Pirelli has welcomed the F1 Strategy Group’s move to free up the tyre regulations from 2016.
While the details have yet to be finalised, a move is planned towards ‘wild cards’ – allowing teams to have some control over their choice of tyres at certain events.
The FIA would only say “increased freedom of choice for tyre compounds has been confirmed and the modalities are being finalised with Pirelli for 2016.”
However the intention is that at selected races teams will have a free choice of compounds, while at tracks where there is a question mark over safety – such as Monza – Pirelli will dictate the choice. For example the teams may have four wild cards to play at any four of 15 races where Pirelli allows a free choice. Those choices will be made well in advance, for logistical reasons. This particular idea was put forward by Red Bull Racing.
“It’s around that area,” Pirelli boss Paul Hembery told this writer. “The idea is to have certain wild card events and certain block-out events where it just wouldn’t be advisable due to safety reasons.
“I don’t think we’ve got the final situation yet, but we’re getting closer to a solution that the teams are looking for, gives the sport what it needs, and allows us to maintain a level of safety on the choices that are made.”
Hembery said different ideas are still in play: “There are a couple of proposals being refined. A lot of it has been chopped and changed and consolidated. We’ve got a bit of time yet, it probably needs to be September time before we refine it. A couple of new ideas have come out in the last 24 hours that are even more interesting.
“But it’s all going in the same direction, to give the idea of some choice, and to allow flexibility for the teams while giving a guarantee that the race can be run because they’ve got a product that can do the race distance.”
As part of the change Pirelli wants to have an extra tyre in the range, known variously as an ‘ultra soft’ or ‘super super soft.’
“One little step next year might be a super super soft,’ technically speaking a supersoft for the Monaco or possibly Singapore that goes one step further than what we have at the moment.”