Pirelli officials are ready to sit down with teams to discuss whether the situation of tire marbles in Formula 1 needs to be improved, but reckon the matter is well under control.
One of the consequences of Pirelli's high-degrading tires has been an increase in the amount of rubber marbles that are left on the track over the course of a race weekend. A number of drivers have complained about being hit by these pieces of rubber while out on track – and also that it makes life difficult when running off the racing line.
Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery thinks the situation is not too extreme, though, although he says that if teams want it to be improved his company is ready to react.
"You have to imagine our position, as we cannot take just one person's point of view or two people's point of view," Hembery said. "We have to take every single team's point of view. They are all important and it doesn't matter where they are on the grid – they are all partners so they have to be in agreement with what they want us to do.
"I don't think there is any particular agreement on it. We have always said that we don't underplay issues, and if there are issues that are deemed to be something that needs to be addressed then we will sit down with them and work on a plan. But for the moment that isn't the case.
"We will sit down with them on regular intervals talking about what we want to do with tires going forward anyway, and if this becomes a theme then we will deal with it the right way."
Hembery says that implementing changes to the tires to improve the marbles situation is relatively straightforward, although believes that the subject is only a talking point now because it has not been seen in F1 for several years.
"We've had this many times in the past. It exists in almost all forms of circuit racing, so it is not a particularly new thing – it is just we haven't seen it in the last few years.
"To try and get the number of tire changes we have had, the tire does have to wear, and the rubber has to go somewhere. The only way to change the situation would be to modify the way it wears, which is a chemical activity with the composition of the tire. The other option is to go with a more durable tire and maybe reduce the tread thickness to create the same effect – so instead of having 2.5mm we go to 1.5mm."
Hembery believes the marbles situation will be better in China this weekend, although it could be quite extreme again at the next race in Turkey, especially with more Pirelli rubber on track in GP3 and GP2.
"Possibly Istanbul, being an abrasive track, we might have it again. We have GP2 and GP3 there too, which will not assist again from that point of view. But it is what it is.
"I know some of the drivers in the FIA press conferences have said that it has been part of motorsport for many years. It is something we have seen before; it was something in the tire wars when we were looking at faster stickier tires. You learn to deal with it, which is what I think they are doing."