The new range of Pirelli P Zero tyres will be tested by Formula One teams during free practice at the Canadian Grand Prix, the tyre manufacturer announced onThursday.
The tyres used for the actual race in Montreal on June 9 will, however, remain in their original 2013 specification.
Pirelli said the decision was taken “in order to provide some testing time before any new range of tyres is introduced”.
“The P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft for Canada will be in exactly the same specification as that which the teams started the season, with no adjustments,” the company said.
“This new tyre will be brought to Canada as an experimental tyre for free practice, as allowed by the current regulations.
Each driver will receive two sets of this new medium compound for use during Friday’s two sessions only.
“Following feedback from the teams and drivers, the new specification of tyre is then set to be introduced from the British Grand Prix at the end of June, and will remain in place until the end of the year.”
Pirelli’s tyres have come in for criticism this season, notably at the Spanish Grand Prix where drivers had to make four pit stops because the company’s high-performance tyres were wearing out too quickly.
Red Bull were the loudest in their criticism while drivers Britons Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton also complained that they were having to take corners slower to avoid wear and tear on Pirelli’s soft fast-wearing tyres.
From Renault to Benz
Former champions Williams will switch from Renault to Mercedes engines from 2014 when a new V6 unit is introduced, the Formula One team said on Thursday.
The announcement of a long-term partnership means the German manufacturer’s engines will power four of the 11 teams next season before McLaren enter a new partnership with Honda from 2015.
Mercedes also supply their own works team, winners in Monaco last weekend with Germany’s Nico Rosberg, and British-based Force India.
Renault will have at least three teams next season, with Red Bull and Toro Rosso already signed up and Caterham also committed to the French manufacturer. They also currently supply title-contenders Lotus.
Formula One is ditching the current 2.4 litre V8 engine at the end of this season in one of the biggest shake-ups of the rules in decades. From 2014, cars will be powered by a 1.6 litre V6 with turbocharger and energy recovery systems.
Williams said they would continue to manufacture their own transmission.
“Mercedes-Benz has been one of the sport’s most successful engine suppliers and we believe that they will have an extremely competitive engine package,” team principal and founder Frank Williams said in a statement.
Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff is also a Williams shareholder, although he has said he will sell the stake, and his wife Susie is the team’s development driver.
“The proud heritage of Williams and the company’s commitment to technological excellence make it a perfect long-term partner for Mercedes-Benz under the new powertrain regulations,” the Austrian said.
“It is a win-win situation for both HPP and Williams, which will ensure HPP (Mercedes High Performance Powertrains) is able to supply at least three teams on a long-term basis under the new regulations and could open interesting new perspectives for technology transfer,” he said.
Mercedes will be Williams sixth change of engine partner in the space of a decade.