Pirelli has denied it works too closely in F1 with fellow Italian marque Ferrari.
“Nonsense,” the tyre supplier’s chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera is quoted by La Repubblica newspaper.
The question was put to him after Pirelli decided to soften the hardest compounds of its tyres ahead of the 2012 season. Last year, Ferrari struggled on Pirelli’s harder tyres.
“It was a choice we made in accordance with all the teams and drivers,” insisted Tronchetti Provera. “These (2012) tyres are for 2012, not the cars of last year,” he is quoted by Spain’s AS newspaper.
He admitted however to wanting to see Ferrari succeed.
“Naturally. If you’re Italian your dream is for Ferrari to win, if you’re English then it is McLaren. Everyone’s heart is where it is.”
And with Europe in crisis, a Pirelli-shod Ferrari victory would be meaningful for Italy.
“There are Italian companies with the right approach in terms of competitiveness, technology, quality of the people. They can offer a great contribution to restoring confidence in the country.”
During his conversation with reporters, Tronchetti Provera answered his phone.
“Luchino!” he beamed, admitting the call was from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo. “Now everybody is going to say I have a special relationship with Ferrari,” he laughed, before pausing: “He (Montezemolo) says it isn’t true!”
Tronchetti Provera also insisted he would be happy to see a tyre war in F1.
“Alone or with a competitor, it’s ok either way,” he said. “F1 decided that the tyres should be the same for everyone, but we do not care.”