F1 teams told to do more to help tyre supplier

Formula 1 must do more to help its future tyre supplier create more 'uncertainty' in the races, claims the FIA.

F1 teams told to do more to help tyre supplier
Pirelli tyres
GP3 Pirelli Wet tyres
Pirelli tyres
Pirelli
Pirelli tyres washed by Williams mechanics
(L to R): Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director and Martin Brundle, Sky Sports Commentator with the Pirelli 18

As discussions begin to decide who will supply tyres from 2017, FIA president Jean Todt admits that things have not been ideal for Pirelli thanks to the restricted amount of testing it is allowed to do.

When asked about the job that Pirelli has done, Todt said: "In fairness to them, they have limited testing available – which would have been helpful compared to what has happened in the past when it was the other way around [with lots of testing].

"It has taken them a certain time to learn. They have learned quickly but I think there is still potential."

Delivering two-stop races

Pirelli has had a mandate to create two-stop races in F1, but a move to more conservative tyres this year has resulted in a spate of one-stop races.

Todt accepts that if F1's future tyre supplier is to deliver what the sport needs then it must have more help in creating the right product.

"The improvement on the tyre use, for me, is probably easy to say, but we should have a bit of co-ordination to say 'OK, we would like two or three pitstops' and then be sure they are able to react to what is asked of them," said Todt.

"Sometimes there is some imbalance between what we expect and what we get. But clearly to create some uncertainty due to tyre changes and tyre wear is something I feel we could still improve."

Decision down to Ecclestone

The FIA is currently evaluating tyre tender applications from both Pirelli and Michelin for 2017.

And although the governing body will evaluate the safety and technical criteria of both applications, a final decision will be made on commercial grounds so will be settled by Bernie Ecclestone.

"We have a division of responsibilities," said Todt. "The FIA needs to secure the confirmation on the technical and the sporting side, and then it goes to commercial rights holders to address the commercial side.

"Both tyre companies are really adventurous so I am sure they can both supply the sporting and technical side. So what can be the benefit for the promoter and for the teams on the commercial side?"

When asked if the FIA had a preference for tyre size, with Michelin saying it is only interested in 18-inch wheels, Todt said: "It's important to explore possibilities. For that, I will very much rely on people who are more familiar about 13, 18, 19, or 20-inch [wheels]."

 

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