Pirelli’s Paul Hembery thinks it would be ridiculous to open up Formula 1’s 2014 tire selection choice to rival companies at this stage of the season.
Amid ongoing speculation that Michelin is seriously considering putting itself forward to become F1’s official supplier, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says he is baffled by the situation. Pirelli has a commercial deal in place with Bernie Ecclestone, and has supply agreements with 10 of the 11 teams already signed. It is waiting for the FIA to confirm its plans, but the lack of indication from the governing body over the matter has prompted ongoing talk that the door could be open for Michelin.
When asked about progress on Pirelli’s deal, and the latest Michelin rumors, Hembery said: “You would have to ask Michelin. We have contracts in place, and we would hope people would respect them. It will have to go to the World [Motor Sport] Council, and I would guess it will happen at the next one in September.”
The FIA has previously indicated that the tire deal will have to go out to commercial bid, but time is now running short. Hembery reckoned that with a matter of weeks before F1’s 2014 tire specifications have to be lodged, it would be hard to understand how a bidding process could happen now.
“Quite frankly, a tender in September when you are running in January would be farcical,” he said. “You should have done that in September last year. Everybody would look ridiculous in that scenario.”