Hankook rules out replacing Pirelli as F1 tyre supplier in 2014

Hankook has ruled out becoming Formula 1 tyre supplier in 2014 if Pirelli does not agree a new contract

Hankook rules out replacing Pirelli as F1 tyre supplier in 2014

The South Korean company, which currently supplies tyres in a number of categories including the DTM and the Formula 3 European Championship, is open to a move to grand prix racing in the future.

But the company's DTM competition engineer Michael Eckert has confirmed it is too late to consider such a move next year.

He added that the lack of testing opportunities could also stymie such a move in the long term.

"For 2014, it's completely impossible not only because of the lack of tyre development time," he told AUTOSPORT when asked about the viability of a move into F1 next season.

"Even if Hankook wants to take three, four, five years to jump into Formula 1 as a supplier, the lack of testing opportunities would make it impossible.

"With the current cars and drivers, it's impossible [to test] so you need to find a suitable number of vehicles and drivers that would allow you to get some reliable feedback."

RULES UNCERTAINTY DISSUADES HANKOOK

Eckert added that question marks over the long-term tyre regulations would also make it difficult to commit to developing F1 rubber given the lead time required.

"Even if we started this year with the first tyre test, it would take easily three years until you can finish a safe and performing F1 tyre," he said.

"Now the regulations are changing; engine formula, chassis, and aerodynamics... nobody even knows about the dimensions of the tyres for 2014 - they are still not fixed.

"It's not 100 per cent certain they'll continue with 13-inch tyres. It might be 15 or even 17.

"It could happen in the next five years that F1 cars are on 18-inch tyres."

Eckert confirmed that Hankook is keen to continue the expansion of its motorsport portfolio.

In recent years the DTM and European F3 have been added, as have Superstars, Auto GP and other high-profile series.

F1 NOT ESSENTIAL IN EXPANSION PLANS

F1 will remain an option, although he stressed that no decision has been taken that it must end up there.

"It's not obligatory that F1 has to be the final destination series," he said.

"From an engineering point of view, F1 is the greatest challenge, but from a financial point of view it is a huge investment.

"You have to be ready with all aspects of your company, not only with the tyre itself but the infrastructure regarding the logistics.

"Currently, all the Hankook tyre production is in Korea and it would be a big help to have a European base like Pirelli does with Turkey.

"We are not ready to jump into Formula 1 for 2014, it's not our goal short-term.

"Certainly we will follow up on it and we are interested in new opportunities from a business point of view and also, from a branding point of view, to go into new markets."

shares
comments
Hamilton and Rosberg: F1's best pairing?
Previous article

Hamilton and Rosberg: F1's best pairing?

Next article

Ferrari: Mercedes 2013 car use all that matters in F1 tyre test row

Ferrari: Mercedes 2013 car use all that matters in F1 tyre test row
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023