F1 teams working on open arrangement for all with Pirelli

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Well, there goes Nick Heidfeld’s best argument for a seat in 2011.

Apparently, the Formula 1 teams have realized that if they don’t all collectively agree to have an open and “transparent” agreement in place regarding the development of the 2011 tires, someone might try to gain an advantage by working out a closer arrangement with incoming provider Pirelli.

You don’t say?

Autosport is reporting that the teams met during the Japanese Grand Prix to discuss the issue:

Although the details of the arrangement have not been finalised yet, the principle is for Pirelli to supply every team with information when there are any requests from individual outfits about tyre development or data.

Sauber managing director Monisha Kaltenborn told AUTOSPORT: “When we went into this whole deal with Pirelli we laid a lot of emphasis on the fact that there would be transparency.

“We ourselves are not entirely sure how it is going to work because we have not had that kind of situation before, but the route is generally where it comes to general information/questions we share them, like is done on electronic side.”

Virgin Racing CEO Graeme Lowdon added: “I think it is less a case of pooling information, more an agreement for people to be open.

“What no one wanted was to see a special relationship developing between the new supplier and a particular team, so everyone is of the opinion for there to be no special relationships

“There is no established system, but the idea if someone goes to the tyre supplier and asks for some information then everybody will get it, rather than something special or unique.

“You will still have your tyre man allocated to you, and still work on a one-to-one basis there, but the general picture is that everyone is afforded the same information.”

Hmm… when it is put that way, maybe Nick does still have some hope. A team just could come to him with its questions and never bother Pirelli. I can’t see how Nick won’t provide some advantage. I just don’t know where the open spot might be unless it is way to the back of the grid.

But back to the tires. While this deal sounds good in principle, even right off the top of my head — without my evil Ross Brawn thinking cap on — I can figure out ways to game the system.

The most obvious is to ask a question (Question A) that will give you a particular set of answers (or so you suspect, especially if Nick has been able to help you think the issue through) while really seeking the answer to Question B. That way you avoid tipping your hat (or evil thinking cap) to the other teams.

Or you ask Pirelli to do a quick test with a pile of bricks on the back of the car. Who would ever suspect it was really a cagey way to see how your secret uber diffuser will play out on the track? (OK, maybe everyone.)

Now, certainly, F1 will be better off with such an agreement in place. But do any of us really think the teams that are creative about their development won’t figure out ways to take advantage of the new tires and get around this?

What are we, new to F1?

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