F1 News, Views and Reviews

Pirelli To Use GP2 Car To Test Tyres Before Ban Lifted – Possible Toyota Link Up

Pirelli have confirmed they will do initial testing and development of their 2011 tyres for Formula One using a development chassis obtained from the GP2 Series organisers.

Pirelli, the Italian manufacturer were confirmed as the new sole tyres supplier to Formula One at the start of this week, ending months of speculation.  They now begin work on creating tyres for the series, but cannot put them onto a proper, fully fledged 2010 F1 car to test until after the final Grand Prix due to the testing ban.  With speculation linking the manufacturer to using the still-born Toyota 2010 F1 car, they have come out to confirm that as a future possibility but admitted they are more likely to use a GP2 car.

The rubber company must also provide tyres to GP2, the FIA’s F1 feeder series from 2011.

“There has been a bit of press about [us using the Toyota chassis] but it has probably come from them because they are trying to get someone to use the car maybe…” Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s F1 tyre chief told Autosport.

“No we are going to start with a GP2 car, the new GP2 car.

“Having discussed with the F1 teams the level of performance of the new GP2 car, it’s not so far off as you’ve probably seen. As a test-bed, particularly for integrity reasons, reliability and stability, it’s probably a good starting point.”

“We are talking with the teams, because we want to understand when we do need an F1 car, what we could use that won’t give one team an advantage over another, and will also give us suitable feedback for the work we need to do,” he said.

“The Toyota car often gets mentioned because it is a bespoke car that would have got run this season.

“The negative is that it hasn’t done a full shakedown pre-season in the sense of the other teams, and for us at the moment we have never seen any data as to how reliable it is, costs or anything.

“One extreme comment was that we were going to buy the Toyota F1 team but the reality is we’ve just had a couple of emails saying they are available if we want to discuss it.

“We need a baseline that we can trust so that we can start building information,” he continued. “Maybe we can convince the teams that a three-year-old car, or something like that might be more suitable alternative if they can all agree on which brand it is.

“BMW, for example, might be another excellent choice.”


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