APRIL 6, 2015

Pirelli wants F1 changes for 2017

Paul Hembery has urged F1 to make changes before Pirelli commits to a new contract.

The Italian tyre supplier's F1 chief told the Guardian newspaper that he fully supports efforts by Bernie Ecclestone to spice up the 'show'.

Hembery admitted one good change has been the ban on driver helmet livery changes.

"The driver has to become an international superstar, like David Beckham," said the Briton. "But we've got drivers who don't understand why it's crap to change a helmet every race, and moan and bitch about it."

Now, ahead of the next official tender process to be the sport's official tyre supplier, Hembery said Pirelli wants even more changes.

In Malaysia, Ecclestone talked about all-female F1 races, mixed up grids, mid-race sprinklers and the return of double-points.

Hembery said: "I thought qualifying on Friday night was a good idea, so you can actually win something, and the promoters have something to sell. And maybe a sprint race on the Saturday, an extra product, so Saturday fans actually see a result and podium places.

"It's not for us to tell people what should change, and how it should change, but change is needed," he added.

"We're anxious to understand what's going to happen in 2017, when we will be looking at a new contract. We'd like to see what the plan is.

"We are in the entertainment business," said Hembery. "Some people get ruffled by that idea, but if we don't entertain people don't watch us, and then the sponsors won't come, and the cycle continues.

"The current business model is clearly not working for enough people. Change is needed and the current mechanism for change is very cumbersome and very slow. We've got too many people with different vested interests.

"Someone has got to put a marker in the ground and say this is it. We can't spend another year going round in circles trying to find the big compromise," added Hembery.