By Alex Kapadia
New rules have been introduced in Formula One which will give Pirelli the opportunity to evaluate its new tyres during pre-race practice sessions.
The Italian tyres manufacturer will now get the chance to supply all the teams with an additional specification of dry weather tyre to try out during practice sessions at some race meetings.
The amendment to the Sporting Regulations – approved today by the FIA World Motor Sport Council – puts the option to try out new tyres at the discretion of the FIA, together with Pirelli, and it will only be exercised if the correct opportunity arises.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director, said: “The latest amendments to the Sporting Regulations are simply another part of our pre-season preparations as we build up to our Grand Prix debut in just over two weeks time.
“We needed to put in place a mechanism within the regulations now to allow us to test new tyres in a competitive context this year if necessary, and it’s great that we have this possibility open to us because we are already hard at work defining the specification of our tyres for the future.
“Without this potential opportunity we would be unable to test with a current car and would be relying solely on a previous generation vehicle, so it could be a good solution to the testing issue for both ourselves and the teams.”
Another rule amendment approved by the World Motor Sport Council with immediate effect is the facility to allocate an additional set of prime tyres at selected races this year.
Again, the new rule is to be exercised at the discretion of the FIA and Pirelli. This extra set could be given to the teams at the start of Friday free practice, with the usual tyre regulations applying from then on. Teams would be informed of any addition to the normal allocation at least one week before the start of the relevant event.
Hembery added: “We’re not sure how often or indeed if at all we are going to use these fresh opportunities. But the effect is to open up our options by putting in place at an early stage some pre-determined processes before we get into the swing of the season.
“Both the teams and ourselves are having to take on a lot of data in a comparatively short space of time, so the latest tyre regulation amendments from the World Motor Sport Council could help to accelerate that learning process if required.”