Pirelli are set to allocate an extra set of tires to teams running rookies for the first Friday Practice sessions. From the Spanish Grand Prix onwards, if Pirelli agree to it, an extra set of harder compound tires will be given to teams with rookie drivers or who choose to run a test or development driver.
This plan was put forward by Force India’s Bob Fernley, suggesting that the distinct, and rather frustrating, lack of action in the first practice session at Grands Prix is detrimental to the sport.
If an agreement is made, this would mean a great opportunity for you drivers to gain more experience in the cockpit. Formula One’s recent clampdown on testing in season has created a sense of uncertainty in the Formula one paddock. With the Pirelli tires getting more and more difficult to understand each year, and the amount of testing seemingly decreasing every year, track time is at an absolute premium.
This plan could potentially change the whole season. While slightly different in compound and construction, those teams that get an extra set of tires for the Friday practice session could potentially gain an advantage in terms of track understanding and how those tires will react to said track. Additionally, with those teams running the extra set of tires, there will be more to gain from going out early on track (the whole point of this plan). If any if these teams need to run development parts and upgrades, that extra half hour spent on track rather than in the garage could potentially be all they need to make that extra step in terms of performance. Formula One teams are experts at getting the most out of a short period if track time in this era of scarce testing, and an extra half hour of not needing to worry about preserving tires will be a welcome reprieve.
I welcome this new plan, and cannot thank Bob Fernley enough for proposing it. Not only will fans get to see more action on track, development will increase and the understanding of Pirelli’s perplexing tires will improve. A win-win-win situation, if you ask me.