By Alex Kapadia
The head of motorsport for Pirelli has revealed what drove the Italian tyres manufacturer to return to Formula One after a 20 year break.
Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director for the tyres company, said: “The opportunity presented itself for us to come back to Formula One under changed commercial realities and to reinforce Pirelli’s reputation as supplier to the most prestigious car brands in the world by being represented at the pinnacle of single-seater racing.
“This was a chance that we didn’t want to turn down, and we’re delighted now to be here.”
In an exclusive interview with the F1times, Hembery confirmed that the new racing tyres will be made at Pirelli’s factory near Istanbul in Turkey.
He said: “It’s a very modern facility that only opened three years ago and it can easily be modified for the demands of Formula One production. Operationally, we’ve made this work without increasing our budgets by re-allocating some of our resources.”
Hembery also revealed the extent of the input the teams/FOTA have had into the design of the tyres for the 2011 season.
“With the agreement being announced well after the teams had begun development of their 2011 cars,” he explained, “the design of the tyres for next year will follow the current FIA regulations.
“We have worked with the teams to define the primary characteristics of the product but of course we have our design and material philosophies, and in the end it will be a Pirelli tyre.”