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Pirelli in talks with teams over tyre choice

NEWS STORY
02/08/2015

As the powers-that-be seeks fresh ways to spice up the sport, one of the suggestions that came out of the most recent meeting of the infamous Strategy Group was for teams to be given a choice of which compounds they wish to use at each race rather than relying on the two compounds picked by Pirelli.

Whilst it is said teams being left to their own devices in terms of choosing would mix things up racing-wise, Pirelli is concerned not only at the increased costs but also the safety element.

However, keen to help spice up the racing, and aware that the sport is currently pondering who will get the F1 tyre supply contract, Pirelli is in talks with the teams.

"We're having some pretty good ongoing discussions with the teams and the FIA and we seem to be homing in on a solution that gives the variety of choice they'd like to have and gives us an element of security that strange decisions aren't made," revealed Paul Hembery.

"So we're hopeful that in the next few weeks we'll be able to convey that to everybody, so that we can start working towards next year."

With the new tyre supply contract in mind, team bosses were asked if they had any preferences, interestingly, most were not concerned so much at the spectacle or performance, but money.

"We've been going through various phases with Pirelli and they have a pretty difficult task to fulfil what's in vogue," admitted Toto Wolff.

"We want to have more stops and a spectacular tyre which loses grip quickly; we've had that a couple of years ago, we didn't like it. Then of course, as a tyre manufacturer, safety is most important so you go more conservative; then it was not enough stops and because we are heading into another year with Pirelli, whatever happens afterwards, we need to concentrate on that partnership and try to resolve '16, produce and influence a tyre as good as we can in a mutual partnership and collaboration for 2016 and have the best possible product for the best possible show.

"What happens beyond that is out of our hands because it's between the FIA and the commercial rights holder to tender and to decide. Commercial terms are going to play a role and therefore I would rather keep concentrated on my current wife."

"Pirelli is doing a really good job, because in the past we didn't have any problems with the tyres but nevertheless, from the commercial side, the more money you get from a tyre manufacturer the better it is for the teams," said Franz Tost.

"The commercial offering is extremely important," added Graeme Lowden. "If we end up with a new tyre deal that requires the teams to go and find more money, then we'll be chasing more money again. It's the old saying: turnover is vanity and profit is sanity. There needs to be a whole lot of sanity and I think a way to reach that is to ensure that we have the right commercial package in place."

"I think what we're basically saying is that whoever pays the most cash will sit here and say we love and think they should be the right supplier for Formula One," said Christian Horner, revealing a sense of loyalty that will no doubt leave Renault wondering where he and his team have been hiding it.

"An 18 inch rim and a one stop is going to do nothing for the spectacle of a Grand Prix and I think actually we need to be looking at doing the opposite," he continued, referring to Michelin's proposal, "getting two-to three-stop races, controlled degradation, maybe more choice for the teams in terms of the tyres that they can take to Grands Prix, all the things that we're talking about.

"I think Pirelli have done a good job since they've been involved in the sport, they've been supportive of Formula One through hard times as well as the good times. And hopefully with the cars that are coming for 2017, that are going to be quite a bit different, quite a bit quicker, with tyres that are significantly different to what we have now as well, then that represents a great challenge and hopefully Pirelli will be successful with that."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by CDHracer, 06/08/2015 17:20

"Reading some of the comments about F1 race tires is interesting. Tires, no matter what they are made for are always a cpmpromise. To make a tire last longer the manufacture had to use a harder rubber or tread compound. To give it more grip the compound had to be somewhat softer, softer tires wear faster, harder tires wear longer. If one is following F1 and had kept up to date on the tire tender process one should know that the FIA has said no to multi tire vendors. Right now the tender process is in the hands of the commercial F1 holder of Bernie Ecclestone, that decision is expected to be made sometime in Sept. or Oct.. The decision on the 18" tire and rim will perhaps be made first because Michelin has stated that they are not interested in participating in F1 if they stay with the 13" tire and rim. As for the compounds, current regulations only allow 4 slick types."

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2. Posted by gturner38, 03/08/2015 23:31

"This is one of the rare times I agree with Horner. While fans may not want to watch pit stops in and of themselves, what we want to see is passing, and pi tstops create passing opportunities. It may be a case of a front runner having to pass a slower car on a longer first stint, or it could be a case of a three stopper not guite building the gap to come out in front of the two stopper, but it creates a lot more passing than the old one stop races ever did.

If we make tires that never degrade and line up the field with the fastest in the front and the slowest in the back, the inevitable outcome is that there is no passing. We saw just that style of racing 10 years ago and the constant refrain from some F1 fans and a lot of fans of other series was that F1 was a boring procession. "

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3. Posted by GordonW, 02/08/2015 23:38

"I was under the impression that the limitation on tyre compound choices at any given event was in the name of "cost cutting" such that Pirelli didn't have to take sufficient quantities of all four dry compounds to any race.

Yet now it seems that "spicing up the spectacle" is higher up the agenda so all four dry compounds may well be on offer again.

Please bring back the days of TWO tyre suppliers and stop messing around with artificially controlled tyre choices...."

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4. Posted by kenji, 02/08/2015 13:06

"what a load of crap horner comes out with at times. the spectators/fans are not in any way hung up on multi pit stops. what we want to see is racing and not 16 chaps changing four wheels in under three seconds! let's have tyres that give both grip and speed. tyres that can be raced hard without covering two thirds of the track in marbles. michelin make those tyres...ask mark webber."

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