Three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart shares Ecclestone's belief that Pirelli now needs as much time as possible to ensure that it can provide safe tyres for the remainder of the season – and beyond if all parties agree to a new contract.
“They've got to open up the regulations and do as many tests as they need in order to feel comfortable their tyres are durable,” the Scot, a renowned safety campaigner, told Britain's Daily Mail
, “You have to lift the no-testing regulation. That's more important right now than anything else.
“We've got to have a harder construction [tyre], a harder compound or whatever it is, and then let's get going. If we've got to run with hard tyres that mean there's going to be no pit-stops for three or four grands prix, let's do that. The amount of debris that was flying around [at Silverstone], at the height and speed it was travelling at, is a great concern.”
The question now, however, is where, when and who will the tests involve. With Mercedes already reprimanded for its part in the Barcelona test, will teams be wary of taking up the cudgels, or will the tests be thrown open to all? Will Mercedes be able to take part after being banned from the forthcoming Young Driver test?
Little is going to be achievable between now and the German Grand Prix this weekend, but there are three weeks between the Nurburgring and Budapest, and another four before the Belgian Grand Prix, so there is clearly time to slot in a couple of tests, although anything in August will impinge on the traditional shut-down of all F1 facilities for the summer.