MARCH 19, 2016
Pirelli denies secret Brazil tyre story
Pirelli has category denied reports it debuted a new tyre specification last year without informing the FIA or the competing teams.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claimed on Friday that the new tyre, featuring a special low-grip layer under the main surface, was secretly supplied to teams in Brazil before being shelved.
Michael Schmidt, the highly-respected correspondent, said the story was based on information from one of the teams' technical bosses, reportedly after a Pirelli engineer working for Lotus accidentally forwarded an email.
Pirelli's F1 chief, however, rejected the story in Melbourne.
"The tyres in Brazil were absolutely identical to the ones in Melbourne," he insisted.
"We did not change the tyre specification throughout the 2015 season," Hembery added, saying the only change all year was the 2016 development tyres that were run in the post-Abu Dhabi grand prix test.
He said the multi-layered tyre, designed to replicate the grip 'cliff', was only shelved after Abu Dhabi.
"It did not work as we had hoped but we will keep at it," said Hembery. "It is something we want to implement in the 2017 tyres, perhaps even with a different colour for the other layer."