Pirelli denies ceding to Ferrari pressure in tire choices UPDATE Ferrari's chances in this year's championship look set to be boosted, with Pirelli having revealed that it is unlikely to use the hard tire in the remaining races of the season. The Maranello squad has been known this season for preferring softer tires that adapt better to its car.
Pirelli announced earlier this week that it would not be using the hard compound in the upcoming three races, and its motorsport boss Paul Hembery says the compound is unlikely to return this season.
"I don't think we'll see the hard compound again," said Hembery. "I think it's probably too hard and that the medium is proving sufficiently robust for the aggressive circuits we've still got to come. So don't think we'll be going the hard route."
Hembery also revealed the hardest tire is probably not going to be used at all next year, with a new compound likely to be introduced as a bridge between the medium and the soft.
"Probably next season the medium will become the hard," he said. "We'll probably slot something in between the current softs and mediums - We want to keep about one second between each. The super soft and soft gap is about right to be honest, because you've got a 1s speed advantage but you've got a clear degradation and limitation on use.
"If we could replicate that now with a new medium and a new hard then I think we'll be well placed." Autosport08/06/11 Pirelli has bluntly rebuffed accusations that it has caved in to pressure from Ferrari in its tire selection for a number of races this season, despite suggestions that the choices for the forthcoming Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix represent 'good news' for the Scuderia.
Earlier this week, Pirelli announced its tire compounds for the next three outings at Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Marina Bay, with some 'surprise' expressed that softer rubber will be taken to two of the highest-speed circuits on the F1 calendar.
Respected Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio has mused that 'it's good news for Ferrari', after the Prancing Horse lamented the harder tires used in last month's British Grand Prix at Silverstone – a race in which double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso nonetheless triumphed. The F150° Italia has encountered difficulties in getting the harder compound up to temperature this year. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, however, is adamant that teams have no sway over the decisions made.
“No,” he told Spanish sports newspaper AS. “I read what is in the press at the end of the work day, but nothing more than that. There are some compounds that suit some people better in general. In other cases, it depends on the track or the weather. It's very difficult to generalize.”
Operating to a strict brief from commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone, Pirelli has been praised for helping to significantly spice up the spectacle in F1 2011 – with Hembery arguing that the substantially improved overtaking statistics this year are '70 per cent tires and 30 per cent DRS' – although the Englishman concedes that producing deliberately fast-deteriorating rubber can be a double-edged sword.
“We need to tread carefully and show our tires can contribute to the show, but not by taking too many [safety] risks,” he underlined, stressing that high-degradation is a positive 'only to some extent'.