Pirelli says tyre war not good for F1

APirelli chief Paul Hembery thinks it would be wrong for F1 to return to the ‘tyre war’ era.

Recent rumours hinted FIA president Jean Todt would like to see Michelin return to the sport, but the French marque has said it would only race in F1 again if it can compete with a rival manufacturer. Michael Schumacher thinks a tyre war ensures “decent tyres” to race on, but Pirelli motor sport director Hembery is staunchly opposed. The Italian marque’s contract as F1’s sole supplier runs to the end of next year.

“Let’s wait and see if the rules change,” Hembery is quoted by Brazil’s Globo Esporte. “If it happens, let’s consider what to do. The teams are definitely not interested in a tyre war,” he insisted.

Neither, clearly, is Pirelli.

“There is a safety issue,” Hembery said. “The tyre companies would push the limits with safety, because that’s how you get performance. We saw what happened at Indianapolis (in 2005). I don’t think it’s good for suppliers, and it’s certainly not good for the category.

“It means spending millions to be half a second faster, and you’re still not proving that you have the best tyre, because in the end it’s the teams that are winning. It makes no sense. Nobody can actually remember which tyres were on what cars when there were the tyre wars, because all the money was being spent on a performance that the public couldn’t see.

“All the teams I’ve talked to don’t want it. They consider it a waste of money in an area they can’t control that is of limited value to the public,” Hembery concluded.


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