Paul Hembrey: “I doubt Pirelli Testing Helped Vettel”


Sebastian Vettel has used the Pirelli tyres to good effect this year. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Sebastian Vettel may have covered more mileage than his rivals during last year’s Pirelli tyre testing, but the Italian manufacturer doesn’t believe  that the extra distance has benefited the championship leader at all.

With Pirelli bringing its new, wider tyres to Formula One for 2017,  Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari all conducted “blind testing” of non-marked 2017 Pirelli rubber.

While Mercedes’ race drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas completed 250 kilometres during the tests, Vettel alone completed over 2000 kilometres.

But Pirelli Motorsport boss, Paul Hembrey, doesn’t believe the extra mileage has aided Vettel in any way during his quest for a fifth world title.

“Yes, Sebastian did a lot of testing,” he told Formula1.com. “It was very intense and he gave us a lot of feedback. We thank him for that. That is what we wanted: the top drivers giving us good feedback.

“But because he didn’t really know what he was testing – he was blind-testing – it might have helped him psychologically, but I doubt it helped practically.”