Teams could work around new tyre manufacturer
- In Focus:
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale says the teams could work around a new tyre manufacturer for 2014 but "assumes" Pirelli will stay.
Pirelli's future has yet to be confirmed despite it having long-term commercial agreements in place, with rumours at the Hungarian Grand Prix suggesting Michelin was interested in a return to Formula One. While there have been no further developments over the mid-season break, Neale said that he expects Pirelli's contract to be extended but said the teams would all be faced with the same issues if a replacement came in.
"I think at this stage we are assuming - I don't know whether there's any foundation for that - that somehow the process will continue with Pirelli," Neale told a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. "If it does then I think we have wind tunnel tyres and tyre information that will support our car development process.
"If we were to get a late change from somebody else coming in to the sport at late notice then of course we would work around that and work with whoever the FIA chose that to be. But certainly for all of the teams - not just McLaren - making sure that we understood exactly what the tyre shape and weight was going to be does affect fundamentally some of the vehicle layout decisions.
"But it would be the same for everybody. So if somebody throws in a curveball at the last minute I guess we'll all have to recover, but there will be some winners and losers in that."