Pirelli has revealed that it could develop its own simulator in the future to help with the development of its Formula One tyres.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for the Italian tyres manufacturer, admitted after taking over from Bridgestone as the sole supplier to the world of F1, its first year will be a ‘learning year’.
He also revealed the experience has already thrown up a few surprises: “No nasty surprises, no. Surprises, yes – but no nasty ones.”
Speaking ahead of this Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang he added: “I guess it is very different for us to be on the track with 24 cars. The lack of testing facilities or ability for us [to test] is tough and would be tough for anyone coming into the sport. [But] that’s been interesting.
“We’re going to keep learning. I’m quite sure that it’s going to be a season of learning for us, as each track is different, has a different challenge. I think at the end of the season we will then have enough data for everything we need to do.
“With the lack of testing though, ultimately we will want to have our own simulator or means of simulating vehicle and tyre inter-reactions and that is something we will work on going forward.
“At the moment, of course, we’re just supplying data to allow the teams to run their own work, but we want to use simulation, and simulations to allow us to make our product development without going testing, or at least do a screening to get to a point where you can arrive at a solution without having to go on the track.
“But a lot of our performance is obviously related to the surface and weather and so on and there are still a lot of unknowns in our business in that area.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team