Hembery: The highest level of quality in F1 ever

Paul Hembery with Pirelli big boss Marco Tronchetti Provera (middle) and Pirelli senior vice president Maurizio Boyocchi (left)

Paul Hembery with Pirelli big boss Marco Tronchetti Provera (middle) and Pirelli senior vice president Maurizio Boyocchi (left)

Jan.26 (GMM) With six world champions set to line-up on the grid in 2012, the scene is set for what could be the most competitive season in Formula 1 history, according to Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery.

Paul Hembery (GBR), Director of Pirelli Motorsport.  Pirelli 2012 Pre-Season Launch, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Wednesday 25 January 2012.

Paul Hembery at the Pirelli 2012 pre-season launch in Abu Dhabi

He is referring to the fact that six world champions – Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher – will be on the Melbourne grid in March.

That is a quarter of the entire 24-car field.

“That is probably the highest level (of quality in F1) ever,” Hembery is quoted as saying by Turun Sanomat, “particularly when you take into account that there are a lot of other very talented drivers who haven’t won a title.

“If the level of the cars and the performance levels (of the drivers) are just as high, there will be some astonishingly good races,” added the F1 tyre supplier’s motor sport director.

Hembery was coy, however, when asked specifically about Raikkonen, the returning 2007 champion.

“I have met him twice,” he said. “He is a quiet guy and, anyway, we strive to keep our distance. The drivers turn to us when they need something.”

He did not give anything away about Raikkonen’s first taste of life on Pirelli rubber, after the Finn’s Valencia test this week on demonstration tyres.

“We didn’t monitor it at all, it was Lotus’ thing alone,” he insisted.

“Of course I saw his comments and it will be a big difference for him now compared to what he has known before.

“But Kimi is one of the most extraordinary drivers the sport has seen so I think he will learn quickly.”

  • Psych4191

    The days of Prost, Senna, Mansell, Keke Rosberg, and Piquet were far better.

  • Sennauno

    @psch4191

    amen…and dont forget Lauda who made his Schumacheresque comeback! (and won a title…take note Schumi :)

    ahhh they were the days…when Formula 1 drivers were men, changing gear meant you had to take a hand off the steering wheel, when 1500 bhp meant they had to feather the throttle going in a straight line, when cars were made out of steel…ok now im sounding old