Pirelli says it will bring an aggressive approach to its tire approach in Formula 1, explicitly as a way to “create the show” — something Bernie Ecclestone is “keen” to see.
Autosport has the details from an exclusive interview with Pirelli’s motorsports director, Paul Hembery:
“We are going to try and be aggressive – provide one ‘safe’ option and then an aggressive one to try and create the show. That is something that the promoter would definitely like to see, and Bernie [Ecclestone] is keen for that.
“The fans, I am sure, are keen for that, and I have to say that the comments from the teams after Canada were that they actually enjoyed it. The team principals I have spoken to said that that was good fun. It might not have produced the result they all wanted, but it added to the strategy of the event.”
“We want to participate with the sport and make the show, and Canada was a good example of what you can do if you provide an extreme solution,” he said. “From a tyre maker’s point of view, you wonder if the public perceive that as a bad tyre, but in the end that is about communication.
“There are other forms of motorsport, like motorcycle racing, where the tyre is always at the limit. And if you take someone like Valentino Rossi, his great success over the years was down to his maintenance of the tyre performance until the end of the race. Then he does his showboat lap at the end where he just destroys everyone.
“So, it is a skill that we used to talk about in motorsport all over the place, of drivers conserving their tyres, managing their tyres, and maybe over the years we have all developed technologies that means they can go flat out for much longer – and that skill has maybe been lost along the way.
“As long as we communicate it well, the drivers understand it and don’t start talking about bad tyres â€“ and understand that it is part of the show â€“ then it will be fine. I think all of them after Canada will probably agree they had more fun in that scenario than they probably would have done in a processional race. Certainly from a fans’ point of view it was fantastic.”
Is it possible that the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix one day will be seen as a turning points in F1? There seems to be an awful lot of focus on the spectacle from that race, with good reason, but it still is, to a degree, false spectacle. Perhaps “manufactured” spectacle is more precise.
And, in that sense, what in F1 isn’t manufactured? The aero regulations create a certain envelope in which the cars can race. The engine specs do the same. Rules about refueling or tire use do the same.
In the end, is it enough to see which team and which driver best handles or takes advantage of the rules and regulations? Or is what Pirelli is saying it plans to do another example of the over-regulation of the sport away from a version of F1 that would create broad parameters and then let the best and fastest go for it?
Does Pirelli’s statement give you hope for next year’s racing?