Pirelli's Paul Hembery on the Formula One tire program
MTD: 1. Will the practice of running two compounds on each car during dry F1 races continue? What is the purpose of this practice?
Hembery: Yes, the current 2010 regulations will continue to be used. The purpose of two compounds is to provide a tactical element to the racing. One choice being more aggressive, enabling a reduction in lap time at the expense of race distance. So teams choose between qualyfying position and timing of tyre replacement in the race.
2. Will Pirelli track test independently (not using F1 Teams) during this initial start-up phase of developing F1 tires?
Hembery: Yes, we will have initial shakedown tests with a GP2 car before using a recent F1 car. We are in negotiations about what car to use as we want to remain impartial and not provide any current team with an advantage through having extra test data.
3. Pirelli has stated that the adoption of 18-inch wheels would be a practical and economical solution for the fast development of F1 race tires and to profit commercial technologies based on F1 engineering experience. Will Pirelli have any control over the introduction of new tire sizes in F1 and when will this happen?
Hembery: We work in partnership with the FIA and the teams and will discuss any evolutions of this nature with them. With significant vehicle changes arriving in 2013, it is also opportune to discuss tyre sizes and rim diameters. 18 inch rims maybe a step too far initially, but a transition from the current 13 " tyres can be expected.
4. Pirelli has spoken about the distribution of costs in developing and producing tires for F1. Will the teams be buying/leasing tires from Pirelli? If not, what impact will this have on the Pirelli company's financial health?
Hembery: Teams will be leasing a service package. The F1 programme has no overall net impact on the company finances as we have reallocated exisiting budgets for motorsport and advertising together with the recognition of technical costs from the teams to arrive at this position.