Pirelli test driver Lucas di Grassi believes teams will find the new experimental hard-compound tires that will be evaluated at Silverstone this weekend a step forward, even though the Italian manufacturer will not rush to racing it in case it favors a specific team.
Pirelli will try out a new hard compound in Friday practice for the British Grand Prix. The new tire should have a wider operating window, which will make it easier for teams to use.
Di Grassi has first hand experience with the tires, and suggests there will be little doubt among the teams about its advantages.
"I tested the experimental hard compound tire in Jerez earlier this year: it's a similar concept to the current hard but with improved combined grip and better wear," he said. "It's particularly effective in warm weather and when the track conditions are poor, so you end up with a tire that is quicker and lasts longer."
But although teams may welcome the new rubber, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has reiterated that careful thought will be given to any idea of racing it because of the competitive implications it could have.
"The new tire has a slightly wider working range, which should make it easier for the teams to get the tires into the right operating temperature window," he explained. "But with the championship so finely balanced, our priority is to ensure that no one team is handed any particular advantage.
"We want to keep the performance of the tires at the highest level for as long as possible, so this is a valuable opportunity for ourselves and all the teams to gather more information about the potential effect of a new compound, and gain some data for the future."