Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery has said that the Sporting Regulations will need to be changed next year to allow the F1 tyre supplier to make modifications to the tyre specifications as the season goes along.
Currently the only way a change of tyre specification can be made is if all the teams agree to it. To change the sporting regulations to allow fine tuning of specifications will require a vote of the World Motor Sport Council later this year. Hembery described this as “one of a number” of things that will need to change next year to allow the tyre supplier to maintain control over the tyres during a long F1 season.
Had the rules allowed it this year Pirelli would have brought revised tyres with a kevlar belt construction to the Canadian Grand Prix – reacting to the problems with delamination in April and May – and the Silverstone fiasco would never have happened.
It’s likely that this will not please some of the teams, but after the dramas of this year, Pirelli feel it is the only sensible solution for a tyre company trying to supply tyres to a constantly evolving series,
“The decision making process has to change, ” said Hembery, referring to the sporting regulations. “There are a whole lot of things that have to change, like the testing.
‘It sounds terrible, but the best tyre test we have had in three years is the Mercedes test in Barcelona. Because we had hard cars, hard drivers working professionally, giving us exactly what we want. That has to change.
“The paranoia levels (among teams) are high because the competition levels are high. At a certain point that has to be let go to let us do our job properly.
“One of the factors of this season is that you get caught out,” added Hembery.
“No-one rings us up and says, ‘We’ve found a second a lap,’ you find out when you get there and that’s not what you want to do.
“In most of the series we have been involved in you make changes like that in consultation with the technical partner, which here is the FIA. The FIA and Pirelli don’t care who wins. So we are the only independent people who can do that. A unanimous decision (of teams) is never going to happen.”
Hembery was pleased that, after the dramas of Silverstone with five tyre failures, the race in Germany passed off without incident,
“There was a lot of media interest this weekend and we’re glad we could deliver a faultless race and a very exciting and enjoyable one,” he said.
“It’s fascinating, it was a battle of wills and strategies. Mercedes had a problem again at the end. That’s got to be a concern for them; they have huge outright speed but can’t seem to make it work (in the race), especially in the heat. Lotus in the heat were very strong. Red Bull were just very quick.”
Hembery said that the Silverstone Young Driver test will be a tyre test, running the 2012 construction with the 2013 medium and hard compounds. It will hurt Mercedes that they are not there, but they will get the same feedback information from Pirelli afterwards as the teams that take part.
The hard tyre will be essentially the same hard as last year, the medium, soft and supersoft are softer compounds than in 2012. The teams don’t feel that much will change in terms of competitiveness as they all know the 2012 construction very well. It will warm up more quickly than the 2012 tyres, as they come in at around 5 degrees lower than the steel belt tyres.
It’s likely that the harder tyres from the range will form the default tyres in the final part of the season, as last year.