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#F1 : Pirelli: Make F1 Love Not Tyre War

by on January 14, 2013

2013 will be Pirelli’s third season in Formula One.  This is the last year of their three-year deal with FOM.  Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s director of Motorsports, among others, have said that the Italian manufacturer is interested in a new deal to continue as Formula One’s sole tyre supplier.  They have also stated on more than one occasion that they would not be interested in continuing if a second tyre supplier were to enter the fray.

The first year of the contract, Pirelli had much to learn.  Teams and drivers were used to Bridgestone tyres and a certain level of performance.  Bridgestone had competed in F1 for several years and had gone to war against Michelin.  The infamous tyre war created some interesting results.  A regulation change in 2005 which seemed to favor Michelin, eventually led to their demise in the sport.

Many can remember the farce that was the US GP of 2005.  Due to safety concerns regarding the use of a single set of tyres on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway spawned a decision by all Michelin teams to not compete in the Grand Prix.

This was a huge black mark on Formula One in a market which the sport has struggled to crack.  The US is a huge market with much potential.  To avoid further similar situations, the one tyre set rule was subsequently scrapped.  Michelin eventually pulled out of the sport, leaving Bridgestone as the sole supplier.

The tyre war created a certain third-party excitement. An element that seemed to be missing with Bridgestone alone.  Once Pirelli entered the sport a sole supplier, the FIA had asked for tyres that could offer some of that missing excitement.

Pirelli delivered.  Unfortunately, they caught a little criticism.  The fans claimed that the sudden drop off in performance took away from the spectacle, drivers complained that they were forced to manage tyres and not able to push to the limit, etc…

Pirelli’s second year was a cracker!  The Formula One season started its first seven rounds with seven different winners.  2012 was one of the most exciting seasons in the sport in some time, arguably.

As Pirelli ponders its future involvement in the sport, one thing is certain.  They are happy to continue in Formula One as sole suppliers only.  They are interested in making F1 Love…not tyre war.

If interested, check ( for Paul Hembery’s quotes on this subject.
Author: Ernie Black
Twitter: @TheF1Poet


From → Formula One

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