It has emerged that the new specification Pirelli tyres which were promised for the Canadian Grand Prix will now only be tested there during practice and will be used for competition only from Silverstone onwards.
The move means that teams will have two sets of the tyres which will feature a new construction, aimed at reducing the risk of delaminations, to try out before Pirelli make the harder compound versions for use in competition at Silverstone.
This means that there is a risk during the Canadian Grand Prix of a repeat of the delaminations seen in Spain and Bahrain, but as there are no high energy corners in Montreal, rather a series of chicanes and hairpin bends, it’s considered a small risk. Silverstone has some of the highest loadings of the season through high speed corners like Copse.
This move also has a political angle to it, as it eliminates any risk of rival teams asserting that Mercedes’s result in Montreal, should they do well, is down to them having an advantage from testing the development tyres at the controversial secret test the team conducted in Barcelona recently.
The FIA issued a strongly worded statement on the secret testing, which suggests that they intend to take it further, possibly to an International Tribunal and Pirelli may come in for criticism for allegedly not informing the FIA of more details about the test at the time, although permission had been given for the test to take place.
There are suggestions among some teams that certain factions would like to use this episode as a lever to get Michelin or another brand into F1 as sole tyre supplier. Pirelli is close to a renewal of its F1 deal, but it is not signed yet.