The latest news from the world of Forumla One is that Pirelli looks set to test new hard compound tyres in practice at the British Grand Prix
Apparently the new tyres will be easier for teams to work with and could be the introduced as a fifth compound – along with hard, medium, soft and super-soft – in 2013.
However, Pirelli has admitted it is wary of introducing it for races because of fears it could have an impact on the tight world championship battle.
According to AUTOSPORT: “F1 teams are in agreement this year that getting the tyres in to the right operational window is a key element to performance, because cars are now so similar in terms of their speed.
“However, many teams have struggled to unlock the secrets of Pirelli’s 2012 rubber – especially when it comes to extracting pace from it in both low fuel conditions for qualifying and then for the race.”
Therefore Pirelli is looking at a new hard compound that will have a wider operational range – and should therefore be a help to teams who are struggling to get into the right temperature window.
The only thing holding them back is Pirelli’s concern that any change to the tyres could change the competitive situation in F1.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli, told AUTOSPORT: “There is a big point to make that if we make a change, particularly with the way the championship has been played this year so close, we don’t want to risk creating an advantage for a particular team.
“So if you imagine, suddenly, for races 10, 11 and 12 one team starts running away, then we’re going to come under all the criticism.
“We’ll test because we want to understand the effect and impact, but it’s not necessarily going to happen that we bring it to the races. We’ve got to be very careful because there’s a big difference with the teams on where they are with the tyres at the moment.
“We talk to the technicians, so then they’re trying to find the success of finding that key of keeping the performance at the highest level for as long as possible.
“They would be rather upset, I think, if suddenly it was a little bit easier, and the people that have worked so hard felt that they were getting there, and another team then gets there. You need to be careful with things like that because it changes during the championship.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team