Pirelli, Mercedes, FIA, FOM & a whole load of politics.

Let’s talk tyres, yet again.

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This whole Mercedes/Pirelli test controversy from Spain is about political games, not about Mercedes gaining any advantage at all. Its about the FIA and FOM facing off each other to expand and drag on what happened back in 2010 with the Michelin vs Pirelli decision.
Mercedes are the mere scapegoats that other teams want them to be in order to get lucky in some way and garner some points and/or testing mileage.
From my understanding, there is no controversy as such. Mercedes have gained no advantage from the test as according to Pirelli’s information (confirmed by Ross Brawn too), Mercedes had no identity of the tyres being used or the compounds being tested. It was a bit of a blind test in that, as far as Mercedes go, they only provided the car, driver(s) and the support personnel. They did not collect any tyre specific data.
What is going on now is, the FIA want to assert their power over the FOM and might try to use this to penalise Pirelli and (maybe) disallow them from being the supplier next year on grounds of technical breach of regulations.

When Pirelli were announced as the new supplier at the end of 2010, a part of the (somewhat odd) statement from the FIA read:

“..the sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA”

This might be relevant to the current situation as anybody can guess what it could mean.

FIA (or at least Jean Todt) wanted Michelin but the commercial rights holder wanted Pirelli. Bernie won that round. Who has the power over decision on tyre suppliers still remains unclear. The FIA sure wants to have a strong say in it.

Pirelli didn’t want to garner any more negative publicity or storm over tyres and hence kept the test out of media knowledge, but, it seems to have backfired.

We might have some news in Montreal.

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4 Comments

  1. It’s really difficult for Pirelli because they are in a difficult situation regarding criticism and the people seeming to take the biggest hit between the FOM and the FIA are them because of the test. Pirelli have done a good job so far and although they have may upset some fans they don’t deserve to get the treatment they do from the whole of the f1 paddock and community.

    Reply

    1. Agree Stan. They’ve taken a lot of criticism for a few slip-ups and people so quickly seem to forget the fantastic racing they’ve enabled since 2011.

      Reply

  2. What can Pirelli do!! Their hands are tied because from what I understand (maybe wrong) they can not change their tyre formula without the ok of FIA and the teams. What’s next year going to bring with the new motors comeing????? May be a SIMPLE salution to it all. Now you have multiple car Mfgs. You have multiple engine Mfgs with HONDA (YEA!!) comeing back in 2015. WHY not multiple tyre Mfgs too!!! make sense to me!!!

    Reply

    1. Next year’s tyres are already being tested. This test was (reportedly) precisely conducted for that purpose. Multiple tyre suppliers would be interesting, but, none of us wants a repeat of the Bridgestone+Ferrari years. With all the variables in the mix, we need at least one component that’s equal among all the teams. I don’t think anyone within F1 is ready for or wants multiple tyre suppliers again.

      Reply

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