Pirelli's motorsport boss Paul Hembery says the company is ready to supply Formula 1 teams with Q3-only tires. He made it clear, however, that the teams believe the current format is fine and don't want it changed.
Current rules mean teams have to use the same tires they qualify on in the race, something that has lead to drivers sitting out Q3 in order to limit their running and save sets for the race. Although the current format often means the action is limited for the fans, Hembery says teams are reluctant to change it. But he insists Pirelli could supply qualifying-specific tires right away if needed.
"We could do it immediately," Hembery told Autosprint. "We could come up with a specific compound, or maintain the current ones.
"The teams say that the format is fine as is, that the public enjoys tire strategies. But if a fan on the grandstands doesn't see much running in Q3, then that fan casts the blame on Pirelli thinking that we don't want to spend any more money in order to supply more tires."
Hembery also denied that Pirelli has intentionally attempted to create an impossible challenge for teams with its tires for the 2012 season. He reckons the design of this year's car means they are less stable, something that affects the way the tires behave.
"I don't agree with whoever says that our tires' scope of use is too narrow: the temperatures are in line with the estimated values," he said. "What has changed, heavily, is the way these tires are used this year. You can see that there's a lot more oversteering on the track. We also hear drivers' comments lamenting a lack of traction, but in my opinion that problem doesn't exist.
"Having changed the exhaust configuration through a rule has undoubtedly made the cars less stable. That causes wheelspin and the tread heats up, so it's normal you can't use the tire.
"Another point is that nowadays the car performances are a lot closer. Last year there was a second between Red Bull and McLaren, while we've now seen in Spain 16 cars within the same second in Q2.
"It's not true we have intentionally tried to create an impossible challenge. In the next tests with the Renault test car, we'll verify what the teams say."