Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli is set to stop teams from having free choice of compounds for each Grand Prix, with plans mooted to implement a standard allocation once the season gets running.
Like most of the F1 paddock, Pirelli has felt the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. There was even concern the Italian tyre supplier would be unable to attend the Australian Grand Prix in March due to travel restrictions into and out of the European nation.
Pirelli was compelled to dispose of 1800 sets of unused tyres post the curtailed Melbourne race as the manufacturer cannot reuse any tyre that has been mounted due to the possibility of damage when removing them from the rim.
With it being the responsibility of the teams to transport their rims, there is no choice but to dismount every tyre for flyaway events.
Consequently, Pirelli has now been left with a stockpile of unused tyres set to be either recycled or discarded.
But speaking on Motorsport.com as a part of the #thinkingforward podcast series, Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola admitted that changes are on their way for the sport, including the allocation of tyre compounds.
“We probably have to produce something in the region of roughly 35,000 tyres in probably a couple of months, not in one year,” Isola said. “You can imagine the impact on production. That is quite big.
“We are having discussion with the teams. And I have to say that they are quite flexible in order to find sensible solutions like, for example, a standard allocation or some flexibility in this respect to be ready to supply in a very short period of time.”
The current F1 sporting regulations stipulate that teams are allowed to select 13 sets of a predetermined basket of three dry-weather compounds – Soft, Medium and Hard.
Introduced since the start of the 2016 season, the rule change has produced some interesting tactical races as teams debate whether to opt for a riskier tyre selection or a more conservative one.
However, Isola believes that taking away this rule as a part of significantly different looking 2020 F1 season will not upset teams.
“I believe that it’s feasible, considering that everybody’s interested in restarting the season, and make everything possible in order to have the best solution,” he added.
“I don’t see an issue with that. We are still happy to leave the choice to the teams, if it is possible. It depends on how much in advance we have the information of the events.
“I don’t think that the standard allocation is freezing any different strategy, because you know that with the current system, we have some sets that have to be returned after each free practice and so on.
“We are not saying that each team has to return the same number of tyres or same type of tyres and so on. They will have the same allocation at the beginning of the event, but then they can end up with a different allocation for qualifying and the race. That is what happens today.
“If I look at the last year, we had teams are choosing different sets of tyres, different compounds, but then they converge for qualifying and the race to have more or less the same allocation.
“I don’t think there is a real issue with that.”
A revised F1 season is set to have the championship begin with a doubleheader Austrian Grand Prix.
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