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Pirelli: Things have to change

19 July 2013

Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery has warned F1 that things will have to change if the tyre supplier is to stay in F1 next year.

There is currently no deal in place for 2014, although Pirelli is keen to extend its current agreement despite the various issues that have been encountered this year.

However, Hembery insists that things will have to change when it comes to the relationship between the sport and the tyre supplier to prevent them from walking away.

In particular, Hembery said it was vital for Pirelli to be able to test its tyres on current cars to aid with development and to make sure the tyres provided were right for the job.

“At the moment we have no real indication what the 2014 cars are going to be like and in a couple of months we're meant to be all ready to go,” he told ESPNF1. “I guess it's not in the teams' briefs to understand what our problems are or our needs are. In the past when previous suppliers have been in they had a few years of tyre competition so you do more in one week of tyre testing than we've done in three years. That creates a lot of knowledge and a lot of background, which we've not been able to do.

“We've only really performed a proper tyre test - when you've been running 14/15 specifications, short runs, long runs - we've only done it once with a current car in three years and that's simply not good enough.

“They're things that have to change, we couldn't possibly risk putting ourselves in that situation again. There's no doubt it has to change. If the sport doesn't want to change then they can find someone else. We want to stay obviously but we need to make some changes, we can't just keep talking about it, things now have to change.”

Hembery added that friction between the teams wasn't making Pirelli's situation any easier.

“The teams in the first year were quite a lot better at working together and we've seen that dissipate over the last two and a half years,” he said. “That's not just with us, I think there's lots of things going on there behind the scenes with new agreements - the Concorde Agreement - and things like that, some teams struggling, so there's a lot more friction between the teams than we've seen before. Whilst individually we have fantastic support from all of them, collectively it's not quite there.

“We know going forward that a lot of things have to change and that's something that we need to have fixed because we can't be in a situation like this again.”

While expected by many to continue, Hembery was quick to point out however that Pirelli didn't need to be in F1 next year to survive.

“Well we're working forward for next year,” he said. “Time is passing on. I mean, we don't need to do Formula One to survive as a business; it's a part of the company. In November we might be packing up and going and then it's somebody else's problem, but we've made every effort we can to get things sorted. We haven't given any deadlines, we're just working on; maybe we're silly doing that, maybe we should have insisted on things being sorted.

“It's mid-July and I if somebody wants to come in and take over I think they would be very brave, because the issues we've been suffering with would be issues that any company would have problems with, quite frankly.”


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