Adrian Sutil, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Hembery: 2014 tyre deal needs to happen soon

2013 F1 season

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Adrian Sutil, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says the tyre manufacturer needs to know “sooner rather than later” whether it will be supplying tyres next year.

The official tyre supplier’s three-year contract with Formula One expires at the end of this season.

Speaking to media in Barcelona last week Hembery said: “You can imagine we do employ quite a lot of people in our Formula One project and we do need to know as a compamny at some point what we are meant to be doing.

“Talks are ongoing, making some progress, don’t have any final solutions yet. But that has to happen sooner rather than later, for sure.”

Hembery indicated a deal needs to be reached before the halfway point of the year: “Any negotiation or anything to do with contracts takes time. That’s the phase we’re in.”

“Progress is being made and we hope to see some definitive answers in the near future. I can’t give you a date, these things take a long time. But I can’t see us being here in June or July talking about ‘are we staying in the sport?’, that really starts to become impossible.”

Asked whether Pirelli intends to continue with its policy of producing tyres designed to create close racing, Hembery said: “Well that’s down to the teams. We’re working on an input from them and also the promoter.”

“From that point of view we’ll do what they want. At the moment, as long as everybody has the same technical challenge, the same technical opportunity, they’ve been quite happy with what we’ve been doing in trying to give them that extra technical challenge. So that’s positive.

“If they change their mind, of course, we can do what they want. We can go to no degradation, no pit stop, that depends on what the sport really wants.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 39 comments on “Hembery: 2014 tyre deal needs to happen soon”

    1. I’d be very surprised if the next tyre deal goes to anyone but Pirelli.

    2. Can I just say the sport wants MASSIVE rear tyres and lots of sliding, not “technical opportunity”.
      Better leave the decision for a while because they’ll never get their contract renewed based on the feedback from the tests: “these new tyres are rubbish, they don’t even last a lap”…

      1. “Can I just say the sport wants MASSIVE rear tyres and lots of sliding, not “technical opportunity”.”

        YES YES YES

      2. Wider tyres, less aero. Wider tyres, less aero. I’m going to keep on saying it.

        1. +1 @john-h , and this would allow us to get rid of DRS

        2. I’ll say it with you John.

          Wider tyres, less aero. Wider tyres, less aero.

          1. I think, there would be downsides also, that you have to consider as a counter balance.

            1. True, but the upsides would be there are wider tyres and less aero.


    3. Another interesting aspect of the Pirelli era, at least in my opinion is much less driver mistakes. I know, different kind of skills required when you have to manage the tyre, but you don’t see anyone doing 20 Q laps in a race. They are rewarded for taking it easy! (in a way), even when they really had to push, it’s just for a few laps. In 2010, Alonso and Vettel made more mistakes in my opinion. Of course they matured since then, but look at Alonso’s last two years. It’s a rare sight if you see someone spins, or even lock up.
      Just a thought,but i’d like to get the community’s input on this aspect of the Pirelli era.

      1. While I agree that the drivers to not push as hard throughout the race, I don’t think its a bad thing. Rather than every driver pushing as hard and fast as physics will allow for 70 laps, they now have to strike a balance of speed and finesse.

        In a way it harks back to the pre-Mosely days when I driver would have to strike a balance between personal safety and speed.

        1. People always say, “drivers should be able to push hard like they used to”. But if that was the case, how did we get Prost being nicknamed “the professor”?.

      2. Good point.

        1. Actually meant good point lsl1337.

    4. Maybe I’m reading this too strongly, but he sounds a tiny bit upset and frustrated. The sentences “But I can’t see us being here in June or July talking about ‘are we staying in the sport?’, that really starts to become impossible.” seem to indicate that all may not be well.
      The tyres for next year will have to be quite different, won’t they? Different engines, weight, capacities etc. Would Pirelli need to modify an existing car to behave like a 2014 car in order to evaluate the performance of the new tyre? Or is that taking things a bit far?

      1. Nobody dealing with Bernie feels happy! I hate the tyres but Pirelli are doing a good job with the brief they have been given, I would love to see what they could do given a different brief.

