Teams to receive extra practice tyres
6 May 2013 – Plans to encourage Formula 1 teams to run rookie drivers during free practice in exchange for an extra set of tyres have been dropped, with sole manufacturer Pirelli and governing body the FIA instead agreeing to supply all 11 outfits with an extra Friday allocation for the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix weekend.
The idea had initially been proposed by Force India, but it failed to receive wide support due to complications over the definition of a 'rookie driver', with some teams employing experienced testers that nevertheless do not have F1 race experience.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli's Motorsport Director, said: "As permitted by the current regulations, we'll be supplying an extra set of prototype Hard compound tyres for free practice, which will hopefully ensure that all the cars run throughout these sessions. It's something we wanted to do to encourage all the teams to run as much as possible right from the start, especially with the rookie drivers, to give fans the spectacle they deserve to see."
The Spanish Grand Prix will also be the first time that the revised Hard compound tyre has been run, with Hembery confident that the change will allow teams to be more diverse in their strategy choices due to a wider operating temperature range.
"This new tyre gives us a wider working temperature window – although it delivers a little bit less in terms of pure performance – but it should allow the teams to envisage an even wider variety of race strategies than before in combination with the other compounds, which remain unchanged this year," Hembery explained.
"This is a decision that we've come to having looked at the data from the first four races, with the aim of further improving the spectacle of Formula 1."