Drivers and teams have been reminded that they should express opinions about Pirelli 'in the right manner' after it was roundly criticised in the immediate wake of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg both expressed strong views towards the Italian firm following tyre failures during the weekend, though subsequent investigations have since pointed the finger of blame to a combination of debris on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and the prolonged tyre use.
With Pirelli unhappy that its public reputation has been harmed by the comments, made by Vettel on live television, the tyre supplier has been largely on the offensive at Monza in an effort to emphasise the failures were not down to structural issues
Pirelli met with Bernie Ecclestone, team bosses and leading drivers – including Vettel, Rosberg, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton -, on Saturday, with a view to discussing matters going forward, with the drivers urged to consider how they go about making their opinions felt.
“It an one of them has got problems, they should talk to the people making the problems,” Ecclestone is quoted as saying by the BBC
“They should express their opinions in the right manner,” Pirelli's Paul Hembery added. “Other things happen in the sport and they don't offer an opinion. I think it just needs to be balanced.”
“It's less about what the board thinks and more about what the general public thinks. The board can have an opinion, but it's the public perception, when famous people are saying certain things, that is not favourable.
“You are not going to attract sponsors and people into the sport when every five minutes there is so much negativity. There's not a queue of 100 tyre companies to come into F1. We might say that's enough and the other company might look at it and say 'that doesn't look very good over there' and you are left with a sport with no tyres if you look at the big picture.”
Though Pirelli insists it remains committed to competing in F1 beyond 2016 when its current contract ends, it says it will walk away from the sport if it is not permitted the opportunity to test its tyres ahead of the anticipated change in technical regulations for 2017. Michelin has also submitted a tyre tender for 2017.