Pirelli: Tyre war not good for Formula 1

autosport.com

Wed, 01 Aug 10:44:07 2012

Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery says he is not yet sure whether his company would stay in F1 if the so-called tyre war returned to the sport.

Hembery reckons the move would not make sense, as he feels the racing would be much less exciting.

"We work for the sport. The sport has to decide what it wants," Hembery said. "If it wants a tyre war and procession racing again, like it did in the early 2000s, when the audience disappeared, than that's one approach. It's not for us to decide.

"We will wait and see if the rules change. If they change, then we will consider it. At the moment the teams are certainly not interested in a tyre war."

Formula 1 last had a tyre war in 2006, when Michelin quit the sport and left Bridgestone as the sole tyre supplier. Pirelli replaced the Japanese manufacturer at the start of the 2011 season.

Hembery thinks the public is not interested in a fight of the tyre suppliers, and believes the move would mean cost would escalate once again.

"We would have to see the rules first, what does it really mean to have a tyre war? If it means spending 100 million euros to go half a second quicker, and you can't even prove that you have the better tyre, because the teams will dominate still, it is pointless," he said.

"We saw that in the past. You'll only get a reputation in F1 as a tyre maker if you do an Indianapolis, and you stop a race.

"Ultimately no one could really make out what tyres were on what car when there was a tyre war. Nobody knew, because all the money was being spent on trying to find performance that the public couldn't see. And if the public can't see it, we don't understand it."

Citing the 2005 US Grand Prix fiasco as an example, when only the six cars on Bridgestones started the race, Hembery also stated that a tyre war would ultimately be unsafe.

"All the teams I've talked to don't want a tyre war. They see it as money wasted on an area they can't control, and have limited value to the public. And ultimately at least for safety issues," he said. "The tyre companies would push the safety barriers, because that's where you get performance.

"As we saw it in Indianapolis, that's the ultimate effect of a tyre war. I don't think that's good for tyre makers, and certainly not good for the sport.

 

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account