F1 Management defends “first class partner” Pirelli

2015 Italian Grand Prix

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Formula One Management has taken the unusual step of putting out a statement of support for official tyre supplier Pirelli.

FOM says it has “full confidence” in Pirelli’s ability to fulfil its brief to provide tyres which are safe but which also degrades in performance to promote strategic variation during races.

According to FOM, Pirelli has told them they could provide tyres durable enough to last a grand prix distance. “While we know that they would be very capable of it, a race with no pit stops would be less exciting,” said the FOM statement.

Earlier today the FIA announced it had accepted Pirelli’s explanation for the tyre blow-outs seen during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

FOM statement on Pirelli in full

Pirelli has been a first class partner of Formula One during the five seasons in which it has been the official supplier of tyres to the FIA Formula One World Championship and we continue to have full confidence in the safety, quality and suitability of its tyres.

Within the constraints of safety considerations, which are always paramount, Formula One encourages Pirelli to provide tyre compounds with performance limitations because tyre degradation contributes to the challenge and entertainment of a Formula One race. When doing so, Pirelli provides strong guidance to competitors about any performance limitations of the tyres supplied. Competitors should heed Pirelli’s expert advice when setting their race strategy and tactics, and if they do not, it is at their own risk.

We are entirely satisfied that Pirelli was not at fault for any tyre-related incidents during the 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix.

Pirelli has offered to provide to each car a single set of tyres to last for an entire event. While we know that they would be very capable of it, a race with no pit stops would be less exciting.

Thank you, Pirelli, for helping us to deliver excitement to Formula One fans!

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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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    60 comments on “F1 Management defends “first class partner” Pirelli”

    1. So much BS I don’t know where to start.

      Thank you, Pirelli, for helping us to deliver excitement to Formula One fans!


      1. Prepare to see that statement as a CGI message during the race …

        1. “Bernie says…” haha

          1. Not again, please!

      2. Embarassing

      3. A childish statement…

        1. @jeff1s Mine…? Hardly… FOM’s…? Agreed…

      4. Well said.

        They’ve lost all credibility and I really can’t see myself believing anything they claim anymore.

      5. Thank you, Pirelli, for helping us to deliver excitement to Formula One fans!

        and thank you for delivering excitement to Sebastian Vettel! Nothing like a blow out right out of Eau Rouge to make a driver feel alive, and need a change of kit, too.

    2. “Thank you, Pirelli, for helping us to deliver excitement to Formula One fans!”

      Ugh. My money is on this drivel appearing in a CGI ad this weekend…

      1. Lol, before I saw your comment, I wrote almost exactly the same @synapseza. Guess there is not much doubt who Bernie favours to get the new tyre contract.

        1. @bascb Why do you do this to me

        2. (it was a reply to your comment above @bascb)

    3. As much as people complain about the tires, Pirelli is providing exactly what FOM asked of them. The drivers (and even viewers) may not like it but that’s not Pirelli’s fault. I don’t much like the current tire formula but the complaint really should be aimed at FOM.

    4. It angers me so many Fans get angry at Pirelli. They are doing exactly what F1 asked them to do. And they have caused exciting races and you should not argue that, and without the drama of the tyres there would have been far fewer exciting moments in F1.

      1. Pirelli were asked to make tyres that degrade to the degree that races would be 2/3 stops, not tyres that rip/cut and explode at a moment’s notice.

