Pirelli continues to look at the possibility of running a tyre test at the end of the 2013 F1 campaign, although motorsport director Paul Hembery refuses to confirm that the teams may stay on at Interlagos to work on next year's rubber.
Speaking during a weekend where Pirelli and tyres had already been a hot topic of conversation following the FIA's decision to allow the Italian company free rein to introduce changes of specification without the unanimous consent of the teams, and then impose pressure and camber settings on each car before practice, Hembery confirmed that various options were being considered to ensure that the new generation of F1 car was suitably booted in 2014.
“Well, the good thing is that we're now talking in a lot more detail and that will carry on over the next few weeks,” he said, “We feel that there is a need to do some level of testing with representative cars. You can imagine that there could be some surprises again next season and maybe there will need to be some check on balance done then as well.
“But, at the moment, there isn't a clear indication of what we should do and we hope, judging by the discussions we've had, that there is a willingness to look at solutions that work for everybody, for the sport and for Pirelli."
With claims that F1's sporting working group had deemed Brazil unviable, Hembery confirmed that talks would continue.
“We need to have another chat, a more serious chat," he noted, "We need to find, in more detail, what we need to do. For us, tyre testing is 14-18 specifications, 600 kilometres a day. You obviously can't do that [in free practice] on a Friday. We need to find a way of running this season with something more representative than the 2010 car.
“Equally, going forward, what happens when the new cars are actually going out? There's certainly a need to go wet testing in our opinion, we believe. Probably the teams might be interested in doing that as well, seeing that, [for] half the year, we seem to be racing in the rain. The new powerplants, we understand, will have a dramatic impact next year and, certainly, wet conditions is something that we need to think about running in an all-team test before we actually get to Malaysia.”
Asked specifically about running in Brazil around the final round of the 2013 campaign, Hembery admitted that discussions were still fluid, but emphasised that trying to conduct development during the two 90-minute Friday sessions wasn't really practical.
“Practice isn't viable because it's so limited in running,” he confirmed, “You can maybe run one spec, [and] the intention was to run a far more detailed, proper tyre test programme.
“We need to have a re-think on that, one and find another way. Brazil would be ideal because it would be a good circuit for us to run some testing, because of the nature of the circuit. [As it's] end of season as well, we'll be getting closer to what we want to be using for next season.”
Hembery also revealed that, in addition to turning this month's Young Driver test at Silverstone into a full-blown session to allow the teams to get to grips with the latest specification changes ahead of Hungary, Pirelli would continue to evaluate tyres via its own test programme.
“[For] the Young Drivers' test, we're taking along the structure of the tyre that will be used going forward this season, five sets,” he announced, “The [rumoured] Paul Ricard and Barcelona tests are with the 2010 Renault
and it's our own testing that's looking forward for a few things for next season. Obviously, it's a little bit slow now compared to the way the cars are moving....”