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Pirelli to bring extra FP1 tyres but not limited to rookies

ESPN Staff
May 6, 2013 « Lotus expects another strong race in Spain | 'Nothing controls me now' - Hamilton »
Unmarked 'development tyres' will be on offer during FP1 in Spain © Press Association

Pirelli will bring an extra set of tyres to the Spanish Grand Prix for use in first practice, but they will not be limited to just rookie drivers as originally planned.

All teams and drivers will be allowed to use the extra set of "prototype tyres" in FP1, which will be an extra-hard compound designed to encourage running during the 90 minute session. Pirelli had supported a plan to make the extra set only available to teams willing to run a rookie driver during the session, but the teams could not agree on the plan going forward.

The development tyres will now be available to all drivers and will be unmarked in order to be distinguishable from the orange-branded hard compound and white-branded mediums that will be used over the entire race weekend.

"As permitted by the current regulations, we'll be supplying an extra set of prototype hard compound tyres for free practice, which will hopefully ensure that all the cars run throughout these sessions," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said. "It's something we wanted to do to encourage all the teams to run as much as possible right from the start, especially with the rookie drivers, to give fans the spectacle they deserve to see."

The Spanish Grand Prix will also see the introduction of a revised hard compound that Hembery believes will offer teams more options over race strategy.

"We're introducing a revised version of our hard tyre in Spain, which is closer in characteristics to the 2012 tyre," he added. "This new tyre gives us a wider working temperature window - although it delivers a little bit less in terms of pure performance - but it should allow the teams to envisage an even wider variety of race strategies than before in combination with the other compounds, which remain unchanged this year.

"This is a decision that we've come to having looked at the data from the first four races, with the aim of further improving the spectacle of Formula One. In fact this is almost a tradition with us now, as we also introduced a revised version of the hard tyre for the Spanish Grand Prix in 2011, which was our first year in the sport. We'd expect the medium tyre to still be significantly faster and this is the one that the teams are likely to qualify on, whereas the hard is likely to be the preferred race tyre."