Despite Pirelli playing down the significance of losing Friday's planned running with the 2014 prototype tyre, team bosses are expected to push for more time to learn the new rubber as they attempt to finalise their designs for next season.
Pirelli boss Paul Hembery insisted that the lack of running at Interlagos would not prove to be a major setback ahead of next season, despite just a single lap being logged on the development tyre, while plans to possibly extend the evaluation into Saturday morning's session was vetoed by the FIA.
With problems in the early half of the 2013 season, culminating in four high-speed blow-outs at Silverstone, Pirelli was forced to switch back to a compound and construction more closely mirroring the tyres used in 2012. That move appeared to play into the hands of some teams – most notably Red Bull – and away from others, such as Force India, and competitors are keen to start the new campaign on a more level playing field, even if it means appearing on track in December.
“For sure, the tyre situation has had an effect on this championship because, with the change of specification, something that never happened came in place this year,” Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali claimed, “I think that we always give our will to help Pirelli in order to find the best solutions, in order to find very competitive tyres that can be used in all the conditions, where the drivers can push and show their driving skills, so, on our side, we have given our will to help them in all the conditions that they can.
“[It's] about being able to be balanced and having the equality within the teams, but it will reach a point where, for sure, if there's no kind of test, the negative hit of not having a test will be really important, so I think that, in the next days, we need to decide what to do for the future in this very hot topic.”
Mercedes' Ross Brawn agreed, but faced with the question of whether a one-car test – similar to the controversial three-day affair conducted by his team and Pirelli in May – he admitted that it would not be beneficial for a particular team to conduct the evaluation.
“I think whatever flows now has to be fair for all the teams,” he noted, “I think we're in a very delicate position. I think we all want to help Pirelli provide the best tyre they can next year, but it would be unfortunate if one team had the benefit of running a tyre to the exclusion of all the other teams.
“Today would have been the ideal situation for everyone to get a first look at the 2014 tyre, take the data away, and that would have been reasonably fair. I think, if we end up with only one team running the 2014 tyres before next year, with no provision today or no ability today to run the tyre, it could end up a pretty unfair situation [where] someone's going to have an insight into what the tyre does and how it works. So, I think we have to look at that very carefully, how we can do something that is fair and proper for all the teams.”
Red Bull was the only team to venture out on the 2014 tyre at Interlagos, but completed only one lap, while rival teams decided that there was nothing to be gained from following suit.
“We always work on the principle that bad information is worse than no information,” Brawn explained, “With all due to respect, Red Bull may well have found something out that we don't anticipate, but we couldn't understand what you could learn in those conditions. Even though it looked like they were trying to take profiles of the tyres and so on, it was difficult to see how it could be useful and, certainly, our conclusion was there was no use for us with what we wanted to do to run the tyre this morning.”