MARCH 14, 2014
Pirelli denies new approach to avoid criticism
Pirelli has denied it decided to 'go conservative' for 2014 after the tyre-exploding criticism of last season.
After 2013, when the quality and degradation of the tyres were regular paddock buzzwords, the Italian marque has had a low-profile start to F1's new era with reportedly a better and more durable product.
Even the compound choice for Melbourne, where usually the very softest tyres can be used, has raised some eyebrows, but boss Paul Hembery denied Pirelli has gone conservative simply to quieten the damaging criticism of 2013.
"No," he insisted. "We did not take our decisions out of fear of criticism," the Briton told German-language Spox.
"It was just logical, because even now no one really knows how the cars with the new engines, the higher weight and less fuel will react with the tyres."
As for the obviously more conservative tyre choice in Melbourne, Hembery explained: "It is true that the choice appears cautious.
"But it is so the teams can focus on their programmes rather than having to work so hard on understanding the tyres."
Hembery said the criticisms of 2013, particularly those made by world champions Red Bull, have not affected Pirelli's paddock relationships.
"Last year is over," he insisted. "We learned a lot, made changes.
"What was expressed in the media is not always what is said behind closed doors," added Hembery. "So we should let it go and instead look forward to the new season."
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