Berger slams state of Formula 1 tyre stalemate

Gerhard Berger with Niki Lauda and Bernie Ecclestone

Gerhard Berger with Niki Lauda and Bernie Ecclestone

Former grand prix winner and F1 team owner Gerhard Berger has blasted the tyre situation that currently prevails at the pinnacle of the sport, just as Pirelli announced that its hands are tied as far as changes are concerned.

Following criticism of its heavily-degrading 2013 tyres, Formula 1’s Italian supplier announced on Thursday that, contrary to its intentions, the construction of the 2013 tyres will not be changing soon.

A statement said that one reason is that rain prevented sufficient testing of the tweaked design in Canada, but also that teams failed to agree to changes being made. According to the Pirelli statement in a press release: “The tyre construction will remain unchanged, contrary to Pirelli’s initial plans. This decision is due to the fact that the new tyres could not be tested sufficiently due to rain.”

“The teams failed to agree unanimously about introducing the changes. Instead a change in the tyre production process should now ensure that the delamination issue has been addressed,” added the Italian tyre manufacturer.

Former Grand Prix winner Berger, who sold his stake in Red Bull’s second team Toro Rosso some years ago, was asked if he thinks Formula 1’s tyre situation is acceptable.

“No,” he answered clearly to Osterreich newspaper. “I’ll say it again – it cannot be that teams invest millions in wind tunnel tests and engines and then ultimately what decides who is at the front is the tyre manufacturer.”

“This is wrong,” said Berger. “I’m for real racing and that the best people are at the front; that the sport, not the tyres, plays the main role.” (GMM)

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