16 July 2015
Tyre companies shouldn’t dictate strategies, teams say
F1 should be responsible for dictating the way tyres are produced and used in the sport, rather than tyre companies pushing their own agendas.
The FIA and FOM should be responsible for dictating how tyres are produced and used in F1, rather than tyre companies pushing their own agenda, according to Eric Boullier, Vijay Mallya and Matthew Carter.
The current tyre supply contract with Pirelli comes to a conclusion at the end of the 2016 season, paving the way for another manufacturer to submit a proposal for tender going forward, with Michelin confirmed to have entered a rival bid alongside Pirelli.
Significantly, however, Pirelli has signalled its determination to continue with the current process of developing tyres according to the FIA and FOM's blueprint – such as disparate compounds and higher degrading rubber -, whereas Michelin's strategy is to develop durable rubber that can potentially complete a race distance.
Indeed, though both Pirelli and Michelin are held in high regard, Eric Boullier believes the way tyres are used in F1 should ultimately be determined by the powers that be, rather than the likes of Michelin developing an alternative strategy for its own marketing purposes.
“I think it's up to Formula One and the FIA as well to put the conditions of the tender, not up to the potential tyre manufacturer supplier to impose what they want. We, as far as I'm concerned, are running our own business and we know what we want to do with the sport – or I believe we are. It's not up to the others to tell us what to do.
“So, I think if the tender has been properly addressed then they should have the right answers. If it's 13-inches, 17, 18, 25, whatever it is. As long as it makes Formula One better.”
It is a view shared by Force India team principal Mallya and Lotus' Carter, saying the priority is for the tyres to add to the spectacle of F1, rather than primarily sate the preferences of the tyre companies.
“It's probably the optimal solution that all teams be consulted and the FIA then issue an appropriate tender document so that the views of the teams are collectively incorporated and the tyre companies then bid to get the contract for supply. I think it would be wrong to allow tyre companies to dictate what Formula One should or should not accept.
“As a team it doesn't really matter to us the size or the width of the depth of the tyres,” added Carter.. “We'll put the tyres on as they are and as long as it improves the sport and it makes Formula One exciting and better then we're all for it. Whether that's with Pirelli or Michelin.”
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