Tyre wars are pointless, say Pirelli
7 August 2012 – Pirelli would leave F1 if governing body the FIA brought another manufacturer into the championship. That is according to the company’s Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery, who last witnessed an F1 tyre war between Bridgestone and Michelin in 2006.
Michelin pulled out of the series when the FIA announced that it wanted a sole supplier, chiefly to lower overall running costs. This left Bridgestone as the only tyre company until it departed at the end of 2010. Pirelli is currently on a three-year contract as the sport’s sole provider and is now pushing for a decision on the future from the FIA.
“What does it really mean to have a tyre war? If it means spending 100 million euros to go half a second quicker - and you can't even prove that you have the better tyre, because the teams will dominate still – it’s pointless.
“Ultimately no-one could really make out what tyres were on what car when there was a tyre war. Nobody knew because all of the money was being spent on trying to find performance that the public couldn't see - and if the public can't see it, we don't understand it.”
Pirelli was asked by the FIA to create tyres that do not last for large amounts of time in order to encourage more pit-stops and generally spice up the racing. It also introduced a marking system for its tyres in order to easily distinguish the compounds.