Ferrari's chances in this year's Formula 1 World Championship could be boosted by Pirelli's revelation that it is unlikely to use the hard tire in the remaining races of the season.The Maranello squad has been known this season for preferring softer tires that adapt better to its car.
Pirelli announced earlier this week that it would not be using the hard compound in the upcoming three races, and its motorsport boss Paul Hembery says the compound is unlikely to return this season.
"I don't think we'll see the hard compound again," said Hembery. "I think it's probably too hard and that the medium is proving sufficiently robust for the aggressive circuits we've still got to come. So don't think we'll be going the hard route."
Hembery also revealed the hardest tire is probably not going to be used at all next year, with a new compound likely to be introduced as a bridge between the medium and the soft.
"Probably next season the medium will become the hard," he said. "We'll probably slot something in between the current softs and mediums. We want to keep about one second between each. The super-soft and soft gap is about right, to be honest, because you've got a one-second speed advantage but you've got a clear degradation and limitation on use. If we could replicate that now with a new medium and a new hard, then I think we'll be well placed."
Hembery made it clear the company will continue to use vary the tire compounds from race to race in order to get the better of them at every track.
"Well, I think we have to, because the circuits we are going to are really different again. It tends to be only the street circuits where I think there is a lot of similarity. Singapore has the added question mark of rain, at night, in 100 degrees [temperature], which is a bizarre situation to be in; so that's going to be fascinating.
"I have to say I think we will have some other interesting scenarios and we'll try and throw in some challenges ourselves."
The Briton also praised the job done by Pirelli this year to help improve the show in Formula 1.
"Pirelli has to be delighted," he said. "I think the Pirelli team has done a great job. We had very limited chance to get ready, limited testing opportunities with the teams, and with all those constraints I think we've delivered a great product and added something to the weekend spectacle."