RADICAL TYRE SOLUTION: Force India’s Sergio Perez races at the 2014 Russian GP. The team’s sporting director, Otmar Szafnaue, suggests allowing teams to choose their own tyre options.Image: AP / Pavel Golovkin
MUMBAI, India - Force India has made a radical suggestion about how Formula 1 should proceed in the sport's Pirelli-tyred era.
Pirelli, the sports sole tyre supplier, was at one time famed - and often heavily criticised - for spicing-up the race action with its assertive tyre compounds but all that changed dramatically in 2014 as it responded to the often-explosive events of 2014 and the arrival of ultra high-torque turbo V6 engines.
The 2014 Russian GP in Sochi for instance, was notable for its lack of drama. Circuit designer Hermann Tilke insisted he was not to blame:"Pirelli brought very conservative compounds. When Pirelli is bolder again with the selection of tyres, it will look different again."
U-TURN ON INTERLAGOS
Indeed, while Pirelli was earlier criticised for being too aggressive, now it is taking criticism for being too conservative. So hard was the original compound selection for the upcoming 2014 Brazilian GP, Felipe Massa said it might even be "dangerous" in cold or damp conditions.
So Pirelli did a U-turn and will now take softer tyres to Interlagos.
The tyremaker's boss, Paul Hembery, confirmed: "After further technical analysis of the effect of the revised circuit surface, together with a risk assessment suggesting a low probability of compound overheating due to extreme track temperatures, we have made this change with the unanimous agreement of all 11 teams."
All the fuss about compound selection might disappear if the teams have more control, according to Force India's sporting director Otmar Szafnauer. He told Auto Motor and Sport: "Why not let each team choose its own two tyre options?"
'IT WOULD MAKE RACES EXCITING'
Szafnauer said a rule change along these lines would lead to more overtaking. "One car will be faster, another will be running longer. It would make the races exciting."
Pirelli, however, played down the likelihood of the proposal going gree: "First, it would be a logistical nightmare," Hembery said, "and then there is the danger that some teams will get it wrong.
"If the (wrong) tyres are a safety problem it will be Pirelli that get the blame, not the teams."