Formula 1's tire regulations should be given more time to bed down rather than be changed for next year, reckons Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn.
Amid a push by Pirelli to change the tire allocation rules for next year, to prevent unused hard compound sets getting wasted, Brawn has said that he is skeptical the tweak will be good for the sport. When asked about Pirelli's request, Brawn said: "It is impossible to end every race with no tires left. If you did that, then there would be races where because of events you would run out of tires. You would have people running around with tires they would rather not be on because they wanted to put a fresh set on.
"Could you tune it by one set? Maybe, I don't know. But I think it has been pretty good this year and we should be very careful before we make any fundamental changes in how we operate with the tires, because that has been one of the strengths of the season – having the two compounds and the gap we have got between the two compounds.
"The fact that some of the tires purposefully have reasonable levels of degradation has livened things up quite a lot, so quite honestly we are reluctant to see any changes.
He added: "I think if there was concern about wastage of tires then we could look at systems to carry tires over to the next race, so they stay in the system. As long as they are not dismounted, then certainly a lot of races we could carry tires over to increase efficiency. But I would not advocate changing the quantity of tires we have at the moment or changing the system, because I think it has been quite good."
Despite Brawn's comments about the situation, and the fact that Pirelli has failed to find support among teams for its efforts to tweak the allocation regulations, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association is eager for something to happen. The GPDA wrote to Pirelli earlier this week backing the company's plans, and expressing a desire for drivers to play a key role in future discussions.
"We just want to be more involved," said Rubens Barrichello, chairman of the GPDA. "We want to be taking the costs down but want to be on the safe side as well. That is why we put a letter to them as GPDA.
"Among ourselves we were talking and felt the more they put the drivers in to the meetings, the more options they have. We are driving. Sometimes we say this is because they haven't driven the car, so with the drivers' input, it is going to be a lot better and a lot safer – that is how we are taking our approach."
Brawn thinks, however, that any tweaks to the tire regulations should only come after another year of seeing how the current rules work.
"I think what we have got now has worked really well, so I am not sure we want to play around with it. That could create some interesting variety or it could create a lot of confusion for the public. My view is we have barely settled for what we have got now, why change? There is nothing wrong with it. I cannot see what is wrong with what we have now.
"The racing is exciting; tires don't last forever, which is what we want. They are good enough to have fun with the driving and racing, so why change it? That would be my vote. Leave things alone.
"Let's see how we get on for another year and, if we see because people are refining their approach and philosophy that we need to liven it up, then we might do something."