Pirelli hits back at Hamilton’s tyre claims

Thu, 27 July 2023, 10:00

Jul.27 (GMM) Mario Isola has hit back at Lewis Hamilton’s claim that Pirelli is wasting excessive amounts of wet-weather Formula 1 tyres after every race.

Hamilton was among the critics of the new and more sustainable tyre allocation system that was trialled last weekend in Hungary, as he argued that it only led to less track action.

The Mercedes driver said a better idea would be to fix an alarming situation with the rain tyres – where they are thrown out after a race if not used.

“There’s a lot of wet tyres that I think they throw away after every weekend. Like, a lot,” said the seven time world champion.

“Maybe they should look at something like that rather than taking time on track away from the fans.”

But Isola, Pirelli’s F1 boss, says Hamilton seems to not have all the details.

“At the European races, we leave the (dry) tyres on the rims and take the new ones with us, supplying the teams with the same sets,” he said.

“With overseas races it is more difficult,” Isola admitted. “Because of the customs rules, the teams have to take the rims and we have to bring the tyres.

“And that’s a problem, because once a tyre is off the rim, it can’t be reused.”

Isola explained that because of the use of tyre blankets, which could soon be banned in Formula 1, damage to a single tyre means scrapping an entire set.

“Rain tyres don’t have this problem as they don’t use tyre blankets right now, so we only need to replace one tyre in a set of four. So it’s great to save money on that.”

He also said Pirelli is interested in redesigning the tyres so that they are able to be safely removed from wheel rims after one race and put back on at the next.

“Another idea that we have discussed was for races that are usually dry and sunny, like Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, not to fit all the tyres to the rims,” said Isola.

On Friday, the F1 Commission meets at Spa-Francorchamps where a decision about whether to proceed with the 2024 tyre blanket ban will be made.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, the outcome of that decision could impact whether Pirelli remains F1’s tyre supplier in 2025 or the baton is handed over to Bridgestone.

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