JULY 25, 2015
Pirelli eyeing super-super soft tyre for 2016
A tyre even softer than Pirelli's so-called 'super soft' looks set to make its bow in 2016.
As the Italian marque competes with applicant Michelin for the 2017-2019 F1 contract, Paul Hembery said Pirelli is planning some improvements next year.
2016 could turn out to be Pirelli's last season on the grid, even though the company has wide support up and down the paddock.
"An 18-inch rim and a one-stop (strategy) is going to do nothing for the spectacle of a grand prix," said Red Bull boss Christian Horner, referring to Michelin's desires for 2017.
However, the FIA has green-lighted both Pirelli and Michelin's 2017 bids, meaning it is now up to Bernie Ecclestone to negotiate a deal with the eventual winner.
It was expected a decision would be made by September, but Hembery said in Hungary that he is not expecting the results of the tender to be known until October.
"We have not yet started negotiations. I think they will begin in September," he said.
Asked why the talks with Ecclestone cannot begin straight away, Hembery laughed: "Because I'll be on vacation!" Indeed, after Sunday's Hungarian grand prix, the sport enters a four-week summer break.
And he revealed that Pirelli's board of directors is also scheduled to make a call in October.
"I have always said that we are not going to be in the championship at any cost. We will stay in formula one only if it makes economic sense, and if F1 wants us to stay," Hembery added.
As for 2016, Hembery acknowledged that Pirelli's approach this year may have been too conservative, so it is rumoured one change is for the introduction of a 'super-super soft' tyre.
"We have a number of ideas that we would like to implement," the Briton admitted.
"The soft tyres that we use for street tracks need some attention -- Monaco, Canada, Singapore need really soft compounds, softer than the super-soft that we use today.
"And the hard tyres should be closer to the medium of today," Hembery added.