Pirelli could ‘run a team for our budget’


With a budget to rival Formula 1's biggest spenders, Paul Hembery has warned that Pirelli won't remain in Formula 1 at "any cost."

At present the Italian tyre manufacturer is vying against Michelin for the new tyre supplier contract that begins in 2017.

Unlike Michelin, Pirelli have stated that they were willing to do what the teams want, whether that means sticking with today's specs or introducing wider rear tyres.

Added to that, the tyre supplier have said they will also follow the teams' directive on tyre degradation and the number of pitstops they want.

And all Hembery says they want out of it is recognition for a job well done as Pirelli are paying huge amounts to supply Formula 1.

"We're quite happy to go forward with some of the ideas they've got," he told Crash.net. "It's a big decision and very expensive.

"You've got to bear in mind that we're a sponsor as well as a technical supplier and our overall costs are far greater than a normal sponsor – it would be far better for us to go and do some trackside advertising and sit and have a bottle of champagne every weekend! That would probably cost about a third of what it costs now.

"Our costs of being present, net cost because we don't get anything from the commercial rights holder obviously, we're contributing to the commercial rights holder, our net cost is probably greater than [everyone] except the engine manufacturers. We could certainly run an F1 team for our budget.

"The cost is worth it so far but there's also got to be a recognition of your role. If you come along and feel that you're not getting the right recognition for what you're putting into the sport, then you start questioning it. Other people have come and gone in the past for those reasons and I'll know in October what our board thinks.

"I've always said that we won't be in the sport at any cost – it has to work as a business proposition. The sport is still strong historically in South America, Brazil in particular, and Europe but we need it to be stronger in Asia and we need to grow it in North America – we need a bigger audience in those markets.

"We compare F1 with other sponsorship activities, what our competitors do, what the automotive businesses do, other people – not necessarily in our business or area – how they go and spend money… It's not a given that, at any cost, we want to be here but we'll be here if it makes sense for the business – and if the sport wants us to be here. If they don't want to recognise our role and involvement, then we'll do something else…"