- Tyre news
Pirelli toughens stance with F1Chris Medland July 19, 2013 « Maldonado sees successful future with Williams | Massa not feeling the pressure at Ferrari »
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says changes must be made to help the tyre manufacturer in Formula One from 2014 onwards or the sport "can find someone else".
It's been a tough year for Pirelli as faults with its tyres have been exposed and then it has been unable to rectify the problems without the agreement of all the teams. A lack of ability to test with a current car - which culminated in the Mercedes tyre test furore - has also riled Pirelli and Hembery told ESPN during an exclusive interview that, while it wants to remain in the sport, the current situation surrounding the tyre manufacturer can't continue.
"They're things that have to change, we couldn't possibly risk putting ourselves in that situation again," Hembery said. "There's no doubt it has to change. If the sport doesn't want to change then they can find someone else. We want to stay obviously but we need to make some changes, we can't just keep talking about it, things now have to change."
Hembery said part of the problem stems from an inability for the teams to agree collectively on certain matters.
"I'm not going to criticise the FIA because I don't think it's necessarily their issue. We were working better with the teams. The teams in the first year were quite a lot better at working together and we've seen that dissipate over the last two and a half years. That's not just with us, I think there's lots of things going on there behind the scenes with new agreements - the Concorde Agreement - and things like that, some teams struggling, so there's a lot more friction between the teams than we've seen before. Whilst individually we have fantastic support from all of them, collectively it's not quite there."
While admitting Pirelli was continuing with its plans for 2014 regardless, he warned that the tyre manufacturer could recover if it ended up pulling out at late notice.
"We're working forward for next year. Time is passing on. I mean, we don't need to do Formula One to survive as a business; it's a part of the company. In November we might be packing up and going and then it's somebody else's problem, but we've made every effort we can to get things sorted. We haven't given any deadlines, we're just working on; maybe we're silly doing that, maybe we should have insisted on things being sorted. It's mid-July and I if somebody wants to come in and take over I think they would be very brave, because the issues we've been suffering with would be issues that any company would have problems with, quite frankly."
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1