Outdated test vehicle hindering Pirelli’s F1 tyre development
During an interview with a Brazilian publication, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery expressed his frustration at the lack of cooperation Formula One teams have provided the tyre maker. Hembery told TotalRace that the small operating window of this season’s tyres could have been avoided had the teams agreed to give Pirelli use of a current race vehicle for testing.
When asked about this small operating window, Hembery replied that “the same tyres used on a 2010 car do not have the same level of challenge as there are several differences.” He explained that the aerodynamic balance inherent in the current crop of F1 cars is not the same as that on the 2010 Renault Pirelli uses for testing, and this “changes the energy going into the tyre and the relative temperature front to rear.” The temperature problems are manifested most markedly in the front tyres, Hembery added, and the problem was not something Pirelli was able to pick up using its 2010 test car.
So Paul, just get your hands on a 2012 car – that’d be dead easy, right? Wrong. When TotalRace asked if Pirelli would continue testing using the “outdated” 2010 car, the motorsport director’s reply was frank: “It’s the only one we have. Of course we don’t like to test with a two year old car, but it was a great battle even to get that.” He said that before Pirelli could get a 2012 car it would need the race teams’ agreement, “and they will not…It took 18 months for them to reach a consensus last time and we had to make do with a car from 2010. I cannot even have a car from last year, unfortunately.”
The full, Portuguese language interview with Paul Hembery can be found here.