Pirelli will decide next week whether or not any changes are needed to its Formula 1 tire compounds for this year, but warned its critics that any changes are likely to be minimal. The company also confirmed plans to give teams extra tires for Spanish Grand Prix practice.
Amid intense focus on the more aggressive rubber that Pirelli has introduced this year, the Italian company has scheduled a meeting in Milan for next Tuesday to work out if revisions are needed for the remainder of the campaign. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has made it clear, however, that any tweaks that are made will be done for the good of all teams, and not just because Red Bull has been lobbying for more conservative compounds.
"The reality is we are not going to do something that will suit one team," said Hembery, who says that eight teams have asked Pirelli not to make any changes to the compounds for this season. "We know what is coming up in terms of the season, and we know the results we have seen. It is not what you are seeing here, it is what is to come that we have to worry about.
"We have to take that into account otherwise we might be walking into bigger problems and then have eight teams coming to us and going: 'You do need to make a change.'
"If we do anything it will be done in the early phase of the season and then we will leave it. It is what it is then, and for better or worse you let everyone get on with it.
"You want everything you do done very early on to avoid exactly that accusation that you are influencing something. But whatever we do, we will still be maintaining a much softer tire range than we had last year."
Hembery (LEFT) said the most likely tweaks will be made to the current soft and hard compounds, and only to ensure they have a better operating window.
"We might have to move the working range of the compounds down a bit, particularly when we get to cooler races," he said. "It is all minor stuff and it is not maybe in the direction that some would like."
Pirelli is also pressing ahead with plans to give teams an extra set of durable tires for use in first free practice at the Spanish Grand Prix, even though agreement for them only to be available to rookie drivers does not appear to be forthcoming.
"At the moment we have proposed it and we intend to provide it [the extra set], but we haven't yet had the feedback from the teams' meetings that they have had," he said.
"They are trying to establish who should be able to use those tires, and that is the current sticking point. We have said we don't want to get involved in that: it is up to them to get consensus."