‘Don’t Blame Us For Poor Show’ – Pirelli’s Paul Hembery

Paul Hembery - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport chief, is asking fans not to blame Pirelli if the new tyres result in boring races.

Following requests by the sport, Pirelli has produced tyres that suffer less degradation than in previous years. This is a complete U-turn on the philosophy they have followed since becoming the sport’s supplier in 2011. It is hoped that the changes will encourage drivers to push harder and result in a greater number of overtakes, but the inverse effect is fewer pit stops. And if teams are unable to make a significant step forward with their aero packages, then the racing may lack in driver vs driver action and compare more to a stretched-out train.

“We’re just following what the sport asks us,” Hembery told Motorsport. “All we ask is that they tell us what they want. There’s no point in complaining that we deliver what we have been asked to deliver.

“As a sport we’re moving in a different direction, and if it works as people say then we should get good racing.”

“We’ll see a lot more one-stop races but if we deliver with the aerodynamic package cars that are closer together, and the tyre’s not overheating on the surface, drivers will be able to push and lead to a scenario where overtaking is improved.”

The Italian company struggled to achieve the desired downforce levels whilst testing with mule cars, but were able to replicate the downforce expected during 2017 through the use of simulation data; though, if the data proves to be an inaccurate reflection then nobody will have an idea of how the tyres will hold up.

“It’s true the mule cars were some way off in terms of performance levels, but we do have the simulation data,” he added.

“That’s the question, how close will the cars be to that data – maybe they will have more and go much quicker.”