Tag Archives: Pirelli

Heidfeld to test Pirelli F1 tyres

Nick Heidfeld has been reportedly hired to test out Pirelli’s F1 tyres for next year, starting with a 3-day test on Monday. The Mercedes GP test and reserve driver will be the first driver to try out and improve the tyres that will be supplied to the entire F1 grid starting next year.

It is believed that he will be driving the Toyota TF109, which is the car that Toyota used in the 2009 season, and also the one that will be soon taken apart and sold to a new team. While the test has not yet been conformed by Pirelli, it is believed that it will take place at Ferrari’s Mugello circuit.

Newspapers AS and Bild have previously reported this story, but now it is almost certain to be announced soon. Also, there are unconfirmed rumours that there will be 5 more tests this year with Heidfeld, not including the upcoming one at Mugello.

Pirelli announced as F1 tyre supplier for 2011

Pirelli has been confirmed as F1 tyre supplier for 2011 onwards

Pirelli has been confirmed as F1 tyre supplier for 2011 onwards

It has finally been announced by the FIA today that Italian company Pirelli will be the tyre manufacturer and supplier for all Formula 1 teams from 2011 onwards. This is after the company have had a 20-year absence in the sport. It is unclear at the moment if they will introduce 18-inch wheels.

Pirelli defeated competition from Michelin, and a brief attempt from Cooper Avon, to get the contract. It was always a 2-way battle between Michelin and Pirelli, although the main difference between the two was track sponsorship. Unlike Pirelli, Michelin would put up trackside advertising for themselves at tracks, and a share of the profits would go to the 13 teams.

However, they had also made certain demands, such as having a fellow competitor for tyres in the sport, something the teams were not keen on. Seeing as Pirelli were essentially no-strings attached, the FIA have today announced that they will be the company that wins the 3-year contract:

"Pirelli has been selected as the single tyre supplier for the FIA 
Formula One World Championship for a period of three years, 
commencing in 2011. The sole supplier will undertake to strictly 
respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the 
FIA."

Pirelli last competed in Formula 1, when they supplied Tyrrell, Brabham, Dallara and Benneton, while all of the other teams ran on Goodyear tyres. Their last win came in 1991, when Nelson Piquet won the Canadian Grand Prix.

Back in the 1950′s, Pirelli were the dominant force in Formula 1, winning 5 championships in the first 10 years (2 of these were when the constructor used 2 tyre suppliers).

It is good to see that this tyre saga is finally over, and there are more announcements from the FIA to be written about, while will be up soon.

Pirelli set to announce F1 2011 tyre deal

Pirelli is about to be confirmed as the F1 tyre supplier from 2011 onwards

Pirelli is about to be confirmed as the F1 tyre supplier from 2011 onwards

According to the Italain media, tyre manufacturer Pirelli are set to announce that they are to supply tyres to the Formula 1 grid from 2011 onwards.

While Cooper Avon and Michelin were also in the running, both companies had their disadvatages. Cooper Avon did not have commercial beneifts, while Michelin’s offer came with very pushy strings attached. So, in that sense, I think Pirelli was the best decicion.

The deal is reported to pay Pirelli €1m from every team per year, on a 3-year contract. Throughout the season, they will provide 3 compounds of tyre – soft, medium and hard.These 3 compounds will be available at every single race for the season, which in my opinion is too confusing for the fans to follow during races.

Also, it is possible that the Milan-based company would supply tyres to GP2 and GP3 teams as well, but this is currently unconfirmed. More on this news soon.

FOTA narrows down choices to Pirelli and Michelin

Folowing another FOTA (Formula 1 Teams Association) meeting after the Monaco Grand Prix, it has been revealed that the teams have narrowed their choice for 2011 tyre supplier to Pirelli and Michelin.

Prior to this meeting, many other companies were in the running, such as Cooper Avon and Kumho. However, according to Stefano Domenicali, only two option now remain. He stated:

"No decision has been taken yet. I think, give it another week and
maybe by next weekend we will have found a solution.

There are now only two possibilities, though - Michelin and Pirelli.
I don't see any other option."

Their decicion was supposed to be made this weekend, but an agreement has not yet been reached. Eric Boullier has said that a decicion must be made by the next race in Turkey in two weeks time:

"It has to be, because I think there is a technical issue that if 
we wait too late then nothing will be ready for next year. It has 
to be done by Turkey."

So far, we are not sure about which supplier the teams are tipping towards. Pirelli do not bring as many terms and conditions, althoug Michelin have technical and commercial benefits that Pirelli do not. The main problem with Michelin, it seems, is that they are insisting on having a rival supplier, something many feel is not appropriate in F1 at this time.

Over the Monaco GP weekend, Pirelli may have been the favourite, although that could well change by Turkey. Personally, I would prefer the Italian company, as Michelin bring too many conditions to convince me. But, as we know, commercial interests often win in Formula 1.

Pirelli considering F1 return, but wants 18-inch wheels

Italian manufacturer Pirelli is considering a return to F1

Italian manufacturer Pirelli is considering a return to F1

Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli has joined the race to supply tyres to the F1 grid from next year onwards. As Bridgestone are leaving at the end of this year, both Michelin and Cooper Avon have already started negotiations to take the Japanese company’s place.

Pirelli have competed in 203 Grands Prix across Formula 1 history, and have the privelige of supplying tyres to the first ever Grand Prix winner (Alfa Romeo) at the 1950 British Grand Prix.

There were similar rumours about Pirelli in 2006, when they were tipped to return to F1. However, back then, the company said that they wanted to focus their attention on road-going tyres, rather than racing tyres. Their statement back then was as follows:

"Pirelli's previous position on F1 hasn't changed. Pirelli prefers 
to develop tyres for racing that will also be used on the road. 
Pirelli sponsors Superbikes, the World Rally Championship and GT2."

However, quotes from  Marco Tronchetti, Chairman of Pirelli, would suggest that Pirelli are now revisiting the idea of returning to F1, as long as certain criteria are met. It is believed that one of their conditions is that F1 wheels would be increased from 13 to 18 inches. This has already been voiced by Michelin, as they want Formula 1 tyres to be more related to their road-going counterparts.

This is something I support quite a lot, as F1 needs to make its technology more relatable to road cars. After the failure of KERS last year, tyres need to be used by Formula 1 to promote road-going technology.

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