Despite outspoken requests by Red Bull to change tyre compounds, Pirelli has told Formula One teams that no major shake-ups will occur for the remainder of the season.
A majority of teams have in fact urged the Italian tyre maker not to give into Red Bull’s proposed changes, therefore putting Pirelli in a delicate position. The company’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery, has said they feel like ‘piggy in the middle.’
Red Bull are claiming that Pirelli tyres make races confusing for fans by requiring more frequent pit stops, and that changes should be implemented to make the tyres longer-lasting, as well as more durable. This simply does not mesh with what other drivers are saying.
Mr Hembery said: “We’ve had the vast majority of teams come to us and say: ‘Whatever you do don’t change anything’." Pirelli feels the situation is all a ‘bit weird really’, suggesting that Red Bull may have ulterior motives to request tyre overhaul.
That being said, the tyre maker is committed to providing the best product for all Formula One teams. Mr Hembery said: “We try and do the right thing for everybody, for the sport and the vast majority. We don’t want to favour anybody."
Although they remain open to suggestions and driver feedback, they altogether do not feel that Red Bull’s requests would benefit the motorsport as a whole. Drivers seem to agree. “If they see one team pushing that way will push against that because they feel there’s a good reason why they (Red Bull) want to go in that direction," said Mr Hembery.
Formula One supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has spoken in defence of Pirelli. Ultimately, Pirelli has the final word, and they are standing by their product for the rest of the Formula One series. Not a bad decision, as most drivers are supporting the tyre-maker as well.
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Posted by Danielle Barge