29 June 2013
Pirelli board has been convinced to stay in F1, says Hembery
Paul Hembery: We have managed to convince them [the board] to stay with it. They are willing to invest going forward on a long term contract.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has revealed that the companies' board has been persuaded to stick with F1.
The tyre manufacturer has come under the spotlight lately, following the 'secret' tyre test with Mercedes after the Spanish Grand Prix, which left it reprimanded by the FIA's International Tribunal, and following a number of tyre failures, the most recent in final practice today for the British Grand Prix – although the exact cause of the Sergio Perez tyre failure has still to be confirmed.
Despite all that though, Hembery believes such issues are just 'blips' and he added that they now have deals with virtually all the teams, as well as FOM (Formula One Management) boss, Bernie Ecclestone.
“We have had a lot of internal discussions obviously and we have had to decide what we are going to do,” Hembery told ESPN F1. “Thankfully we have managed to convince them [the board] to stay with it and we have got some good ideas going forward, with different things and different approaches, and we would like to do that.
“They are willing to invest going forward on a long term contract. You have periods, don't you, with little blips. So we've had a little blip and now we get back on with the racing.”
“The promoter is clearly on board, the majority of teams are now and I've spoken to all the other teams now and we are closing in on finishing that off,” Hembery continued. “If we have got all the teams and promoter happy, then what else can we do?”
Meanwhile, poor weather at Silverstone on Friday meant Pirelli got little data with its new prototype hard compound tyre, just like what happened in Canada earlier this month.
“Because of the rain, it meant that the drivers didn't get as much running as they would have liked on the two sets of new [hard] prototype tyres that we brought here for free practice only, which is actually the same prototype hard tyre that we brought to Spain last month,” Hembery added in Pirelli's official day one press release. “On that occasion the running on this tyre was curtailed again due to rain during free practice. So that was frustrating but not all together surprising this time, given that we're in England!
“The morning session was a complete washout but it did at least give the teams some valuable knowledge of the full wet tyres, which have not been used that often this year despite a few wet sessions.
“This afternoon's session finally had some running on the prototype tyres but we did not gain a lot of data because of a lack of track time this morning. The medium and hard race compounds so far show a difference in lap time of around one second, but we still have plenty of data to analyse.
“With Saturday and Sunday expected to be dry, it will be interesting to see how the teams adapt their strategies,” he concluded.
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