Three questions to Paul Hembery (Pirelli) Q: Will you have anything new in Sweden this year? PH: "We will principally have new studs that protrude by 8mm for very snowy conditions. The challenge with such a long stud is gluing...
Three questions to Paul Hembery (Pirelli)
Q: Will you have anything new in Sweden this year?
PH: "We will principally have new studs that protrude by 8mm for very snowy conditions. The challenge with such a long stud is gluing it sufficiently strongly in the tyre to prevent it from moving in the tread block which detracts from its effectiveness. This new stud proved both resistant and competitive during winter testing."
Q: It's been quite a mild start to the year in the Varmland. Does that worry you?
PH: "Let's say it's disappointing. Like all the teams, we did the bulk of our pre-event testing in cold, snowy conditions. But if necessary, we have a range of other, more familiar products that give excellent results too. And to make the most of them, we will this year be able to count on the services of some new recruits, including notably Marcus Gronholm who always goes well in Sweden."
Q: Does working with three teams instead of one last year complicate your job at all?
PH: "The logistics are a bit more complex but the reduction in the number of tyres taken to each event following the cost-saving measures introduced by the FIA has essentially compensated for that. In technical terms, supplying three manufacturers is more valuable because you're getting three times as much feedback and that helps you target your needs more quickly. Everyone profits from the input of each team because the demands of today's World Rally Cars are quite similar and you don't have to develop specific products for each model. In fact there can sometimes be a bigger difference between the demands of two drivers in the same team as there is between three different teams."