Give us F1 vehicles to test the tyres, Pirelli urges teams

Italian firm says teams should stop griping and provide F1 cars to fix the rubber problem

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 October, 2013, 10:55pm

Pirelli have urged Formula One teams to give them the tools to do their job rather than complaining their tyres are not good enough.

The Italian company was again in the line of fire at the weekend's Korean Grand Prix, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Mark Webber complaining about how quickly the tyres wore out.

McLaren's Sergio Perez suffered an explosive delamination of his front right tyre during the race at Yeongam, which left debris strewn across the track and brought out the safety car.

The incident was reminiscent, in terms of drama, of the spate of blowouts earlier in the season that triggered safety fears and forced Pirelli to return to last year's structure with 2013 compounds.

Pirelli motorsport head Paul Hembery said there were no worries about the Perez incident, but there was real concern about how the tyres would behave next year when the rules change significantly and a new V6 turbocharged engine was introduced.

A planned tyre test with McLaren in Austin, Texas, before next month's US Grand Prix was cancelled after objections that it could favour the former champions, who are fighting Force India for fifth place overall.

Pirelli have done several tests, including a controversial "secret" one with Mercedes in May, with teams providing older cars, but have repeatedly complained that they need to use more representative machinery.

"We're running around in a 2010 car, developing tyres for the 2014 car, which nobody really knows what it's going to look like," said Hembery. "Yet every time we even ask to test with a 2011 car we come up against opposition.

"Going forward, to do what we need to do, we need to have the ability to test and help everybody - drivers and teams," added the Briton.

"While nobody wants to think they're going to get an advantage in testing, you can't carry on going round in circles and decide to do nothing. Something has to change."

Hembery said Pirelli wanted to reduce the amount of "marbles" - small chunks of tyre rubber - that litter the track, and increase the mechanical strength of the compound.

To do that, they need to test at certain tracks with suitable conditions and also need teams to help them.

Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit could offer one such opportunity after the season-ender in November. Another option would be for Pirelli to test in Bahrain in January before two more scheduled preseason tests in the emirate with all the teams in late February and early March.