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F1’s Pirelli transition to be ‘challenging’ – Sutil

Adrian Sutil is expecting a “challenging year” for formula one in 2011 as Pirelli adjusts to the sport.

The Italian marque, not in F1 since the early 90s, is replacing departing stalwart Bridgestone, and has already kicked off its on-track development programme.

Force India’s Sutil said: “I see it being a challenging year.

“It’s understandable that as a new tyre manufacturer you need to collect your experience.  It’s going to be one or two years until Pirelli supplies the perfect tyre,” he predicted to Germany’s Spox.

But the German driver welcomes the challenge.

“It’s the same for everyone, so everyone has to cope with the situation.  That makes it exciting,” said Sutil.

Bridgestone entered formula one in 1997.

“We had the advantage that we could enter step by step, because Goodyear was still there.  First we had only one top team, then two and so on,” said the Japanese company’s F1 boss Hirohide Hamashima.

“For Pirelli it’s different because they immediately have to equip the entire field, which will be very difficult,” he added.

Hamashima revealed that Pirelli has not yet asked for any advice or involvement.

“So far Pirelli has not asked for advice, because engineers are very proud, especially when it comes to the competition.

“If Pirelli would like to make use of some of our employees, it would be our pleasure.  We have built up very good contacts with the teams and I would not want there to be a big confusion.

“The transition of Bridgestone to Pirelli should run as smoothly as is possible,” added Hamashima.