MAY 28, 2014
Pirelli undecided about F1 future beyond 2016
Pirelli has answered "we'll see" to the question of staying in formula one beyond its current contract.
After an often tumultuous and controversial opening three-year stay as F1's official supplier, the Italian marque signed on for another stint starting in 2014.
"Formula one is part of our lives," president Marco Tronchetti Provera is quoted by Tuttosport, "to highlight our people and our technologies.
"It's a continuous, travelling laboratory," he added.
But what about the future? Is Pirelli looking for a long-term stay on the grid?
"We have a contract until 2016," Provera answered. "Then we'll see."
After the tyre-exploding controversies of 2013, Pirelli took a step backwards for the new turbo V6 era.
Now, the tyres are being called too hard and slow by the likes of Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez.
"We have heard the criticisms," said Pirelli's F1 chief Paul Hembery.
"Too aggressive last year, too conservative this year," he shrugged to France's L'Equipe.
But Hembery said Pirelli is constantly thinking about how to improve. One proposal to ease the conservativeness of 2014 might be to combine compounds, he suggested.
"We plan to test different compounds on the back and on the front (of cars)," said the Briton.
"This will increase the performance without compromising the stability."
Hembery said a hard compound at the rear would "reduce the sliding caused by the high torque" of the new engines, while a softer front increases the "possibility of returning to two or three stops" to spice up the show.