The FIA has agreed to Pirelli’s request to allow the teams to do some extra tyre testing on Fridays of Grand Prix meetings.
The teams will now get their hands on four extra sets of development tyres (two per driver) of a different spec to the primes and options specified for that weekend.
Apart from anything else the change will help to ensure that the track remains busy on those Fridays, as there have been fears that cars would do limited running over the two 90 minute sessions due to lack of tyres.
The downside is that Friday’s overall times will become even harder to assess without keeping a close eye on what each driver has used, because three tyres will be in play, and quick times could be set on tyres which can’t be run for the rest of the weekend.
The FIA explained the change as follow: At certain events, one additional specification of dry weather tyre may be made available to all teams for evaluation purposes. Teams will be informed about such an additional specification at least one week before the start of the relevant event. Two sets of these tyres will be allocated to each driver for use during P1 and P2, and any such tyres must be returned to the tyre supplier before the start of P3.
There could also be weekends where teams get an additional set of that weekend’s prime tyre, for use on Fridays, which will also help to keep the track busy:
One additional set of ‘prime’ specification tyres may be made available to all drivers. Teams will be informed about such an additional set at least one week before the start of the relevant event. In this instance, the additional set will be available for use during P1 and P2. One set of ‘prime’ tyres must then be returned to the tyre supplier after P1, and two further sets of ‘prime’ and one set of ‘option’ specification tyres returned before the start of P3.
Finally, there are some tweaks to the safety car rules, as follows:
The safety car speed limit (an approximate 40% decrease in lap time) will now be enforced over two laps instead of one. The purpose is to ensure that cars are driven at a safe speed until they reach the safety car.
During a safety car period the pit exit light will remain green for the duration, unless the race is subsequently suspended.
Other than when the safety car has been asked to use the pit lane, no car may enter the pits while the safety car is deployed unless it is for the purpose of changing tyres.