Jun.17 (GMM) Gerhard Berger has dismissed claims that Pirelli is a questionable choice as formula one’s new tyre supplier.
Although the news is not yet official, it is now expected that the Italian company will succeed the departing Bridgestone — with confirmation coming possibly at next week’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.
The other serious contender has been Michelin, Bridgestone’s most recent tyre competitor between 2001 and 2006 with 43 grand prix wins in this period, and utterly dominant in 2005.
The fact that Pirelli’s proposal is the one that has gained the majority of support has therefore been surprising to some; not only because it has absent from F1 since 1991, but also because the development time for 2011 is now so short.
Moreover, there has been some criticism in the past during Pirelli’s forays in world superbike racing as well as world rallying. The Milan based brand is currently also the GP3 supplier and tipped for a deal with GP2 for 2011 and beyond.
“This (criticism) is absolute nonsense,” Berger, who won the Pirelli6 Mexican grand prix with Pirelli tyres and Benetton in Pirelli6, told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“Pirelli equips the fastest sports cars in the world. There are also people in formula one who have been successful with Pirelli,” added the Austrian.
Pirelli’s last grand prix win was with Nelson Piquet and Benetton in Montreal in 1991.
On his visit to last weekend’s Canadian grand prix, director of motor sport Paul Hembery declined to comment.