Pirelli and Ferrari today face a drastic difference of opinion if the tyre supplier elects to take the medium and hard compound variants to the British Grand Prix next month.
The Italian team have in recent days made public their assertion that the hard tyre does not play to their car’s strengths.
Quoted by Autosport, Felipe Massa said that he feared a ‘problem’ if Pirelli decided to take the medium and hard tyres.
“I am not so optimistic with which tyres we are going to have there [in Britain], because I have heard that maybe we are going to have medium and hard.
“If we have that, it can be a problem for us – not just for us but for most of the teams maybe taking away Red Bull or even McLaren.”
Pirelli’s director of motorsport Paul Hembery acknowledged that a difficult decision faced his company and pledged to be as neutral as possible.
“The teams have a difference of opinion,” he said. “We have asked their advice but clearly we don’t want to favour or penalise one over the other. We have to take a look at the whole field.
“We have 12 teams we look at and feel that we are going to make the right choice for them, and also the right choice for us of course.
“Our main concern is to make sure that we don’t penalise any team. Some people have decided that from Barcelona the hard tyre favours those with high downforce, so we have to be careful that the strategy based on hard tyres is not going to penalise any particular team. Equally we don’t want to be in the situation where we have five pitstops, so it is a balance we have to find.”
He added: “You have to think what is right for us – and what is right for us is that we don’t want more than four pitstops. We would prefer to have three, but probably Silverstone whatever we do we will probably have four, whatever option we do. As long as we don’t have five, that is fundamental for us.
“If it is three or four then it is mixture of how we balance all the requirements of the teams. We will do a table, we will analyse all the teams’ requirements, and we will base it on what is the best for the majority of the teams.”