Michael Schumacher's hopes of getting tires better suited to his driving style have been boosted by Pirelli confirming it has tweaked the design of its front tires since last month's Abu Dhabi test.
Schumacher was one of several drivers to complain about Bridgestone's front tire last season. After the teams' first Pirelli test in November, he declared it too soon to make a judgment on whether the new rubber was an improvement.
Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery says the company has adjusted the front tire based on feedback from that test.
"We were asked to provide a slightly stronger front tire, which is what we've done," Hembery told AUTOSPORT in Abu Dhabi, where the company is testing wet-weather tires. "In the process we maybe threw the rear out of balance, which is something that was noted during the test. But we've also improved that during the remaining tests that we've done.
"We were asked to try to beef up the front tire, to give it more a precise input when the drivers turn into the corner, to give more feel. We believe we've done that, and we've now finished the work on the rear so we'll see how we get on with a car designed around our tires."
Hembery also confirmed that Pirelli will be testing several times during the season. He is considering a request to run in some Friday practice sessions at grands prix if the teams feel changes are required, but the firm will also conduct its own testing program.
"We've got no request in place [for Friday practice] because we haven't run yet," he said. "But that's something that, if we do uncover problems as we go along, or we've maybe got the wrong positioning of a compound for the positioning we're using, we can ask them to add in a test session to give us more information. That's something we'll hold in reserve for an emergency.
"At the moment, we know we're going to be in Istanbul in April, then Barcelona in May. We'll definitely be back in the Middle East again in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi at the end of the season. We couldn't get Silverstone; we're trying to go to Monza and probably Spa as well.
"So, we are trying to carry on a parallel development program. That's obviously looking more for 2012. We've got some ideas that, given more time we would have taken forward, but those now are rested and being put toward that program."