Pirelli deny tyre test favoured any team

2013 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Cataunya, Barcelona, 2013Pirelli has insisted the tyre test it conducted with Mercedes was not to the better of any individual team.

The official Formula One tyre supplier issued a statement today saying “Pirelli, in development testing with teams carried out in 2013, has not favoured any teams and, as always, acted professionally, with transparency and in absolute good faith.”

“The tyres used were not from the current championship but belonged to a range of products still being developed in view of an eventual renewal of the supply contract. Further, none of the tests were carried for the purpose of enhancing specific cars, but only to test tyre solutions for future championships.”

Mercedes test

Pirelli insisted the three-day test conducted following the Spanish Grand Prix was approved by the sport’s governing body:

“The use of the car utilised by Mercedes, in particular, was the result of direct communication between FIA and the team itself. Pirelli did not ask in any way that a 2013 car be used: not of Mercedes nor FIA nor the teams which, during the year, were offered the opportunity of participating in tests for the development of tyres for 2014.”

“Mercedes have no idea what was being tested. The benefit was not for them, it was for F1 in general,” Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery added. He denied the test had been held in “secret”, pointing out that the circuit was booked in Pirelli’s name.

Pirelli denied Mercedes used the test to investigate the benefits of swapping tyres between the left and right-hand sides of the car. According to Pirelli the test was “carried out with a single compound never used in a championship, regarded structures not in use in the current season and not destined to be used later during the 2013 season”.

“The tyre tests were conducted ‘in the dark’, which means that the teams had no information on which specifications were being tested or about the goal of the testing; nor did they receive any type of information afterwards.

“Further, the tests did not regard delamination in any way, as that problem was dealt with and resolved by Pirelli?s technicians through laboratory tests, with the support of data gathered during the first races of the season.

“Pirelli always asked for representative cars, that is, with performances comparable to those of the cars being used in the championship underway, without ever referring to those effectively used in the 2013 races.”

However Pirelli said it did not specifically ask Mercedes to bring its 2013 car: “The type of car used during the tests was the subject of direct discussions between Mercedes and FIA, as shown in the exchange of emails between the team and Pirelli.”

“In particular, Mercedes informed Pirelli that its 2011 car could not be used and that it had already contacted FIA regarding the use of the 2013 car. There is no doubt that the questions relating to the vehicle were the exclusive domain of the team and that Pirelli was excluded from these questions (notwithstanding Pirelli?s need, from a technical point of view, to have a representative car in terms of impact on the performance of the tyres).”

Sporting integrity

Pirelli medium and hard tyresPirelli stated it has “always respected the contractual limits which bind it to the FIA, teams and championship?s organisers, and has always respected the principles of sporting loyalty”.

“Pirelli, however, feels the need to reaffirm the indisputable need to carry out tests for the development of tyres which are adequate and regulated by rules which are clear and shared by all the interested parties. The company confirms its availability, as communicated to the teams many times in the past, to organise tests for the development of tyres for 2014 with all the teams in the championship.”

It added all teams were invited to participate in testing the 2013 tyres: “In March 2012, Pirelli sent an email to all the teams, FIA and FOM, inviting the teams to indicate their availability for testing for the development of tyres for 2013. Further, the company explained that it was necessary to conduct the tests with the teams? cars because it did not have a suitable one of its own.”

However Pirelli point out that it was not useful to have them all involved in the same test: “Pirelli has since 2010 made it clear that it is neither possible nor useful to carry out this type of test with all the teams simultaneously.

“In fact, this type of testing aimed at technological development and researching new solutions, involves many tyres of different types which must be tested with a single car at a time.”

The FIA has requested information about the tests from Pirelli, which they say they have supplied.

Hembery believes the row has arisen because of the difficulty of conducting representative testing in-season, which they want to address if they are to continue as F1’s tyre supplier beyond 2013. He indicated that Pirelli would consider a more “conservative” approach to next year’s tyres because of the sweeping technical changes being made.

Canada tyres

Pirelli said the tyres which will be run during practice in Canada “have never been used by the teams before”. “With regard to the new tyres, the problem of delamination has been solved by Pirelli?s technicians exclusively through laboratory testing,” it added.

“Delamination, which only occurred on four occasions and always because of on-track detritus, has never put the drivers? safety at risk, but does risk harming Pirelli?s image. This is why the company decided to intervene.”

Hembery added Pirelli would like to introduce a harder tyre to ensure they reach their target of having fewer than four pit stops per race, as was seen in Spain, but the agreement of all 11 teams was required to achieve that.

Mercedes and Ferrari Pirelli tyre test row

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Images ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Pirelli/LAT

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67 comments on Pirelli deny tyre test favoured any team

  1. AmirAnuar (@amiranuar) said on 31st May 2013, 16:23

    someone explain to me about changing the tyre side aren’t they suppose to by the same and symetric?

  2. obviously said on 31st May 2013, 16:40

    The tyres with the new structures in kevlar which will be given to the teams during the free practice at the Montreal Grand Prix will for the first time be track tested, following laboratory development. The new tyres have overcome the problem of delamination. This phenomenon in no manner compromises the drivers’ safety but risks damaging the company’s image. At the Canada tests, the teams will have the opportunity to express their opinions and make observations.

    I think Ferrari, Lotus and Force India should veto the changes since it’s now as clear as a daylight that delaminations aren’t safety issue and that there is no safety angle to play.
    Pirelli should just find the solution to prevent “damaging their image” with delaminations without changing the structure of the tire.

