Plans to encourage Formula 1 teams to run rookie drivers during free practice in exchange for extra tires have been abandoned for now, with all teams getting another set for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Force India had proposed that teams be given a more durable set of rubber that they could run in free practice if they ran a rookie driver. The idea did not get the unanimous support it needed, however, with there being further complications over the exact definition of a "rookie," because some squads have experienced testers who have never actually raced in F1.
With F1 tire supplier Pirelli still eager to deliver the extra rubber in a bid to encourage more running in first free practice, all teams will now be allowed to run the more durable prototype compound on Friday.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli's motorsport director, said: "As permitted by the current regulations, we'll be supplying an extra set of prototype hard compound tires for free practice, which will hopefully ensure that all the cars run throughout these sessions.
"It's something we wanted to do to encourage all the teams to run as much as possible right from the start, especially with the rookie drivers, to give fans the spectacle they deserve to see."
The Spanish GP will also give teams the first opportunity to try out the revised hard-compound tire, which has been made closer to last year's specification in a bid to help teams. Hembery believes that the change will open up strategy options for teams, which should make the racing better.
"This new tire gives us a wider working temperature window –although it delivers a little bit less in terms of pure performance – but it should allow the teams to envisage an even wider variety of race strategies than before in combination with the other compounds, which remain unchanged this year," he said. "This is a decision that we've come to having looked at the data from the first four races, with the aim of further improving the spectacle of Formula 1."