Pirelli will leave it up to the Formula 1 teams to decide if a new experimental hard tire is brought into use at races this year, ahead of plans to test it at the German Grand Prix this weekend.
After plans to trial the new compound at the British GP were dashed by the weather, Pirelli has rearranged its schedule to give each driver two sets of the rubber for use in Friday practice at Hockenheim. The new tire has a wider operating window than the hard version that has been used up until now, and this characteristic should make it easier for the teams to work with.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said earlier this year that he was reluctant for the new tire to automatically replace the current hard, because he does not want it to have an impact on what is a tightly fought world championship battle. However, speaking ahead of the Hockenheim weekend, he has made it clear that if the majority of the teams would prefer the new rubber to be introduced for racing then his company would oblige.
"The new hard tire is not a big evolution, but it has a slightly wider working range, which should make it easier for the teams to get the tires up to temperature and maintain them in the correct operating window," explained Hembery.
"We're running them in Friday free practice only as with the championship so finely balanced, we feel that it would be unfair to suddenly alter one of the fundamental parameters that the teams have made a lot of effort to understand and get the most out of. But we enjoy a very productive dialogue with them, and we will always take into account the wishes of the majority. It's certainly going to be interesting hearing what they have to say about the new tire, and seeing if their impressions match up to the conclusions that we have drawn from our private testing."
Pirelli has already nominated the soft and medium tire compounds for use at its first visit with F1 to Hockenheim.