Pirelli says now is the time to face its failures head on and work to deliver a solution, rather than turn its back and walk away from Formula 1.
With intense focus on the Italian company at this weekend’s German Grand Prix following the tire failures at Silverstone, its motorsport director Paul Hembery said that the negative publicity generated in the last week has not prompted the Italian company’s senior management to question its involvement in the sport.
“We need to get it sorted,” he said. “The best way to react is to do it properly, get things sorted and get things back on line. We are a professional company.
“We are very passionate about what we do and very good at what we do. You don’t walk away in difficult times. That’s the time to work harder and make sure you do a better job.”
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Hembery admitted that Pirelli has been a little taken aback at the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association’s warning that its members would pull out of the German GP if there were repeat tire problems.
“It was a little bit surprising having just had a meeting with them going through it,” he said. “At the end of the day we have to make sure we don’t have any issues like we had at Silverstone. That’s the bottom line.
“We tried to explain the situation – what’s happened, where we’ve been this season, the different evolutions. Maybe it’s not always clear to them what goes on. There’s a lot of dynamics involved in the sport, with different teams, and different interests. So I think that was useful to explain to them all that’s happened. We also explained the changes here and the changes going forward, which we believe are in completely the right direction for them.”
There is little doubt that the changes being made to the tires both for this weekend and for the forthcoming Hungarian GP will have an impact on the competitive order in F1. However, Hembery said that Pirelli’s priority was not in ensuring the playing field is left unchanged, but in delivering safe tires.
“If we look at last weekend with the tire that didn’t change, we saw strong performances from Force India, and Toro Rosso, so already the picture was looking a bit different.
“I guess it can have an influence, but we’ll see when we go racing. It’s not something that we particularly look at. We have been looking at other things like what’s correct for the sport, for the FIA, for Formula 1 and Pirelli. We are not looking at individual teams.”