Posted on March 7, 2014


Pirelli has released the schedule for the new 2014 in season testing plan, which will see each of the F1 teams given a day to test updates and new products to avoid a repeat of the problems, failures and disagreements of last season. Things reached a head last May when Mercedes and Pirelli conducted a test, which the other teams were not informed about, after the Spanish Grand Prix. This led to both parties appearing in front of the FIA’s International Tribunal. The panel of independent judges found blame to be equally shared between Pirelli, Mercedes and the FIA. Pirelli More…

Posted on December 17, 2013


Pirelli will begin a three-day tyre test on Tuesday at the Bahrain International Circuit as they look to develop their 2014-specification tyres. The F1 Commission granted the Italian manufacturer the session on safety grounds ahead of next season. All 11 teams were invited to take part but only four teams accepted the invitation – Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Toro Rosso. They will all run 2013-spec cars to a programme decided by Pirelli. World champions Red Bull have interestingly decided to run reserve driver Sebastien Buemi, rather than Daniel Ricciardo, who joins the team from Toro Rosso to partner Sebastian More…

Posted on October 5, 2013


Fernando Alonso has got involved in a spat with Pirelli over the tyres in use this weekend in Korea. They are the same supersoft and medium compound tyres used in Singapore, but Alonso criticised them after qualifying, saying that Ferrari seemed to have a particular problem with graining on the supersofts this weekend and if he pushed them too hard in the first sector he risked not being able to complete the lap. “The tyres cannot do five kilometres. If you push them, you finish the tyres. It’s something that is not normal,” he said in the paddock after qualifying. More…

Posted on August 24, 2013


The F1 drivers taking part in the Belgian Grand Prix have accepted the official explanation of the punctures of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel yesterday, when presented with a piece of metal off Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus, which was retrieved from Turn 13 after the end of yesterday’s running. Meanwhile there are strong indications from sources in the F1 paddock that Michelin is lining up a return to the sport, which would be supported by the FIA. Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who is also a leading light in the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, told BBC Sport Online that More…

Posted on July 6, 2013


Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has said today that the company is not seeking to shirk responsibility for the failures at Silverstone. Mid week the company issued a report on the events of the British Grand Prix and appeared to be loading the blame onto the teams for misusing the tyres, which didn’t go down too well among some of the teams. Hembery later issued a personal note saying that he did not seek to blame the teams for what happened at Silverstone and today he has spelled out where he sees Pirelli’s responsibilities lie. “We take responsibility for underestimating More…

Posted on July 2, 2013


[Updated] Pirelli has announced a package of measures ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the FIA Sporting Working Group in Germany, aimed at addressing the tyre failures witnessed at Silverstone at the weekend. The press release from the Italian company, issued this evening, is likely to cause waves among teams as it essentially accuses them of misusing the tyres, claiming that the tyres are safe if used correctly. However the change of specification has been unilaterally put through by the FIA on the grounds of safety. FIA president Jean Todt described it on Sunday night as “a safety problem”. Pirelli also More…

Posted on July 1, 2013


Red Bull boss Christian Horner say Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is lucky to alive after he narrowly missed being hit by debris from the rear tyre of McLaren’s Sergio Perez which exploded on Hangar Straight during Sunday’s British Grand Prix. Horner’s comments come as Formula 1 comes to terms with the shock of several tyre failures, many which happened at high speed, at Silverstone to raise questions about the drivers’ safety. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Perez all suffered left rear failures. Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez had a left front failure while Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, who won More…

Posted on June 30, 2013


FIA president Jean Todt has demanded that F1 tyre supplier Pirelli attend a meeting of the Sporting Working Group, which was already scheduled to take place on Wednesday and is now set to be dominated by the quest for a safe solution to the tyre failures suffered by Pirelli in Silverstone. THE SWG comprises FIA representatives as well as the Sporting Directors of each of the 11 Formula 1 teams. Todt wants the Italian company to offer a proposal at the meeting of how it plans to correct the situation after five drivers suffered blow outs during the British Grand More…

Posted on June 19, 2013


Tomorrow (Thursday June 20) at 9-30am local time Ross Brawn of Mercedes and Paul Hembery of Pirelli will appear before the first ever FIA International Tribunal in Paris. This is the conclusion of a process started by Red Bull and Ferrari when they protested Mercedes’ 1,000 km test at Barcelona in the week following the Spanish Grand Prix. The FIA Sporting Regulations explicitly prohibit the testing of current cars once the F1 season has started. The hearing is set to last into the early afternoon and the FIA has indicated that a judgement will be made public as soon as More…

Posted on June 13, 2013


A frustrated Pirelli has today issued a statement with the tyre specifications for the next three Grands Prix, noting that it has not be able to introduce its revised 2013 tyres, due to a lack of testing and a failure of the F1 teams to agree to the change. The revised tyres, aimed at solving the delamination issue, which some teams suffered in Bahrain and Spain, were brought to Canada last weekend, but only received scant testing due to adverse weather conditions. Pirelli was keen to substitute them for the old construction, claiming that the old ones were not unsafe, More…

