Pirelli urges support for aggressive tyres

Formula 1's new tyre supplier Pirelli is urging drivers and teams to buy into an aggressive choice of rubber for next year to improve the show by not hitting out at any troubles they will face as a result

Pirelli urges support for aggressive tyres

The Italian tyre manufacturer is keen to not be too conservative with its rubber to help spice up the racing in 2011, but it will need the co-operation of teams and drivers to not constantly criticise tyres that prove difficult to look after.

Pirelli's motorsport chief Paul Hembery, who is visiting this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, said his company and the teams would therefore need to work together for such a situation to work.

"We would like to take an aggressive approach," he told AUTOSPORT in an exclusive interview. "Certainly when we have been working with GP2 and F1, they have said they would like us to take an aggressive approach.

"It would be better from a tyre maker's point of view to take a conservative approach, so people then do not talk about the drop off of the tyres. But from a sporting perspective, and for the show, we probably want both these tyre choices to have decay because what happens at the moment is that you have one aggressive choice and one stable choice, which means everyone ends up with the same strategy.

"If you have two tyre choices and they are quite aggressive, then teams and drivers have to start thinking about when to use them and how to use them. That is obviously what happened in Canada.

"But the drivers and some of the team members would have to buy into that, because there is no point in doing it if the driver just comes out and says the tyres are rubbish - because then we will just go back and give them a tyre that is the same for 50 laps, which we can do."

When asked if Pirelli has already been pushing that message to the teams, Hembery said: "That will be during the February period. We will see where we are and see how much they want to go with that. We are in their hands. We want to assist the show because Formula 1 is entertainment and we realise that we can have a part to play with that."

Hembery is delighted with the way early testing of the new F1 rubber had gone, but said Pirelli is still expecting to keep developing its tyres throughout the 2011 campaign.

"I can imagine we would want to evolve the tyre during the season," he said. "We have mentioned this to the teams because it would be naive of us, with the testing we have done, to think we're not going to learn something during the season. So we have said to the teams that there might be an occasion where, mid-season, we might want to have an occasion, like a first practice, to try a new compound.

"I don't want us to be too conservative but there is a tendency when you are going a little bit into the unknown. We are not looking for outright performance, although ultimately we are doing that because we want to continue developing the product. We are not just going to put the tyres down, do the season and then forget it.

"We are actually going to be doing a parallel development programme [in 2011], probably with the Toyota, where we are looking at technology, performance and innovative materials. Some of that we might apply to the F1 events, some of which we might just do to keep knowledge and knowhow for the background."

The current F1 teams and drivers will get their first taste of Pirelli's rubber during a two-day test at Abu Dhabi later this month, while Pirelli's final exclusive test before pre-season running will take place in Bahrain in the middle of December.

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