Pirelli has said it would like to see tyre choices scrapped or scaled back for the 2020 Formula 1 season due to short-notice manufacturing complexities.
At present Pirelli nominates three compounds for each event and gives teams the choice on how many of each they would like. Under the rules, these selections must be made eight and 14 weeks in advance for European and overseas races respectively.
However with a more compact F1 season and limited manufacturing capabilities due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pirelli fears it won’t be able to manufacture and supply enough tyres to offer that choice.
It is therefore requesting that a standard tyre allocation is put in place for 2020, which would give each team/driver the same number of each compound.
“We are trying to work with an approach of flexibility,” Pirelli’s head of Formula 1 Mario Isola told Motorsport.com. “The current regulation says that we need to know the tyres in advance, by eight weeks for European events and 14 weeks for overseas events. Obviously this is not valid in this particular situation.
“We need visibility on a longer period, to be sure that we are able to supply not just the first or first couple of events but the rest of the season also.
“If we have the first part of the season in Europe and then we move to Asia, and America, in a very short period, it means that for production, it will be quite a busy period.
“We probably have to produce something in the region of roughly 35,000 tyres in probably a couple of months. Not in one year. You can imagine the impact on production. That is quite big.
“We are having discussion with the teams. And I have to say that they are quite flexible in order to find sensible solutions like, for example, standard allocation or some flexibility in this respect to be ready to supply in a very short period of time.”
Isola explained Pirelli was able to recover the tyres it shipped to Bahrain and Vietnam and stop its shipment to China, allowing it build up a small stock of tyres for the opening rounds.
“We recovered all the tyres that were shipped to Bahrain, Vietnam, and we have been able to stop the tyres that were leaving for China. On top of that, we already started the production for another couple of events. So we have a stock of tyres that is available immediately for usage.”