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Lowe in favour of Bahrain 2017 testing

19 October 2016

Paddy Lowe, executive director (technical) at Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, has detailed why Formula 1 pre-season testing should take place in Bahrain.

The changes to the Formula 1 2017 technical regulations are being reported as the biggest technical shakeup in recent history with Lowe describing it as, “the biggest change in tyre regulations probably for one or two decades”.

Pirelli has requested the FIA to support pre-season testing in Bahrain, due to the high demands 2017 tyres will be faced with. The reason for the request is that the only track time 2017 cars will have with the new Pirelli tyres currently would be during winter testing in Europe where conditions contrast greatly to the opening race of the season in Australia.

“The structure of the tyre is created and tested in the lab but [with] the compounds they can only evaluate in real circuit conditions,” Lowe explained. “Unfortunately the mule car programme has delivered three cars which are very helpful to the process but they are not delivering the level of aerodynamic load that will be seen next year.”

Lowe revealed that he was in favour of supporting Pirelli’s request in order to prevent a repeat of Indianapolis 2005.

“For me it’s a matter of supporting Pirelli’s request to contain the risk of arriving at the first race as being the first event with hot conditions and there’s real risk to the show,” he added. “We’ve seen what can happen, for example, in Indianapolis 2005. We mustn’t forget that we need to put on a show, we need to run a 300-kilometre race with sensible numbers of tyres.”

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