Pirelli says it will consider supplying more durable tyres capable of increased cornering speeds that will allow drivers to race at 'maximum', but only if it is requested to do so by the commercial rights holder.
The Italian firm has generally worked to a brief handed down by FOM of producing tyres that degrade more in an effort to spice up the racing and promote alternative strategies, though drivers have aired their dislike for this as it forces them to temper their pace and conserve rubber.
Having adopted a more conservative strategy in 2014 and 2015 – after criticism in the wake of high profile failures mid-way through 2013 -, Pirelli is poised to be more aggressive with its options this year at the request of the commercial rights holder, which wants to improve the spectacle again.
In response, however, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association is preparing to present its own justification for more durable tyres that can be pushed harder and corner quicker, arguing that 'happy drivers' will create a more 'honest and authentic performance'.
For Pirelli, it is happy to work to the blueprint that is presented to it, with Mario Isola saying the company is experienced enough in other forms of motorsport to work towards any brief.
“It's a choice,” he said. “This is part of the target fixed by the Formula 1 environment and as we always said we want to follow what F1 asks of us. This is another aspect of the target of development for the future.
“If we had to produce long-lasting tyres we have to focus on that, if we have to produce tyres with degradation we have to focus on that. We have more than 180 championships where we have different targets.”
“In GP2 there is a strong requirement for degradation because the promoter wants to have something similar to F1. In GT they want to a tyre to do double stints while in Rally they have different requirements. They all have different requirements that we try to follow and find the target to deliver the right product.”
Meanwhile, Isola says discussions over the car it will use in order to begin 2017 tyre testing is still in negotiation, adding that it needs to start testing as soon as possible.
“There is an ongoing discussion [2017 F1 rule changes] and we are trying to work together with the other Formula 1 stakeholders to find a solution.
Pirelli has previously suggested it could use a decade-old car as a potential test bed but that it needs the regulations to be decided soon so that it can modify the chosen machine accordingly.