Heading into the new season the infamous T-word of the past few years has been notable by it’s absence.
With the emphasis strongly on the new V6 turbo power units as well as other rule changes, Pirelli has moved from the aggressive, high degrading rubber of the past few years – taking a more conservative approach into 2014.
Some believe this could be to do with Pirelli trying to rebuild it’s reputation after a year of tyre failures and complaints about the quality of the P-Zeros. However answering that claim, the head of Pirelli’s motor sport operations, Paul Hembery, insisted that is not the case.
“No,” he said. “We did not take our decisions out of fear of criticism,” the Briton told Spox.
“It was just logical, because even now no one really knows how the cars with the new engines, the higher weight and less fuel will react with the tyres.”
For this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, a race where the softer compounds are often used due to the low-grip nature of the street circuit, Pirelli have been cautious taking the medium and soft tyres to Melbourne.
Again, Hembery argued this is because of the unknown outcomes in relation to the new power units.
“It is true that the choice appears cautious,” he admitted.
“But it is so the teams can focus on their programmes rather than having to work so hard on understanding the tyres.”
With the Italian supplier happy to take a back seat to the new engines and rules in 2014, Hembery was clear to point out relationships with teams remained strong after the difficulties of last year.
“Last year is over,” he insisted. “We learned a lot, made changes.
“What was expressed in the media is not always what is said behind closed doors,” added Hembery. “So we should let it go and instead look forward to the new season.”
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