        1. I’m not sure how many times you’ll have to repeat this before people like Jack King (and many others) get it.

      2. I don’t understand some of you. Nothing is 100% Safe and correct. There are always faulty products every so often whether thats a sport that can be deadly or just a humble supermarket sandwich some things always fall through the net. Sadly some of the tyres last race got through the net. We should not stand up and scream at Pirelli. Please lets remember that Pirelli had to go against their theory and develop degrading tyres as opposed to long lasting…that never happens overnight and things can still go wrong. I wish some of you F1 Fans would stop moaning about the sport, I enjoy it, its still thrilling to watch, and to be honest something like Pirelli Controversy just makes it more exciting. I could not think of a more dull season than a season where everything is perfect, everyone races and not a single crash, not a single tyre issue, not a car telemetry issue…it would just be dull. Let Pirelli carry on with their work, they are not an incompetent company there are just viewers that assume that because Pirelli have done something F1 wanted that this is the quality of their company.
        Safety is of course an issue…But everyone looks at the should have dones…whilst we are at it lets get rid of Air Filled Tyres lets just have pure rubber that way we have no cuts or explosions…no I thought not.
        We do not want to see Tyres that last an entire race back yet…People think this is a solution…it will be…when we have cars that allow overtaking, in the mean time Pit Stops are some of the greatest attractions.
        The Main problem I see is F1 fans have no clue what they actually want…all they know is they don’t want this…which is not a lot of help.
        Maybe we should be screaming at Reneault for their engines, after all they stop working half way round a lap and stop near a high speed corner causing as much danger as an exploded tyre…but I already head the F1 fans screaming ‘its not the same’…but it is…Everyone moaning about the sport are just playing with a double edged sword, and when it suits fans to moan they will but moan at others when it doesnt suit their own interest.

        1. Exactly.

          Pirelli have been asked to make tyres that degrade quickly, and have not been given the time to test them properly. Couple that with the fact that no manufacturing process is 100% correct and consistent, and the conclusion is obvious.

          Sometimes, tyres just fail.

          What I find interesting, and rather disappointing, is when Michelins, Goodyears, and Bridgestones failed, no-one called for them to lose their F1 tender. But a single Pirelli failure? Light the torches and sharpen the pitchforks.

          Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy here? I hope not.

    5. Pirelli has offered to provide to each car a single set of tyres to last for an entire event. While we know that they would be very capable of it, a race with no pit stops would be less exciting.

      I have noticed that whenever Pirelli bring tyres that are hard enough to do a race distance, drivers struggle severely to heat them up to temperature (see Russia 2014).

      I’d like to see Pirelli make Michelin-2005 esque tyres. Ones that got up to temperature easily, and still lasted an entire race distance while drivers could push the whole way through.

      1. It really surprises me how people have such bad memory. In this times when everyone is crying for Michelin’s return it will be good if Keith did an article regarding the 2005 United States Grand Prix

        1. He did one at the time:

          Michelin were entirely responsible for the tyre failures: there can be no dispute about that. Even though the problem was a simple manufacturing fault rather than a consequence of too radical a tyre, a mistake was made, and it was theirs.

          But for there being no race, the blame rests entirely with the FIA. This demands at the very least an apology from those in charge of the sport.

        2. @mijai
          The 2005 United States GP was a mistake made by Michelin, and no one is denying that. Unlike Pirelli, Michelin didn’t blame it on the kerbs, the debris, the teams’ strategy, or anything else but themselves.

          However, when you look at the actual performance of the 2005 Michelin tyres, it’s almost mind-blowing just how good those tyres were. Easy to heat up, and lasted the race distance around any circuit. Pirelli would get whipped in a tyre war.

      2. Me too, but that was when we had refuelling of course. With tyres that last a race, we’re talking either none or mandatory pit stops which is just as silly.

        Tyres that wear is fine, so long as they don’t explode and lose their performance gradually (not fall off the cliff), so there is an advantage/incentive to go on fresh rubber but mixed strategies are still possible.

    6. Shudder … I am sick of the word “partner” being over-used in every aspect of life. It is so politically-correct and dull ….

      1. @downwithdrs

        It is so politically-correct and dull ….

        I don’t think you fully understand what “politically-correct” means. Partner is neither politically correct nor incorrect. It’s as neutral as it gets, and it’s pretty much the (theoretical, at least) definition of the role of a tyre supplier.

      2. It’s a business-like word now.

      3. Come on now, let’s all be good stakeholders.

        1. @john-h You’ve got my buy-in.

      4. You are aware that ‘partner’ simply means ‘someone who works with another for mutual benefit’, right?

    7. I guess they pay a lot of money for on track ads and there are many years left of that contract hence the mere mortals were blessed with a message from the overlords.

      1. I wish to see some proposals from commoners to commoners soon. Marriage proposals.

    8. I guess we can already know who gets the tender for the next contract then…

    9. At least they’re transparent, I guess…

    10. Bold statement. I think this means F1 is confident that there will be no failures for Monza. I’m pretty sure that Pirelli has convinced the FIA to enforce conservative camber and pressure limits amidst an extremely conservative maximum number of laps per set of tyres. If this is the case it’s a shame, Monza tends to see teams takeing chances on tyre strategy, generally it’s exclusively a one stop race, it was before Pirelli went hard last year and it would have been too this year.

