Pirelli set to increase Friday tyre allocation

Williams allotment of Pirelli tyres for the Australian GP weekend
Williams allotment of Pirelli tyres for the Australian GP weekend

Pirelli are set to give Formula One teams an extra set of tyres to use in first practice on Fridays from next month’s Spanish Grand Prix to provide more action for spectators and television viewers.

Motorsport director Paul Hembery said Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone had asked the Italian company to help get more cars on track in the first half hour of the session.

Some team bosses had also asked for an extra set to help them give experience to young drivers.

Hembery said Pirelli were “up for it” and he had spoken to FIA race director Charlie Whiting. However, the top teams wanted to run their regular racers only.

“I don’t think (Ferrari’s) Fernando (Alonso) is going to let anyone near his car,” he told Reuters at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“I think the common agreement will probably end up being that they (teams) have to run this (extra) set within FP1 (first practice), within the first 30 minutes, which is good for the fans and television.

“We will bring the same structure (of tyre) but we want to have the right to use whatever compound we want. So maybe not the race compound but something that will allow some of the teams to do many laps so they are not tyre-limited.”

Hembery said the extra set would also help top teams improve the performance of their cars by allowing them to do more laps on a Friday to test developments.

“Take McLaren … it would help them clearly. I envisage that they will start using that first set to do a lot of setup, aero data collection, data validation,” he said.

Each driver currently has 11 sets of dry weather tyres for a weekend – six of the harder ‘prime’ and five of a softer ‘option’.

They must hand back one set of the prime tyres before second practice and one set of each before the third session and before qualifying.