Posted on June 6, 2013


[Updated] The FIA has decided that Mercedes and Pirelli have a case to answer over the test which took place last month in Barcelona with a 2013 car and the current race drivers and they will be required to appear before an International Tribunal to defend themselves against a charge of breaching the rules. Ferrari has been exonerated for the test it carried out using a 2011 car. The FIA statutes suggest that it can take up to 45 days to convene an International Tribunal, but the process can be fast tracked. Mercedes has acknowledged the summons and said that More…

Posted on June 1, 2013


A statement was issued by the FIA on Friday night which takes the story of the secret tyre tests conducted in May by Ferrari (with a two year old car) and Mercedes (with a current car) to the next level, in calling them to co-operate with a disciplinary inquiry. Ferrari being drawn in is an interesting development, given that they were one of two teams, along with Red Bull, to protest against Mercedes over its test. On the face of it Ferrari’s test with a two year old car was within the rules. At the same time Pirelli has issued More…

Posted on May 27, 2013


The F1 paddock in Monaco was in ferment on Sunday over the story of Mercedes’ secret Pirelli tyre test in Barcelona the week following the recent Grand Prix. Mercedes and Pirelli say that they got approval from the FIA for the test. The FIA disputes some aspects of this, while Ferrari and Red Bull launched a protest and on Sunday morning were seeking allies among other teams. But some bad blood over previous protests in which those teams did not support others meant that some other teams did not join them, despite wanting clarification too. So what is this all More…

Posted on May 23, 2013


This year’s tyres remained a big talking point in the Monaco paddock on Wednesday, with Fernando Alonso suggesting Red Bull’s criticism of Pirelli was a result of them not being able to handle defeat. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel defended his team, insisting that the reigning world champions were not the only ones to be unhappy about the aggressive tyres while his team-mate Mark Webber said Formula 1 needs to have a think about where it’s headed. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton said that it’s wrong for a driver to be able to start second but drop back and end up getting lapped More…

Posted on May 17, 2013


[Updated]In the aftermath of the decision by Pirelli to make some changes to the 2013 tyres from round 7 in Canada onwards, there has been a backlash from those teams whose cars were working well on the tyres. Lotus boss Eric Boullier and now Ferrari’s Horse Whisperer column have attacked the change and Red Bull in particular for lobbying behind the scenes and in the media for a change in tyres. Pirelli is caught in the middle and whatever changes it makes from here onwards it will be perceived by some fans as having affected the outcome of the championship. More…

Posted on May 14, 2013


[Updated] The chorus of disapproval from affected teams, as well as calls from media and fans to do something about the high degradation tyres has led Pirelli to announce today that it is to make construction changes to its tyres from the Canadian Grand Prix in June onwards. The Italian company blamed the lack of adequate winter testing in suitable climates for producing products this year that have fallen short of the standard required. They admitted in a statement this afternoon that they underestimated the demands of the current F1 cars on the tyres. Pirelli is conducting meetings at its More…

Posted on May 2, 2013


JA on F1 technical adviser and former Williams chief engineer Mark Gillan thinks that Mercedes will be hurt by Pirelli’s decision to make a small tweak to the hard tyre compound. Last week the Italian tyre manufacturer said it will change the hard tyre, rather than the soft as expected, to be closer in specification to the 2012 tyre, which would make it more durable. It will likely have a larger working range, so will be more versatile, and Gillan adds that the move will help every other team on the grid except for Mercedes. “Pirelli specified at beginning of season More…

Posted on April 15, 2013


Tyres were once again the talk of the Formula 1 paddock in China as teams chose to sit out much of qualifying to save rubber while in the race, those who started on the soft tyre were forced to pit as early as lap six because their rubber fell off the cliff. Jenson Button had to ask whether to fight another driver mid race as lap time consistency was more of a priority. The performance difference between the two compounds also prompted a mix of strategies, with the front seven cars starting the race on the soft tyres, while the More…

Posted on April 23, 2012


Pirelli have reacted to Michael Schumacher’s attack on their 2012 tyres, saying that other drivers “were getting on with the job and getting their tyres to work.” Schumacher suffered a frustrating weekend in Bahrain, with technical problems in qualifying relegating him to the back of the field. He took a tactical gearbox change, which moved him back to 22nd place and although he made a great start and had all new sets of tyres for the race, he only managed to finish 10th. “The main thing I feel unhappy about is everyone has to drive well below a driver’s, and More…

Posted on March 30, 2012


Toro Rosso refugee Jaime Alguersuari has been hired as test driver by Pirelli, giving him a platform from which to try to return to an F1 cockpit in 2013. The 22 year old was dropped by Toro Rosso in mid December 2011, giving him no time to find a seat for the 2012 season. He has been working this season for BBC Radio 5 Live as my co-commentator and driver/summariser. Pirelli has also retained the services of Lucas di Grassi to provide a reference point from the tests conducted so far. According to Pirelli, “Both drivers will drive Pirelli’s latest More…

Posted on September 23, 2010


Pirelli’s development programme on next years tyres has moved into another phase, with the testing role passing from Romain Grosjean to Pedro de la Rosa, recently ousted by the Sauber team in favour of Pirelli’s original tester Nick Heidfeld. The first three tests were carried out by Heidfeld, with Grosjean taking over for the recent fourth test. But current F1 drivers will be relieved that the role has now been given to De la Rosa, who has a wealth of experience as a development driver with McLaren, a role he relinquished only this year to take up the race opportunity More…



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