Pirelli are predicting that tyres management will play a crucial role in the up-and-coming 2011 Formula One season.
You could argue ‘well they would say that, wouldn’t they’, since they are now the official tyres supplier to the sport after taking over from Bridgestone.
But Paul Hembery, boss of motorsport tyres for the Italian manufacturer, backs up his prediction with this observation: “The one thing we have noticed is that drivers that look after their tyres for the first four to five laps, it can have quite a significant impact on the longevity of the product.
He was speaking at the end of the second official team test in Jerez in Spain last week.
Hembery also told reporters: “A number of drivers have mentioned to me that our tyres are going to be great fun to race with, which is exactly what we are aiming for.”
Pirelli are planning an adjustment to the super-soft compound for the next test at Barcelona, but Hembery explained that this had always been part of the company’s development schedule.
And he remained open to the possibility of adjusting the tyres during the season.
“We’ve always said that we are humble enough to know we can’t possibly know everything after six months of testing on our own,” said Hembery.
“But if there is a case, we will decide with the FIA. It will be with the FIA, not the teams, because you risk giving favouritism.”