Pirelli considers buying new F1 test car to develop 2014 tyres

23 November, 2013

Pirelli test car

Pirelli test car

Pirelli is considering buying a new Formula 1 test car from one of the teams as they seek to develop a suitable tyre for the 2014 season.

Already frustrated by the lack of testing opportunities, and the teams’ collective reluctance to help, Formula 1′s official supplier became further dismayed in Brazil when wet weather affected its plans to try the 2014 tyres in Friday Free Practice.

“We wouldn’t have brought [the 2014 tyre] here if we didn’t want to run it,” motor sport boss Paul Hembery said.

It was a further frustration on top of a frustrating situation overall for Pirelli.

The Italian marque now wants to test the tyres in dry Bahrain in December, but the teams cannot agree about who should accompany Pirelli to the island Kingdom.

Auto Motor und Sport said that McLaren is offering to provide a car and send personnel at its own expense.

“It would give our new driver Kevin Magnussen some more experience,” admitted team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

But some teams, like Mercedes and Ferrari, reportedly believe that another Pirelli-shod test for McLaren would not be fair.

“I think we all want to help Pirelli provide the best tyre they can,” said Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn, “but it would be unfortunate if one team had the benefit of running a tyre to the exclusion of all the others.”

Hembery said: “If the teams are not able to sort out the problem, we will buy a car – just as we did previously with Toyota and Renault.”

If Pirelli buys a car now, it would have to buy a 2011 model, according to the testing rules. But if it waits until January 1, it can buy a 2012 model.

But Hembery said that Pirelli might actually go for a 2013 single seater.

“This is a grey area,” Hembery said. “Actually, we can’t be prohibited [from running a 2013 car] because we are not a competitor.

“We would use the data only for ourselves, and each team could send an observer if they want to,” he added.

Hembery’s frustration, meanwhile, is obvious.

“It’s like having to develop tyres wearing a blindfold,” he is quoted by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“No [tyre] manufacturer…not Bridgestone or Michelin, would agree to return to Formula 1 under these conditions,” the Briton added. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.


  • McLarenfan

    The teams will all scream blue murder if the tyres are not up to scratch come the start of 2014 and they can’t test the cars on track, or the compound has to change again for the start of the season as the test tyres given cant take the torque.
    The teams need to stop behaving like little girls and man up send a rookie to do the test for Pirelli sounds the best situation and Pirelli keep their data the car owner will not know what they are testing.

  • DEANO

    I believe it’s also time for the FIA to look into changing the their tire test rules as it related to the car and what the tire manufacture can us. It’s no wonder that their were some issues with the 2013 tires the first half of the season. The 2013 car was so different than the 2011 and 2012 cars, but Pirelli was being forced by the FIA rules to use a 2010 car to test their eventual 2013 tires. We all know the results of that and I would hate to see the same thing happen in 2014. If Pirelli is willing to purchase their own test car, why not let them use a 2013 car, it only makes sense.

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