Pirelli confirmed as F1 tyre supplier
We have previously talked before about the Formula 1 tyre war, with various suppliers keen to take on the role and that is was Pirelli rumoured as the Formula 1 tyre supplier. The rumours appeared true, as on June 23rd it was announced that Pirelli were to be the number one tyre supplier.
World Motor Sport Council said “Pirelli has been selected as the single tyre supplier for the FIA Formula One World Championship for a period of three years, commencing in 2011. The sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA.”
The statement from the FIA World Council announcing the move noted, “The sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA.”
It is apparent that the majority of teams, and Bernie Ecclestone, preferred Pirelli as the main tyre supplier. In an interesting twist the FIA actually preferred Michelin to be the main tyre supplier, along with two of the biggest teams in Formula 1, McLaren and Ferrari.
Nevertheless the move sees Pirelli return as the sole tyre supplier for Formula 1, the last time they supplied a tyre was back in 1991 to the Benetton and Brabham teams. Its tyres back then were known to be good in qualifying but not so in race conditions. Reading through the FIA statement makes it quite clear they want performance from tyres whilst being at the forefront in terms of safety. After all nobody wants to see a repeat of the problems at Indianapolis 2005, where 75% of the teams pulled out due to safety concerns over their tyres. They have however been active in rallying so it will be interesting to see their tyre development programme.
Pirelli opt for aggressive approach
Motorsport fans will likely have heard how tyre degradation provided an exciting F1 race in Canada and it seems everybody took notice, including the Formula 1 management and tyre suppliers.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery told AUTOSPORT in an exclusive interview: “We are going to try and be aggressive – provide one ‘safe’ option and then an aggressive one to try and create the show. That is something that the promoter would definitely like to see, and Bernie [Ecclestone] is keen for that.
“The fans, I am sure, are keen for that, and I have to say that the comments from the teams after Canada were that they actually enjoyed it. The team principals I have spoken to said that that was good fun. It might not have produced the result they all wanted, but it added to the strategy of the event.”