• Tyres

Pirelli happy not to be the focus

ESPN Staff
May 16, 2014 « Rosberg letting title 'slip through his fingers' - Hill | 'What we need is power' - Grosjean »
Pirelli's tyres have shown a marked improvement in 2014 © Sutton Images
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Pirelli believes its progress from last year is highlighted by the fact its tyre compounds have not been the subject of major news stories in 2014 as they have been in previous seasons.

Since becoming the sole tyre supplier Pirelli has come under criticism for its compounds, especially at the start of 2013 due to the high level of tyre degradation. Motorsport boss Paul Hembery is happy with the reaction to Pirelli's new compounds and believes the foundations were set by the progress made during the winter tests.

"Some people always try to complain of course, but yes, every year in Formula One is different and every year there is another 'theme' that carries through," Hembery told the official Formula One website. "Last year we were that theme, but this season so far we've had a really positive start.

"Coming into a season with very new cars - which of course has an impact on the tyres - we were very fortunate to test pre-season in locations which were able to give us strong information very early in the year on how the cars were working with the tyres - and that was a substantial step forward from the sports' point of view."

Pirelli was criticised for being "conservative" in bringing the hard and medium compounds to Spain, but Hembery feels that is a consequence of the new cars being easier on the tyres.

"Maybe sometimes we will see during the season, as the cars improve, that probably some of our choices are a bit conservative, because as they reduce the amount of wheel spin and the amount of sliding, that means that there is less problem from the tyre overheating - and maybe we have to review our choices for the season going forward once we understand the effects of the rate of development of the cars."

Hembery is also happy that Pirelli does seem to have such a drastic say in who wins races this year.

"It should be the year of the power unit. The sport has made a substantial change and we are a partner in the sport. We've been asked to do a certain kind of job.

"It is quite right that there has been a major investment by the engine manufacturers into very interesting and relevant technologies and it is quite right that this year the focus is totally on that."