Pirelli’s F1 chief Mario Isola says it was “easy to criticise the sole tyre supplier” having been dealt criticisms last year from Haas but feels it hasn’t forged any bad blood between them.

Haas found continual problems with keeping the 2019-specificaiton Pirelli F1 tyres in the ideal operating window meaning over a race stint it would either consume tyre life too quickly or lose performance rapidly.

Despite the issue not becoming clear to the team until the Spanish Grand Prix, resulting in Haas effectively shelving the latter part of the campaign to focus on fixing the fault for its 2020 F1 car, Pirelli says the criticism from the US team hasn’t been taken to heart by the Italian tyre manufacturer.

“When you are the sole supplier, obviously it’s easy sometimes to criticise the tyre supplier,” Isola told Crash.net. “Haas had a very difficult season, and it’s a pity, because it’s a very good team, and it’s an example of a private team that achieves a very good performance level, so hopefully this year, they will be a lot more competitive like two years ago.

“I can understand it was difficult to manage a season where their results were not coming. They were putting a lot of money in the sport, and they wanted to see the results. I fully understand what happened. I had many chats with my friend Gunther [Steiner, Haas team principal].”

Isola also hinted Pirelli’s technicians were aware of the tyre performance problem Haas had been suffering with but couldn’t offer key new information as it would breach F1 sporting regulations. As sole tyre supplier to F1, Pirelli must provide equal data, information and support to each team – even if one team discovers a solution to the problem Haas faced.

Any new information must be shared with all F1 teams but as the problem hampered Haas it would have only benefitted the US team rather than the entire grid.

“We have a lot of limitations. The priority for us is to guarantee the sporting side, so we cannot supply any additional information to anybody,” Isola explained. “It is clear that for example all our engineers that are located with each team, they have a strict procedure to follow.

“The data they provide, the reports they provide must be the same, in terms of quality and quantity of information, otherwise it’s quite easy to give an advantage – also if you don’t want to do that – to one team or another.

“We have the data from all the teams. Sometimes we see something, but we cannot help anybody.

“But Haas was good. They analysed what happened, and they found the problem. It was a bit late, so it was impossible to change the car in the last part of the season, also because they were already in the process to design the 2020 car.

“Hopefully now they know how to use the tyres for this season, they will be on a better level.”

F1 teams voted to retain Pirelli’s 2019-spec tyre compounds for this season after testing its 2020 compounds late last year.

 

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