    5. “.. we can do what they want. We can go to no degradation, no pit stop, that depends on what the sport really wants.”

      Yes, I think Pirelli are getting a bit of a bad rap from many F1 fans. I’m not too happy with some of the choices being made with the tyres, but I’m sure Pirelli are just giving Bernie and Co. what they ask for.

      1. Maybe a conversation with the FIA instead of being reactionary to their demands? I think most of us that disliked the random tyres in the early part of 2012 understood it was more down to the FIA than Pirelli, but perhaps I’m wrong on this.

        Hembery seems such a good bloke but you can’t always just say this is what he FIA wanted so this is what we provided? As I mention, shouldn’t the conversation be a little bit two-way?

        1. Remember, the FIA are “buying” a product, they can ask for the terms of how the product is delivered to them. Pirelli is a company looking to fulfill a contract, so they will listen to the demands rather than try to shape their own ideals.

          1. Of course, the FIA went out to tender and Pirelli ended up winning, but that doesn’t mean the client sometimes needs advice on which direction to take as things progress year on year.

    6. Pirelli are doing a great job and should be awarded a 7-year contract, with performance clauses linked to the F1Fanatic Rate the Race feature ;)

      1. Or a 50 year contract? :)

      2. Haha! Some of the ideas that come from here just beg the question “why haven’t they done that” at times ;)

      3. @olliej

        with performance clauses linked to the F1 Fanatic Rate the Race feature

        Haha, like it :-)

      4. Nice one, though I like the spectacle partially created by the tyres , I don’t like the way the overtaking takes place.

        I love overtakes, but I think they definitely have to be legit, and not if someone is on a different strategy he’s been past easily because he’s low on tyre life, and the other driver activate his drs(but that’s another discussion)

        I used to love the build ups to an overtake, when you really could sit behind your tv thrilled of what’s about to happen, and if he gets the job done without mistakes/ impatience.

        that’s where I think the real overtaking comes in, if there’s plenty of chances to overtake (like waiting for the drs zone to overtake) why take a risk or even try a risky manoeuvre.

        if drivers can’t get past, they got to make the most from every opportunity there is, even its a risky one, someone like Hamilton or webber wouldn’t hesitate to take it I guess.

        1. I think strategy is very important also though, and we would lose that element with super durable tyres. DRS absolutely should be banned, but a happy medium can be found with the tyres I think (like mid-2012).

    7. Is it really going to be anyone other than Pirelli? Unless Michelin or Bridgestone are planning a return, I can’t think of anyone else who could do the job. Dunlop, Yokohama, Khumo, etc are surely a bit too small to keep up with the R&D and supply demand, though stranger things have happened.

      I think it would be fun if Pirelli created tyres which would nearly do a race distance, but only if they were looked after. That could lead to some interesting strategy gambles.

      1. What they should do is make tyres that will go off a couple of laps before the end, get rid of the both compound rule and see who risks going a full distance and who plays it safe.

      2. Cooper Avon? They were in the running in 2011 (quite seriously I believe) and I also think they would have much to gain in terms of brand image (Pirelli were/are already well known around the world, so perhaps have less to gain).

      3. Hankook is the current sole supplier for DTM, and has been for a few years now. I think they’d be capable of taking over from Pirelli, if needed. But I think they’d just be a backup plan if both Pirelli and Michelin don’t get the nod.

    8. I think overall Pirelli tyres having been good for the sport. I like how the tyres have performed and races have developed. I don’t think there are big reasons not to extend the contract for them.
      Maybe this year they have overextended their “made to degrade” and need to fix that somehow, but I really think that next year they will finally hit the sweet spot, if they are to stay in F1, of course.

    9. I gather that Michelin (And at least 1 other supplier) have been inquiring about getting the supply contract & that ‘some’ within the FIA are open to Michelin coming back (Michelin was the FIA’s 1st choice back in 2010).

      I also understand that one of the things holding up a deal amongst the teams is that there is some discontent amongst the teams & drivers regarding the tyres which has (through a FOTA agreement) been kept private.

