19 April 2013
Pirelli: We've had lobbying for us not to change anything
Paul Hembery: I think there's now eight teams that have come to us, written to us, emailed us, saying 'whatever you do, don't change anything'. So we're in a bizarre situation really...
Pirelli boss Paul Hembery has revealed that eight of the teams have contacted them to ask specifically for there to be no change to the tyre specs, despite the criticism in China just seven days ago.
Both qualifying and the race in Shanghai were dictated by the life of the latest Pirelli rubber, particularly the soft compound, which Mark Webber shed after just a single lap, having started from the pit-lane.
However while a number of drivers' have been quite vocal and not exactly complimentary, Hembery told Sky Sports F1 ahead of this Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, the fourth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship, that the matter is not as clear cut as it seems.
“It's really bizarre because behind the scenes we've actually got a lot of lobbying from people telling us not to change things,” Hembery said. “There's obviously a media-led point of view which comes from the drivers and then behind the scenes we've had a lot of lobbying. I think there's now eight teams that have come to us, written to us, emailed us, saying 'whatever you do, don't change anything'. So we're in a bizarre situation really.”
“[At the end of the day] you race to the package you've got," he added. "It's tyre-limited in some cases - it's been like that through history in many ways. [But] you'll still find at the end of the race it's going to be the fastest car and the best driver on the day [that wins]. It's like saying 'can I have 100 horsepower more?', these engines could easily give you more. So it's where you want to take it.
“We [originally] got asked 'can you replicate Canada 2010?' If you remember that race, that was quite a novel race compared to the format of the races at that period of time, and that's the input we've had and the impact we've been told to continue giving."
Pressed on if there will be any changes ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix next month and the start of the European season, Hembery added that Pirelli is in a bit of a 'no-win situation'.
“We'll do a review after the race here on Sunday night and we'll probably decide what we're going to do Monday, Tuesday before we get to Spain,” he continued.
"You've got to be careful, however, because if you make changes during the season... say for example we make a change and one or two teams suddenly made a big jump forward, you'll now be asking me 'you've just favoured a few other people'. So you're in a bit of a no-win situation and you've got to be really careful because if that does happen you are influencing the championship. If we make changes we've got to make it early on - you don't want to do it after eight or nine races because again that's going to favour probably one or two teams.
“Also bear in mind we were having the same conversations last year and by the end of the year nobody was talking about it.
“The teams have the best engineers in the world, the drivers are there at the top for good reason - they are intelligent people and work out how to get the best out of the package. You'll see the same as we go forward [in 2013],” he concluded.
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