Pirelli relationship with F1 became even more strained in India

Pirelli tyres in the Buddh paddock

Pirelli tyres in the Buddh paddock

Formula 1’s uneasy relationship with its tyre supplier Pirelli became even more strained during the course of the Indian Grand Prix weekend.

At the tail end of the Italian marque’s highly controversial 2013 campaign, the tyre situation was stark in India as the Soft or ‘Option’ tyre failed to last more than a few laps.

“Teams say the blistering here is worse than it has ever been in the Pirelli era,” the BBC’s Andrew Benson said on Sunday.

The situation was so alarming that Pirelli, having only a tentative green-light by the FIA to stay in the sport beyond 2013, issued a recommendation to the teams that the Soft tyre not be used for more than 15 laps on Sunday.

The FIA refused to enforce it, on the grounds that some teams have the advantage of being better able to manage Pirelli’s heavily-degrading tyres.

Auto Motor und Sport pointed out that Force India driver Adrian Sutil, for example, made the Soft tyre work for almost 20 laps on Sunday for his one-stop strategy.

The report said sporting director Otmar Szafnauer, who admitted that stretching the tyre’s life to 19 laps was “remarkable”, also ‘shook his head’ at Pirelli’s recommendation.

Pirelli boss Paul Hembery said afterwards in an official statement: “We are disappointed to see that some teams went against our recommendations and used the compounds for longer than we advised them to do.”

In India, Pirelli renewed its threat to quit Formula 1 if teams do not agree to more pre-season running prior to 2014, but the BBC reports that the tyre supplier is refusing to pay for that testing.

“It’s fair to say that Pirelli is not exactly winning many friends in Formula 1 at the moment,” Benson added. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Boycottthebull

    Pirelli keep complaining of the lack of testing, well Kimi, Grosjean ad Sutill did some long distance testing for them in 2013 cars! When Webber came out on the option mid race I expected at least 6 exciting laps to real in Vettel. 2 laps later and they were gone and he pitted again. It was fascicle. Pirelli Ive been one of your longest supporters though this season than most of the comments in the F1 pages but your on your own now.

  • Himanshu Kansal

    Force India gets its revenge by proving the Pirelli Wrong…

  • Steve W

    Pirelli, if I were you, I’d wait until the very last possible moment and say “Goodbye, F1 and good luck”…

  • captain tortuga

    @ steve W : yeah that would also be my advise, keep it wet and warm until February, and then pull the plug.

    Or just produce the most durable tires ever, so that teams can easily finish a race on them.

  • Richard Piers

    As I’ve often said, how can you compare the technology of tyres, of which Pirelli are the sole supplier, to that of the cars that change every race and for which no testing is permitted ? All tyre manufacturers have been able to make suitable tyres for many years with very few problems. Pirelli have become a joke and should stop dancing to the little maestro’s tune.

  • pengmalups

    what pirelli is doing is totally foolish. i know fia is the one asking them to create chaos with tire strategy. but this is business and they need good advertisements. what they are doing is to look dumb in front of consumers especially formula1 fans. i guess 80 to 90% of f1 fans doesn’t like the way it’s going now. people would like to see racing, i mean real racing. not tire management competition.

  • SteveO

    Boycott Pirelli

    They don’t deserve to be in F1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!