Thursday, August 22, 2013

F1 teams could manage a change of tyre supplier for 2014

McLaren's managing director, Jonathan Neale, believes that if the FIA decides not to renew Pirelli's tyre supply deal, they could seriously influence the 2014 Formula 1 world championship.

Neale in a Vodafone phone-in said, "I think at this stage we are assuming - and I don't know whether there is any foundation for that - that somehow the process will continue with Pirelli."

"If it does we have windtunnel tyres and information that will support our development process.

"For all the teams, not just McLaren, making sure we understand exactly what tyre, shape and weight is going to be does affect fundamentally some of the vehicle layout decisions.

"If we were to get a late change, from someone coming into the sport late notice, of course we would work around that and work with whoever the FIA chose.

"It would be the same for everybody, so if someone throws in a curveball at the last minute I guess we'd all have to recover. But there'd be some winners and losers in that."

However, Neale took the opportunity to praise Pirelli's response and ongoing support to the teams after the embarrassing first half of the season that saw some teams for the 2013 and some against them. Matters came to a boil at Silverstone where multiple tyre-blowouts forced Pirelli and the FIA to change tyre specifications in the name of safety.

"I think we were all pleased to see changes had been made after the delamination issues and latterly large amounts of disintegration, so Pirelli have responded to that and were obviously keen to see the sport remain safe," he said.

"For this weekend coming [at Spa] all the teams will be on a reasonable degree of alert given the high loads.

"Pirelli are being rightly cautious making sure the teams operate within certain restrictive windows on tyre pressures, cambers etc, and we're supportive of that process."

Michelin are front-runners for the title of being Formula 1's sole tyre supplier, with rumours suggesting that compatriot and FIA president, Jean Todt, being very keen on the French rubber supplier returning to Formula 1 to replace Pirelli.

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