Rivals should thank 2017 testers says Hembery

Date published: August 22 2016

Instead of criticising Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull for taking part in 2017 tyre tests, Paul Hembery says their rivals should be grateful that they are taking on the responsibility.

Already Ferrari and Red Bull have had a taste of Pirelli’s wider tyres with the Scuderia testing the wet rubber at Fiorano before Red Bull trialed the slicks at Mugello.

The two teams, along with Mercedes, will share another seven tests before all 11 teams take part in the final outing in Abu Dhabi.

However, not everyone is happy with Williams calling for set tyre choices at the start of 2017 to negate any advantage that Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull may have.

Hembery, though, says rival teams not testing should be grateful that others have been willing to take on the responsibility.

The Pirelli motorsport boss told Autosport: “I’ve spoken to people involved in our testing in the past and they’ve said they hadn’t a clue what it was we were testing.

“On this occasion what we test on one car might be one small part of the jigsaw that hasn’t been matched with another bit we’re testing on another car.

“So you’ll be grasping at straws to understand what the final product is, and in terms of getting an advantage, it’ll be marginal.

“In subsequent years we can test with all the teams because we’ll be able to test on the actual car.

“Because the aero is changing for next year, that’s been the issue this year. If they’d only changed the tyres we could have tested with a lot more teams.

“As it is we have to be thankful – and the other teams have to be thankful – because the top teams have taken on this responsibility.

“Whilst we are making a financial investment ourselves, the teams have had to do that as well.

“So I think the other teams in F1 ought to be thankful the changes have come about thanks to the support of the three larger teams.”