Formula 1 teams have agreed a deal to ensure that no one can gain an unfair advantage next season by forming a close alliance with new tire supplier Pirelli.
With F1 introducing a new tire manufacturer next season, there have been concerns that some teams may try and get an edge by getting the tire development to suit their car or preferences. During Bridgestone's time in F1, when there was a tire war with Michelin, a lot of the early development was done by Ferrari and Michael Schumacher – which gave the team an edge in understanding the car/tire relationship.
Teams discussed the Pirelli tire situation during a lengthy meeting at the Japanese Grand Prix, in which an agreement was reached for there to be total transparency of tire development. Although the details of the arrangement have not been finalized yet, the principle is for Pirelli to supply every team with information when there are any requests from individual outfits about tire development or data.
Sauber managing director Monisha Kaltenborn told AUTOSPORT: "When we went into this whole deal with Pirelli we laid a lot of emphasis on the fact that there would be transparency. We ourselves are not entirely sure how it is going to work, because we have not had that kind of situation before, but the route is generally where it comes to general information/questions we share them, like is done on electronic side."
Virgin Racing CEO Graeme Lowdon added: "I think it is less a case of pooling information, more an agreement for people to be open. What no one wanted was to see a special relationship developing between the new supplier and a particular team, so everyone is of the opinion for there to be no special relationships.
"There is no established system, but the idea if someone goes to the tire supplier and asks for some information then everybody will get it, rather than something special or unique. You will still have your tire man allocated to you, and still work on a one-to-one basis there, but the general picture is that everyone is afforded the same information."