Pirelli has been given the option to evaluate new tires during Formula One race meetings this year, following an amendment to Formula One's Sporting Regulations approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
On some GPs, all the teams can be supplied with an additional specification of dry weather tire to test during Friday's two free practice sessions.
The option to try out new tires will be entirely at the discretion of the FIA, together with Pirelli, and it will only be exercised when the correct opportunity arises.
"The latest amendments to the Sporting Regulations are simply another part of our pre-season preparations as we build up to our Grand Prix debut in just over two weeks," Pirelli's Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said.
"We needed to put a mechanism in place within the regulations to allow us to test new tires in a competitive context if necessary, and it's great that we have this possibility because we are already hard at work defining the specification of our tires for the future. Without this opportunity, we would be unable to test with a current car and would be relying solely on a previous generation vehicle, so it could be a good solution to the testing issue for both ourselves and the teams."
Another rule amendment approved by the World Motor Sport Council with immediate effect is the facility to allocate an additional set of prime tires at selected races this year. Once more, at the discretion of the FIA together with Pirelli, this extra set could be given to the teams at the start of Friday free practice, with the usual tire regulations applying from then on. Teams would be informed of any addition to the normal allocation at least one week before the start of the relevant event.
"We're not sure how often, or indeed if at all, we are going to use these fresh opportunities," added Hembery. "But the effect is to open our options by putting in place some pre-determined processes before we get into the swing of the season. Both the teams and ourselves are having to take on a lot of data in a comparatively short space of time, so the latest amendments from the World Motor Sport Council could help to accelerate that learning process if required."