      Some of the discontent is commercial & the issue with drivers is that a lot of them are fed up of having to drive well within the limits.
      One quote I got which was tied to a top driver’s team radio conversation with his team last season as he was been asked to conserve tyes was ‘If I wanted to drive at 80% conserving tyres I’d be at Le Mans’.

      However an issue that Paul Hembrey nor anyone else talks about is that while the Pirelli tyre supply contract was only 3 years, There commercial deal with FOM was longer (I think it runs until 2018). This means that if another tyre supplier takes over, Pirelli would still have there branding on the trackside ad-boards & in the pitlane.

    10. It has just come to me why Pirelli were asked to produce tyres that could not be be used to a vehicle full velocity potential for more than 2kms. F1 has long been hailed for advances in vehicle technology,in this new green era what greater advance could there be than young men driving well within themselves and setting an example to all.I say bravo Pirelli and F1.

    11. I don’t think they have anything to worry about. I guess we would have heard if there was an alternative manufacturer on the way.

    12. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      6th March 2013, 9:07

      I admire Pirelli’s attitude towards producing tyres that are demanded by the FIA, in particular the chance they take the tyres could be seen as poor by a casual observer, not realising they perform the way they do by design. Pirelli have done a first class job and we shouldn’t forget it. They deserve a new contract right away.

      As for the spec of the tyres… oh dear … the FIA have it so wrong. In the current ‘green’ climate then the tyre should last much longer. My ideal tyre would be much bigger as they were in the 70’s or even bigger. They would also be much harder so they would give about the same level of grip as the current tyre (more grip less aero would be even better). To be consistent we should take a similar attitude as we do to engines and gearboxes. They should last the whole race or even two! The ridiculous number of people used during a pit stop should be limited to four. The benefits would be extra safety (less people to hit) and the penalty for changing tyres would be greater in-line with the ‘green’ policy. Hey wouldn’t it be good if the tyres were re-cycled? I wonder if that could be done?

      Just thinking out aloud…

    13. At first I liked Pirellis and disliked DRS but now it is other way around. I just can´t get exited about racing when I have this feeling/Knowledge that drivers are not really racing but just cruising around matching given delta time. Tyre management has always been one skillset but now it seems that main thing is to simply drive slower. It is not really hard to drive F1 cars 2 seconds off the pace. That is maybe why we do not see spins and stuff and teammates with bit cap in quali are equal in races.
      Abudhabi and Usa were excellent races and not tyre limited. It made me wonder if F1 really need Pirelli like tyres. I liked to see Michelin or whoever to produce as fast as possible tyres and to have pitstops maybe intorduction of DTM like mandatory pitstops.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        6th March 2013, 15:58

        It doesn’t matter if Michelin were the tyre suppliers or not. They would still have to supply the same fast degrading tyres stipulated by the FIA as Pirelli do.

        At the moment F1 is so close we could easily do without fast degrading tyres and DRS and the racing would still be good. Better still it would be less artificial.

    14. Whenever a salesman in a sharkskin suit declares in a loud, shrill voice that this is a limited time offer, the wise thing to do is close your chequebook walk away.

      Besides, we only have glimpsed how badly the disinte-Pirellis have ********** the 2013 season, and he’s already asking for a commitment for 2014????

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        7th March 2013, 8:01

        Read my comment above. Pirelli are a fantastic company who have been a honorable servant to F1 the last few years. The have consistently produced the tyres the rule makers have asked and in doing so risked the sort of ill-conceived comment you have made.

        If you don’t like the fast degrading tyres then fine. I’m with you on that but don’t blame Pirelli. Michelin, Bridgestone or any other company could hardly have done better given the requirements.

    15. Hembery is a good guy and Pirelli is doing a fine job supplying the sport with the tires that have been “ordered” by the teams + promoter & FIA. I disagree with those of you suggesting that Pirelli should be taking a more active part in shaping sporting “policy” and influencing the qualities of the tires they produce. Spec’ing the tires is the role of the participants (the teams), the sport’s promoter and the governing body, whereas Pirelli’s responsibility is to provide the rubber that will fulfill the demands set forth by these stakeholders.

    Comments are closed.