MONACO (AP) Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will be the first Formula One teams to test the new-look Pirelli tires for the 2017 season when testing for wider tires begins in August.
Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola made the announcement Saturday in the Formula One paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix, where he showed a prototype of the tire on a demonstration car.
''The time is the big challenge because we have little time to develop not only the new construction but all the compounds,'' Isola said. ''We will start soon to test on track with teams that are able to provide 2015 modified cars: Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.''
The new tires are expected to withstand more speed around corners and improve lap times by up to five seconds. They are part of 2017 aerodynamic changes that are designed to make F1 more exciting again.
The thicker tires will increase by 60 millimeters to 305 at the front and by 80 mm to 405 at the back.
Pirelli is working on five tire compounds for next season, but this is subject to change, Isola said.
Following the first batch of testing, more testing is planned between the Belgian GP in Spa in Late August and the Italian GP in Monza in early September.
Further testing is hoped for in Abu Dhabi in November - at which point Pirelli wants to have its final 2017 spec tire ready.