires degrading rapidly until changes were made at the Hungarian GP in July. Since then, there have been relatively few complaints from teams and drivers.
There were almost comical scenes at the Spanish GP in May, where tires shredded like paper, rubber flew everywhere and nearly 80 pit stops were made.
Then, a month later, there were several spectacular tire blowouts at the British GP, prompting a furious response and even a boycott threat from drivers. Following that, Pirelli reverted to last year’s tires combined with the current compounds from this season.
The past few races have been largely incident free, and Hembery is confident a deal will soon be officially agreed with motorsport’s governing body for next season.
“It’s done really. There’s one last piece to be done with the FIA,” he said. “The lawyers are dealing with that. When you get lawyers involved with anything it tends to add time to whatever you’re doing. So, it’s just rumbling along.”