Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery was asked about Formula 1’s switch to three compounds per grand prix for 2016 on its debut in Australia.
The Italian manufacturer slipped away from its original brief upon entering F1 of creating tyres that would result in at least two pitstops per race per driver over the last two seasons to ensure tyres did not play too big a role while teams were adapting to the new engine rules.
Via a dramatic shake-up there are now three varieties of rubber available to each driver over the course of the weekend, with Australia serving as the testbed.
Overall Hembery was happy with what he saw in Melbourne.
“The three compounds worked particularly well if you look at the variety of strategies we saw compared to previous seasons,” he told Autosport.
“At this race last season it was a one-stop for everybody, but we had one, two and three stops, and even within the two and three stops a variety of compounds were used by different teams.
“So it seems to have been a resounding success from that point of view.”
Hembery sees no reason why the race in Australia should be a one-off, predicting more of the same for the next grands prix in Bahrain and China, and for the season as a whole.
“The advantage of having the three compounds is teams can adapt to situations,” added Hembery.
“If you do have a poor qualifying or you find yourself in a situation in the race where you need to change strategy for whatever reason – a safety car, traffic – you do have more options open to you.
“So from that point of view it seems to be working very well. If it carries on like that then we would clearly all like to take it forward into 2017.
“For now, looking ahead to the next couple of races, I feel Bahrain could throw up something interesting, and China could also be a very interesting race.”
Despite the fact the new qualifying format was much maligned, and is poised to revert back to the old system with immediate effect, Hembery still feels the new tyre rules played a part.
“The qualifying process was intended to have an impact on the race,” suggested Hembery.
“From that point of view it probably did have in the sense that some teams opted to try and maintain a position in Q2 to allow themselves a choice of starting tyre.
“It also probably stopped some of the very fast teams trying to get through Q2 on the soft tyre, which would have given them a very significant advantage at the start of the race.”