Formula 1’s tyre supplier ‘Pirelli’ may introduce a 6th compound for 2018.
The Italian company must freeze its compound construction by September 1 whoever they have until December 1 to confirm the different compounds.
Before the latter date, it will have tests at Paul Ricard with Mercedes (September 7-8), Mexico with Sauber and Force India (October 31-November 1) and Brazil with Mclaren (November 14-15).
A final test open to all team will take place in Abu Dhabi (November 28-29).
F1 boss for Pirelli ‘Mario Isola’ said:
“Depending on the results, we will decide the number of compounds,” he explained. “My opinion is to go up to six, which is possible.
“If I look at the regulations the number of compounds is our proposal to the FIA, and usually the FIA accepts, because there is no reason to refuse. In fact this year we homologated 10 compounds – we had the five base compounds, and five backup compounds.
“We don’t need the agreement of the teams. In Abu Dhabi after the race we have two days of testing with all the cars, and all the teams, which is supposed to be for validation of the new product, to give the teams the opportunity to test it in advance.
“So end of November, we need to be ready with the final version of our 2018 tyres.”
The problem with current tyres is because they are much wider now they have much lower degradation, to the point in Russia the Ultrasoft tyre could do the entire race.
This is partly down to the mule car testing done last year not being very accurate.
“Now we have much better data coming from each weekend,” said Isola.
“So we are already developing a new construction, a new profile, new ideas,
“It will not be a revolution compared to this year, because we think we have a good product.”