The announcement that Pirelli will tweak its tyre range in order to reduce the number of stops per race has brought with it support from some corners, but criticism from others.
Both Lotus and Ferrari are strongly against the move, and they might be in a position to block the change should they choose.
The mid-season tyre tweaks are in breach of Article 12.6.3 of the technical regulations which state: “Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.”
Only two teams have made official requests to Pirelli for changes to the tyres, Red Bull and Mercedes. Some teams remain indifferent and some, as mentioned above, are against the move. Therefore unanimous agreement hasn’t been sought.
Pirelli could claim the changes are being made in light of the recent tyre failures which have been a common sight. That would allow them to make changes under Article 12.5.2, regardless of what the teams want.
“If in the opinion of the appointed tyre supplier and FIA technical delegate, the nominated tyre specification proves to be technically unsuitable, the stewards may authorise the use of additional tyres to a different specification,” it says.
However Pirelli have clearly stated, on several occasions, that the changes are being made in answer to the high number of stops – and not over safety concerns.
Therefore should a team decide to raise a formal protest, it’s likely they will succeed in halting the planned changes for the Canadian GP in June.