Pirelli chief Mario Isola says Formula 1 drivers have been pushing for the company to skip tyre compounds at Grands Prix, as opposed to its predominantly linear approach.
Pirelli has been Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier since 2011 and brings three dry-weather compounds to each event, with one of the two hardest compounds mandated for use for one stint of a dry race.
Pirelli expanded its range of dry-weather compounds from five to seven for this year with the introduction of a Hypersoft and Superhard, the latter a back-up tyre that is unlikely to be used.
Drivers have suggested that some compounds have been too similar to each other in terms of pace and degradation, reducing the scope for adopting alternative strategies.
Pirelli has typically selected three successive compounds for each event but skipped the Supersoft in China, instead bringing the Ultrasoft, Soft and Medium tyres.
That race led to strategic variance from teams, with all three compounds being run extensively, as opposed to last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, when only two drivers used the Supersofts, instead preferring the Soft and Medium.
Pirelli has since reverted to its usual approach but explained that drivers have been open to skipping compounds, a strategy it is likely to adopt for the German Grand Prix.
“We had a chat during the drivers' briefing on Friday [at the Spanish Grand Prix]”, explained Isola.
“It was a suggestion coming from most of them because they say that compounds are a bit too close.
“They like the idea of what we did in China, jumping one level from the Soft to the Ultrasoft, they said please evaluate it to also have it at other races where you jump one or more levels.
“Obviously we need to make simulations before making decisions, but this is something we want to follow, we will consider maybe in other races to have not Soft, Super, Ultra, but to jump levels.
“The next [compounds] we have to announce is Hockenheim and we have to confirm compounds [on Thursday] and I think we jump one level, yeah, it’s already in the plan.”
Pirelli’s new-for-2018 Hypersoft will make its Grand Prix weekend debut in Monaco, with the Ultrasoft and Supersoft also available for use.
Teams have already loaded up on Hypersoft for a race that is likely to feature a one-stop strategy.