MAY 8, 2015
Pirelli denies changing tyre selection philosophy
Paul Hembery has denied reports Pirelli is shifting its focus towards softer compound choices in 2015.
When asked about claims F1's official supplier wanted to spice up races by bringing softer tyres to grands prix this year, Fernando Alonso was unimpressed.
"I say that they should stay with whatever was the original plan because they could change the result of the championship," the Spaniard insisted.
Pirelli's F1 chief Hembery, however, said on Friday the press reports were not right.
"The fact that we have the soft and supersoft in Monte Carlo is nothing new," he told Auto Motor und Sport.
"Other than that, I see no more than one or two opportunities to go softer than in 2014, such as in Sochi, where we were too cautious last year because the track was new," Hembery added.
Pirelli is currently pushing to know what F1's new regulations for 2017 will be, so that it can prepare for the official tyre contract tender.
18-inch wheels are one likelihood, and prototypes have been brought to Barcelona for the GP2 cars to test.
Another idea is that Pirelli will expand its compound range from four currently - hard, medium, soft and super-soft - to six different versions.
But Pirelli rejected a proposal by Force India that each team should have free choice to select its two compounds for every race.
"The top teams would all choose the same tyres," he said, "so that would be no surprise.
"Teams further back might gamble with softer compounds, but when a Manor comes in after five laps with worn tyres, that's not a good look for Pirelli," Hembery argued.