    11. ….and Pirelli bring more excitement to Formula One fans by demanding the teams to run tyres with extra psi and less chamber. Lewis seem to hate that.

      1. He hates competition, so when his winning-ride has any slight changes to the formula – it makes him nervous that his lead will drop down to .5 sec / lap. The horror.

    12. Russia 2014 is a perfect example of what happens when tyres last a whole race. It’s a lot less fun. The best races are when beforehand everyone is wittering about how the Options are only gonna last 7 laps and everyone is on tenterhooks.

      1. @lockup russia last year was bad because its an awful track, would have been just as bad if we had 2-3-4 stops.

        these designed to wear tyres are crap, tyres that last less than 10 laps by design are rubbish & its time f1 went back to proper tyres that drivers can actually push & race on.

        the drivers want proper tyres & clearly the fans want proper tyres as recent gpda survey & poll’s on this site show most fans want durable tyres & do not like these designed to wear bubblegum tyres.

        all we see since pirelli came in crap tyre dominated non-racing with drivers unable to push above 70% and it has been rubbish. i want proper racing to return with drivers pushing flat out on tyres they can actually race on and its clear from these fan polling that majority of fans also share my view.

        who cares about pit stops, who cares about strategy dominated racing? the racing should be done on the track by the drivers and not in the pits by mechanics & engineer’s. the pits should only be used if a car has a problem as was the case when the racing on the track in f1 was the best.

        1. who cares about pit stops, who cares about strategy dominated racing? the racing should be done on the track by the drivers and not in the pits by mechanics & engineer’s.

          What … ? You realize this is “Forumla” racing … not any one of the other plethora of race series that just race all out, right? And that’s the point … “forumla” racing is racing within the specifications of the “formula” which includes all aspects of the race, from minute car details and specification, track, testing time, personnel, and yes, even TYRES.

          I happen to like the strategy aspect of the race. And my wife watches too, because there’s more to the racing than just who goes fastest.

          You want to see a return to flat out racing, where the pecking order of domination led to a constant train of cars circling the track? Not me, man. Those days were classified as “boring” for a reason.

        2. Let us see what Sochi is like this year.

    13. An appropriate statement. It’s probably going to be ridiculed, but I think that most of what is being said in this statement actually comes a lot closer to reality than the average incomprehension-driven fan rant.
      The only mistake Pirelli can rightfully be accused of is blaming Ferrari precipitatedly for their tyre failure. That turned out to be counterproductive, but I partly understand them, because they’re sick and tired of being everyone’s scapegoat when they’re really just doing what they were told.

      1. Yeah +1 @nase

    14. Pirelli pay a fortune for trackside adverts and are willing to risk their reputation being trashed because they’re told to make… er, highly unusual tyres.

      I don’t think ‘first class’ goes far enough.

      1. They could say no to making those tyres, like Bridgestone did and Michelin is implying.

        1. But they don’t, which is what makes them so valuable to FOM.

        2. @npf1 Bridgestone had already planned to leave F1 before FOM and the FIA devised the ‘degrading performance’ spec following the unusual situation in Canada.

          I believe Pirelli were up against Hankook, Kumho and Avon, but none of the rivals had the expertise or ability to produce a competitive bid at the time.

      2. Pirelli pay a fortune for trackside adverts

        Exactly. They even sponsor two races. It’s imperative for FOM to keep them on side. Not a hope of Michelin coming in if they can’t cough up that kind of money.

    15. bring back bridgestone and there proper racing tyres!

    16. Reading all sensible statements lately on Pirelli tyres I have to add something.
      Firstly, you got it all wrong. Secondly, the most logical explanation is very simple: JACK THE RIPPER DID IT! I know, I know…, you are kicking yourselves now ’cause it was sooooo obvious.

    17. First class = first to pay for the their trackside billboards.

    18. Gracias Pirelli !!!! Gracias ……..

      Clean Tracks Please….. Clean Tracks !!!!!

    19. Bernie bernie bernie ……The blatter of F1

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