Pirelli no decision on F1 future beyond 2016

Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Austin, Texas, USA, Thursday 14 November 2013

Pirelli has answered “we’ll see” to the question of staying in Formula 1 beyond its current contract, which runs until the end of 2016.

After an often tumultuous and controversial opening three-year stay as Formula 1’s official supplier, the Italian marque signed on for another stint starting in 2014.

“Formula 1 is part of our lives,” president Marco Tronchetti Provera is quoted by Tuttosport, “to highlight our people and our technologies. It’s a continuous, travelling laboratory.”

But what about the future? Is Pirelli looking for a long-term stay on the grid?

“We have a contract until 2016,” Provera answered. “Then we’ll see.”

After the tyre-exploding controversies of 2013, Pirelli took a step backwards for the new turbo V6 era. Now, the tyres are being called too hard and slow by the likes of Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez.

“We have heard the criticisms,” Pirelli’s Formula 1 chief Paul Hembery told L’Equipe, “Too aggressive last year, too conservative this year.”

But Hembery said Pirelli are constantly thinking about how to improve. One proposal to ease the conservativeness of 2014 might be to combine compounds, he suggested.

“We plan to test different compounds on the back and on the front (of cars),” said the Briton. “This will increase the performance without compromising the stability.”

Hembery said a hard compound at the rear would “reduce the sliding caused by the high torque” of the new engines, while a softer front increases the “possibility of returning to two or three stops” to spice up the show. (GMM)