Formula 1 teams are to work with Pirelli in an attempt to bring back in-season tyre testing next year, as part of a plan to move on from the Belgian Grand Prix controversy.
As revealed by Motorsport.com, Bernie Ecclestone and Pirelli met with senior drivers and team principals at Monza on Friday to discuss the fall out from Spa and what lessons the sport could learn.
Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery said that as well as agreement for greater dialogue with teams and drivers, that the way was open for a return of proper in-season testing.
“There needs to be testing looking towards 2017, because there are a lot of practical issues there because the car is going to be dramatically different,” said Hembery.
“You cannot just put wider tyres on to the current car.”
Putting plan together
Hembery explained that no firm plan was in place for a testing schedule or programme yet, but the hope was that there would be at least six sessions of three days each – involving one or two teams a time.
And he was adamant that if it did not happen then Pirelli would not continue in F1 – even if it had been picked as the winner of the new tyre tender for 2017.
When asked if no testing would be a deal breaker, he said: “For us, yeah. You just can't do it, can you. We cannot carry on in this scenario where we cannot actually do our work."
More driver input
Having met with Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg to talk things through, Hembery said the hope was that in the future drivers could have more input about the path of tyre developments.
“We are guilty of not communicating enough with the drivers ourselves,” he said. “I think there is quite a willingness for the drivers to work with us.
“I think one thing that needs to happen is a proper testing programme and on a first level drivers need to be involved in that driving programme, and involved in the products we take into a season. They are not involved, so there is a discrepancy there.”
No public criticisms
Hembery also confirmed what F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has suggested earlier – that drivers had been advised to not criticise Pirelli in public.
“They have been asked to do it in the right environment – which is within the team and us,” he said. “They should express their opinions in the right manner, yes.”