Pirelli: 'Maximum attack' meeting a good opportunity for F1

Pirelli believes next week's meeting in Italy with drivers and teams provides a great opportunity for Formula 1 to finally agree on what direction it should be heading in with its tyres.

The Italian tyre company's chiefs are set to meet with drivers, teams and FIA representatives at its Milan headquarters on February 2 on the back of calls to bring back 'maximum attack' tyres for 2017.

And rather than be resistant to the idea of embracing a total rethink in its approach to tyre characteristics, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said his company is fully supportive of anything that will finally deliver clarity on what it is required to do.

"We are absolutely delighted that all members of the sport are going to sit down and give us a clear target going forward," Hembery told Motorsport.com.

Urgent rule changes

However, Hembery adds that F1 teams must also be willing to embrace 'urgent' rule changes to allow the kind of testing programme needed if Pirelli is going to be able to produce what drivers want.

"We want to listen to the drivers – and we are happy to deliver exactly what they want," he said.

"In fact, we are delighted that there is going to be some clarity on the situation now and a target given for us. But it is clear then we need to have a clear plan on how we are going to be able to deliver that.

"It will require a suitable testing plan, and it will require some regulation changes – which will need to be done urgently to allow us to deliver what the sport requires."

Degrading rubber

Pirelli arrived in F1 in 2011 with a mandate from grand prix racing's chiefs to deliver high-degrading tyres that ensured between two and three stops per grand prix.

However, that approach left drivers frustrated because they felt that they were having to manage tyres too much, and some teams became outspoken because they believed they could not exploit their car performance as much.

In the wake of mounting criticisms, Pirelli become more conservative in its approach, and was subsequently forced to defend itself against claims it products were no longer delivering exciting races.

This is why it believes an agreement between drivers, teams and the sport's chiefs over exactly what is needed will be good in allowing it to plan better for the future.

"It is very important to define what the sport wants," said Hembery. "We are happy to deliver exactly what everyone wants – but it does require testing time that is done in a logical and sensible fashion."

2017 testing

Pirelli has long made it clear that it needs a structured testing programme to prepare for 2017, with wider tyres set to be adopted.

So far, there has been no agreement on what car Pirelli will have at its disposal for this, which is something it is eager to thrash out next week.

"All we want is to have clarity from stakeholders on what they want – and we want to let them know what we need to deliver that.

"We've described already that we want 30,000km of testing, and we are happy to start with an old Toyota or Lotus-type car and combine it with a modified chassis later in the year to confirm the work we have been able to do."

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news
Tags pirelli