Pirelli is ready to approach the FIA to seek a change in Formula 1's tire regulations for next year in a bid to cut down on wasted sets of hard-compound rubber, after so far failing to secure the support of teams for such a move.
One of the main areas of concern for Pirelli about its F1 program this year has been the way that the tire rules – and the way teams have ended up using the rubber – mean that after the race the Italian company is being forced to scrap hard tires that never get used. Currently, each driver has five sets of option tires and six sets of hard tires for the weekend and, at every grand prix so far this year, Pirelli has found that the final set of hard rubber has remained unused. Pirelli believes this is a waste of resources for both itself and the teams, so wants the tire rules tweaked for next year.
A push to switch the tire allocations, so teams have six sets of option and five sets of prime, failed to receive unanimous support from the teams, which is why Pirelli is now considering contacting the FIA. Paul Hembery, Pirelli's director of motorsport, said: "At the moment, if the teams want to keep the same regulations then we will have to go to the FIA and tell them there is no point in having six sets of one and five sets of the other – we may as well have five and five and we save money.
"We have to take these extra [hard] tires to every race, so if they don't want to change the sporting regulations then we can give them the stats that it is 100 percent certain they are not going to use them, change the regulations and save us all money.
"The FIA does have a role to play in terms of regulations, and we need to have stimulation from them, because it is a cost that has no benefit to the teams, the sport or Pirelli. It is nonsense."
Hembery said the tire situation came to light when Pirelli had looked into why teams were not running in Q3 in a bid to save rubber, yet had spare tires available at the end of the race.
"We fitted the tires, brought them to races and then we destroy them – so it is very hard for us hearing that teams haven't got enough tires when they actually have plenty of tires. They are just not using them.
"We went to the teams to look into lightly changing the regulations. The simple way we thought we could get rid of the top teams avoiding running in Q3 would be to invert the allocation. So you had six of the soft set and five of the hard. Then, after FP1, you took away one of the hard sets, so five becomes four. Follow the same regulations through; you will end up doing qualifying and the race with four sets of the soft tire and then two of the hard.
"So, in that scenario, the top teams would use one hard for first qualifying, two soft and then have two sets of soft tires for the race. That would have eliminated the problem. But that was not unanimously accepted."
He added: "At the end of the day, it is for their benefit. We are just saying it seems bizarre to be in this situation of having new sets of tires at the end of the race, when during the weekend there have been some occasions when teams are reluctant to run. We want to sit down and find a way to eliminate that need. It doesn't cost anyone in the sport any more money, the only thing it will cost us is time in a meeting room to come up with something that works for everybody.
"At the moment, I wouldn't say there is an impasse but they have decided they want to stick with the current regulations but we need to return to that because in many ways it is nonsense."