Paul Hembery has hit back at claims F1’s championship ‘lottery’ in 2012 could be because Pirelli is supplying tyres with inconsistent quality.
The rumour has been rumbling around the paddock, and Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko last week admitted he suspects there are in fact “serious differences” between what should be identical sets of tyre compounds.
First, Pirelli’s F1 chief Hembery ruled out the theory the Italian marque might be deliberately mixing up tyre quality in order to shake up the results.
“We don’t decide how they’re distributed (to the teams), it’s an process that is done randomly,” he insisted to Spain’s El Confidencial.
But what about the more realistic suggestion that an odd tyre here and there is not the same quality as the others?
“The possibility is very low due to our quality controls,” said the Briton. “Each tyre can be traced to the day it was manufactured, the process, the ingredients. In terms of consistency, we have the most advanced quality control systems in the world.”
Not only that, he said no one in pitlane has actually complained formally.
“I have not received any comments from any team, or anything indicating a problem with the consistency of the tyres. In fact, we’ve had compliments. That is all I can say, unless someone shows us something we can look into,” said Hembery.
When it was put to Hembery that some drivers – including some world champions – have indeed complained to the media, he hit back: “We get reports from each driver and each team after each race. No one has made any comments. We cannot solve problems that no one has raised.
“Human error can occur, of course, but we have very elaborative systems of control, not only x-ray but others that I can’t even talk about because they’re top secret. All I can say is that the quality is exemplary. In fact, we have had no tyre failures at all, which we are told is something new in Formula One.”