Pirelli’s Mario Isola believes a return to multiple tyre suppliers in Formula 1 would only increase costs and increase the performance gap between teams.
The Italian manufacturer took over from Bridgestone in 2011 as the sport’s exclusive tyre supplier, but the Japanese company and Michelin shared the F1 market between 2001 and 2006.
While F1 fans have pronounced themselves in favour of open competition between tyre suppliers, according to a survey conducted by the Motorsport Network, Isola believes the impact would ultimately be negative for Grand Prix racing.
“It is a different situation,” Isola said while speaking at the Autosport International show in Birmingham.
“At the moment, we supply the same product to all teams. So we put all the teams on the same level, in terms of tyres.
“If you open competition, you increase the costs because you need to test.
“You will have top teams with a better product compared to the midfield or lower teams as you don’t have any obligation to supply the same tyres to everybody,” added the Italian manager.
“You create a differential between the top teams and the others. Maybe with two or three tyre manufacturers, you can have a couple of teams fighting at top but the rest will be struggling for performance.
“With the tyre, you can easily find half a second or more, so you generate bigger delta compared to now.”
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Looking forward to the 2018 season, the Pirelli doesn’t believe fans will be left confused by the company’s increased range of compounds and colors this year.
“I know that there were some criticisms around this choice to increase the number of compounds,” said Isola.
“I believe that with the additional compounds we have more flexibility and the opportunity to make a better selection in order to have the all the three compounds suitable for the trace.
“The target is to have a bit more degradation to try to target two [pit] stops and different strategies.”
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