Pirelli director responds to Szafnauer criticism: 'We made the sensible decision'

17-04-2021 08:56 | Updated: 17-04-2021 10:33
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Pirelli director responds to Szafnauer criticism: 'We made the sensible decision'

Lawrence Stroll's dream of having Aston Martin as the new top team in Formula 1 doesn't seem to have worked out too well. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer puts a significant part of the blame on Pirelli, as according to him the 2021 tyres unfairly disadvantage low-range concepts like Aston Martin and Mercedes. Pirelli however didn't seem to like this explanation and the tyre supplier offered the team their response.

Speaking to The Race Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola refutes Szafnauer's argument. The team principal argued yesterday that postponing the stronger Pirelli tyre to 2022 disregards this season's greater downforce, and thus highlights the difference in power between low-rake and high-rake cars to an unequal degree.

He explains: “I can understand that when there is a change, it is not making everybody happy. But the point is, which was the flaw in this process, nobody was expecting a pandemic, nobody was expecting to have the world stopped by a situation like that.”

When the FIA introduced the adjustments in downforce last year, Isola continued, Pirelli could not assure that it would be able to supply a tyre specifically adapted to it. “We had many discussions and also sensible solutions, but when the FIA introduced the changes in technical regulations, we couldn’t give them the guarantee that we had a tyre for this year with different characteristics", he said.

No intention to disadvantage anyone

Concluding, Isola states that Pirelli did not intend to disadvantage any specific team or car design with the 2021 tyre, and confirms he still stands behind the chosen strategy: “Obviously, the intention was absolutely not to penalise anybody, it was a change made for all the cars, all the teams and that was, in my opinion, obviously a sensible decision.”

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