  3. Anonymouse said on 31st May 2013, 17:02

    I was going to photoshop Paul Hembrey’s face over Giorgio A. Tsoukalos with the caption DEBRIS. Now they have changed DEBRIS to DETRITUS :(

  4. RogerA said on 31st May 2013, 17:40

    I hope Pirelli lose the F1 contract & are never allowed near F1 again!
    Maybe then we will get back to some proper racing instead of all this ludicrous tyre management nonsense we have been getting this year.

    I got a damaged tyre a week ago & went with Bridgestone’s despite the fact the Pirelli’s I was offered were cheaper. I will not buy Pirelli tyres in protest for what they have done to F1.
    Oh & before someone says ‘dont blame pirelli, there doing what they were asked’, I don’t care, they could have said no & just made proper tyres instead of these extreme degredation, un-raceable pieces of s…..

    • obviously said on 31st May 2013, 18:37

      I’m sure Mercedes’ sales took a nose dive when their engines kept blowing up.
      I’ve also heard all the Ferrari customers swapped their Enzos for Clios, when Alonso and Renault beat Schumi and Ferrari two seasons in a row.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st May 2013, 18:41

      I hope Pirelli lose the F1 contract & are never allowed near F1 again!
      Maybe then we will get back to some proper racing instead of all this ludicrous tyre management nonsense we have been getting this year.

      – why would you need Pirelli out to achieve that @RogerA. Pirelli have already made it very clear that they want to make tyres that last all race, play it save and let the engines and the rest of the cars take the headlines instead. Isn’t that exactly what you wanted?

      Its not that Pirelli can’t build long lasting tyres, but that they went out to do much the opposite to recreate this 2-3 stop a race idea, which is far harder to get right.

  5. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 31st May 2013, 19:01

    1. Mercedes did get some usefull data , 2013 or 2014 spec tyre it doesn’t matter,
    2. The whole world knew about the test two weeks later, why so secret if it’s legal, we the fans are interested in all kind of F1 activities, why the test wasn’t transparent to fans or orher teams,
    3. FIA knew about the test and about 2013 car and drivers involved. After all Ross and Todt use to work together for a
    decade. Can you all imagine that FIA did’t had a clue about
    the test?
    I say:
    – Mercedes is a major player in F1
    – Mercedes has biggest problems with tyres
    – They put biiig pressure on Pirelli and FIA to solve their problem, or they’ll leave the championship
    – FIA closed eyes over the test hoping that no one would found out.
    Now they are all in mess and are trying to point the finger to the other.

    • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 31st May 2013, 21:38


      I agree with a lot of this. I think a lot of fans pretend that Mercedes is less political than they actually are, while directing their distaste for F1 politics toward Red Bull and Ferrari.

      Mercedes has positioned itself, on the track and behind the scenes, to compete with Ferrari for years to come.

  6. James (@jaymz) said on 31st May 2013, 19:23

    Something still seems fishy here…
    Merc should have used the 2011 car. Why use the 2013 car when 2014 is going to be significantly different. So just use the 2011 car.

    It wouldn’t be surprising if the FIA are favouring Merc on this one, kind of like when Renault were allowed to get their engine up to scratch. All for the show.

    Maybe they had their 2014 engine at the test?

    • Proesterchen (@proesterchen) said on 2nd June 2013, 16:41

      Clearly, no W02 was available anywhere for tests … until a young driver test spec (a.k.a. raised exhaust) W02 miraculously appeared at the Nürburgring three days later, to do a demo lap with a certain Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador at the helm.

  7. kpcart said on 31st May 2013, 20:07

    The biggest issue is that Mercedes got an advantage over every other team on the grid with 1000km of testing. it does not matter if they were 2013 or 2014 tyres, 1000km of testing is a big advantage for any team no matter what tyres they are testing, because they can adjust so many other things like suspension geometory. Pirelli is not the villain here, it is Mercedes. There is a great article on autosport.com today (for subscribers), which goes into the power mercedes have in f1, and how because of that it is unlikely they will get penalised, even though they were in the wrong. This test was only to have gone ahead with every team agreeing to it, but no other teams knew about it. I sincerely hope Mercedes will continue to fail in f1, like they have since acquiring the Honda built Brawn team. They have one of the highest budgets in F1, yet need to resort to such low and immoral acts to boost their performance. Toto Wolf will keep Ross Brawn for a while yet, Brawn is the face of farce and polemic talk, Brawn’s stern unsportsmanlike lawyer-like speak will give them an advantage over the next couple of years, then they will bin him anyway.

    • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 31st May 2013, 22:49

      Your making a huge assumption that the car was altered during the test. The point of a baseline test is that the car is taken out of the equation for Pirelli to make comparisons between each of its experimental tyres that are unlikely to reach the race track again. So merc would have been left unchanged for the entire test.

      • KimiFTW said on 1st June 2013, 11:04

        Mercedes can never ever prove they did not test any new parts. There was no FIA representative at the test to check that

  8. Sparckus (@sparckus) said on 31st May 2013, 21:02

    Just a thought for all the ones suggesting that Mercedes would have tested new parts and different set ups:

    Pirelli wanted to test on the one car as a baseline, do you think they would’ve let Merc change anything at all when the only variable they would want is the tyres?

  9. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 31st May 2013, 21:52

    Mercedes could not gave Pirelli the 2011 car because Michael was filming promo video with that same car at Ring?!? LOL!!! And they never mentioned the 2012 car?!?

  10. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 31st May 2013, 23:20

    Still amuses me that no one saw a car going around Barcelona track.
    Secret test? Haha, ok them.

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