Tyre maker Pirelli has submitted a proposal to the twelve Formula 1 teams to give them sets of ‘experimental’ tyre compounds to run in the opening Friday practice sessions of Grands Prix weekends, in order to it to obtain more data to develop its tyre compounds throughout the season.
In-season testing is effectively banned once the championship gets underway in late March, leaving Pirelli with little (if any) opportunity to evaluate its developments unless it can secure the agreement of all teams for special running to occur.
The original idea floated had been to organise a series of post-race tests during the championship season – often on the Monday immediately following a race – in order to evaluate changes it may want to make to its tyres, but the cheaper option is to give the teams the additional rubber during free practice sessions instead.
Should the proposal be given the green light, it could be up and running by as soon as the championship season’s second round at Malaysia.
The proposal should gain the teams’ backing providing that – and the proposal is written to support this – the experimental rubber sets are not a replacement for the ‘prime’ and ‘option’ dry tyre compounds allocated to the teams for each race weekend.
“Giving the teams extra tyres does not interrupt the teams’ race simulation work – and it also means there isn’t some joker card or something unknown as there would be if we replaced the normal weekend tyre sets,” Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery (pictured) told AUTOSPORT.
Furthermore, it would be at Pirelli’s discretion as to when it chooses to exercise this scenario, but that the instigator would always be when, or if, it felt it needed to make improvements to its tyres.
“We will do it when the timing works well. We won’t make changes just for the sake of it – but it’s more likely if we see something that we want to tweak or change,” Hembery added.
The idea to kick-start the running in Malaysia is very sensible for Pirelli, which has had little opportunity to run its tyres in extremely hot weather conditions to-date.
[Original images via Sutton Images]