Dr Helmut Marko is not ruling out Pirelli’s tyre tweak being introduced for racing at the British grand prix late this month.
The tyre, featuring modifications to the construction to prevent the sort of rear delamination problems seen in 2013, was tested by teams in Friday practice in Canada. Pirelli wants the tyre to be debuted properly at Silverstone, but that would require the unanimous consent of all the teams — and given the divisions up and down pitlane, Paul Hembery acknowledges that scenario is “very unlikely”.
But Dr Helmut Marko, whose Red Bull team has been pushing hard for tyre changes, is not ruling it out. “I think everyone knows about the problems with the current tyre,” he told German broadcaster Sky. “I think if at Silverstone it doesn’t rain on Friday for the testing (of the tyre in practice), I believe there can be the consent of all the teams.”
Indeed, while Force India was previously refusing to budge on the tyre change issue, sporting director Otmar Szafnauer now says he would withdraw the team’s opposition so long as the tyre does not change the behaviour of the car. Lotus, however, is the newest team refusing to budge.
World champion Sebastian Vettel has likened the toing and froing to a Punch and Judy show. “We heard that the tyres will be changed for this weekend, but then three days later we hear that this will not be the case and they will arrive in Silverstone,” he told F1’s official website. “It all sounds a bit half-baked and I wonder why there is not clarity about the state of the situation.”
Pirelli’s Hembery said the Italian marque will make its decision about how to proceed on Monday. Meanwhile Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team boss, warned Vettel to ease his rhetoric about the questionable safety of the existing Pirelli tyres. “That’s not true, I don’t share his opinion,” the Italian told Bild newspaper. “We must be careful. Everyone in formula one, all the teams, wanted Pirelli to make softer tyres to create more pitstops. They did that. “I don’t see very many tyre manufacturers wanting to come into F1,” he warned.
Info: GMM, Image: Red Bull Content Pool