Pirelli plans major Formula 1 tyre choice revamp for 2017

Pirelli is considering introducing extra variations within its current Formula 1 tyre compound range in a bid to improve the show, AUTOSPORT can reveal

Pirelli plans major Formula 1 tyre choice revamp for 2017

The idea is initially dependent on the Italian manufacturer being awarded a new supply contract, with its current deal expiring after 2016 and the FIA's tender process ongoing.

Pirelli wants to answer complaints it has veered from its original brief of two-to-three-stop grands prix, down to one or two at present.

Why F1 has reverted to one-stop grands prix

The plan is Pirelli will retain its current range of dry tyres - hard, medium, soft and super-soft - but within each compound there will be options, likely as many as three, so it can fine-tune tyre selections for each circuit's characteristics. The present tyre labelling system would remain.

"It's something very hard to do, but if we are to remain in the sport for '17 we could really look at doing something like this," Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery told AUTOSPORT.

"If we were able to choose from a wider range then we'd have more certainty to deliver the two-to-three-stop races.

"As far as the public is concerned it would be a hard and a medium tyre, let's say, at a certain type of race.

"But we would be able to choose from three versions of the hard and three versions of the medium.

"Or to be more current, the super-soft we've just seen in Monaco and Canada would be quite different to the super-soft you would see in Singapore.

"To the outside world, though, it is simply a super-soft tyre because four compounds is more than enough.

"For the public, I don't think we need to do anything different as it would just create confusion. It would be too complex.

"The fans have only just got used to what they see now, they like the colours, they get that and they are quite easy to see.

"That works so you don't really want to create any more variation on that."

F1's Strategy Group has mooted giving teams free choice of tyre compounds at each grand prix in 2016, a proposal Pirelli is against.

A return to refuelling would also open up new avenues for Pirelli, although following a meeting of F1's team managers with FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting in Montreal last week there is no appetite for it to happen.

Despite that, Hembery added: "If we go to refuelling, which is another topic going around and has been discussed a few times, again we could also take a different approach.

"We could be very aggressive if you know someone is going to be doing a fixed number of laps every time."

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