Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera has hit back at Fernando Alonso’s criticism of the Italian marque’s F1 tyres in 2013.
Spaniard Alonso, the highest paid and arguably most highly rated and influential driver on the grid, recently slammed the questionable “quality” of this year’s Pirellis.
The criticism came at an awkward time for Pirelli, who while having agreed with the teams and Bernie Ecclestone about a new deal beyond 2013, are still yet to be offered an actual dotted line to sign on by the governing FIA.
“I have to say that he was very nervous when he said that,” Tronchetti Provera told CNN, referring to Alonso’s recent comments.
“It was not because of tyres — he wasn’t able to win for a number of reasons. If they (Ferrari) didn’t use the tyres properly, it’s not our fault.”
He warned that because F1 has asked specifically for tyres that wear out quickly, it is crucial the teams strictly follow the operating guidelines issued by Pirelli.
“We can do whatever is needed, but with the respect of the rules,” said the 65-year-old.
“It means tyres have to be used within the limits we provide teams.”
Pirelli has been given the green light by the FIA to supply tyres in 2014, but Tronchetti Provera said a new deal beyond 2015 is also possible.
Some, however, have questioned the wisdom of Pirelli’s F1 foray, particularly when the quality, consistency and lifespan of the tyres might be seen to affect the Italian brand’s image.
“We had some damages for a few weeks after Silverstone,” Tronchetti Provera admitted, “but I think today people understand it wasn’t Pirelli’s fault.”
Meanwhile, tyrepress.com reports that Korean tyre marque Kumho tested formula one-specification tyres at Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya in September.
Kumho said the purpose of the test was to “validate the technology for future business with F1 and to actually test the technology accumulated through motor sports since the 1990s for F1.”
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