Pirelli's plans for developing its 2013 Formula 1 tires are in a state of flux as it is currently without a suitable test car.
The Italian company has been in talks with the teams since over a suitable machine for its test program to succeed the 2009 Toyota TF109 that it has previously used. But Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery claims that teams are reluctant to run the risk of any squad gaining an advantage by having its 2011 machine used for testing. This is despite all data being shared openly between the teams and Pirelli using its own test driver to conduct the work.
"There has been a suggestion that we could modify the 2009 Toyota, but the car is now in a museum and it is not a realistic proposition," Hembery said. "We've not yet been given what we think is a suitable option.
"We would like a 2011 car from somebody, but we don't really care who it is from. We want to do our testing with precision and feel that the older the car gets, the further away it is from a state-of-the-art car.
"We understand the teams' point of view that they don't want to give an advantage to anybody, but at a certain point we will have to make our own decision to achieve what we have to – because nobody will give us any credit for not using a suitable car if things go wrong."
Discussions with the teams are ongoing and Pirelli is eager to come to a consensus solution. But Hembery admitted that it was possible that the company could opt to do a deal with an individual team directly if no acceptable car is agreed upon.
"It's quite possible, yes," said Hembery when asked if Pirelli could buy a car from a team. "We are not interested in assisting one particular team and we need to do our job. We have some interesting ideas for 2013, but need to do work on them.
"We are going to do a lot on the simulator and probably we will do work with the teams in simulation by giving them all a black box with 20 specifications and ask them to drive on them. That I certainly don't exclude and I'm sure they will agree.
"But In terms of finalizing the tires, particularly the compound work, we do need a number of sessions. No more than three probably, just to finalize the work. We will get there, I'm sure."