Pirelli has denied Max Verstappen’s claim that Formula 1 could have prevented the tyre concerns it faced in Qatar by ensuring other series raced at the circuit beforehand.
Qatar returned to the F1 calendar this year – commencing a 10-year deal – but the event was partially dominated by discussions surrounding unexpected tyre problems.
After Pirelli discovered micro cuts on its tyres following Friday’s running, the FIA reduced the track width by 80cm at Turns 12-13 to discourage drivers from running wide.
It’s suspected that the 50mm pyramid kerbs on the outer extremities of the track at certain corners were responsible for the spate of tyre problems encountered.
Amid continued safety concerns, the FIA then announced ahead of Sunday’s grand prix that it would be enforcing maximum stint lengths of 18 laps for every competitor.
Verstappen, who wants to avoid a repeat of mandatory pit stops, asserted that F1 looked “silly” by being the first series to run at the newly resurfaced Lusail International Circuit.
However, Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing and F1 Mario Isola retorts that other categories wouldn’t have necessarily been able to uncover the problems F1 experienced.
“Each championship is different,” Isola issued via Autosport. “For example, in the past, we had a few issues with GT cars, because they were cutting corners a lot more than F1.
“Maybe you could organise an international GT event, but then you don’t find the same issue.
“So, I’m not sure that organising an international event is the way to fix the issue.
“I prefer to rely on simulation and see what the output of the simulation is. It is not perfect, but I believe that we have tools that are quite accurate.
“So, if we combine the simulation, with indoor testing and working together with other experts in other areas, I’m sure that we can find solutions.”
It was announced last week that Pirelli had agreed a deal with F1 to remain the sport’s sole tyre supplier through 2027.
The Italian manufacturer fended off competition from Bridgestone to win the latest tyre tender process, also securing an additional one-year option to extend.
F1 team bosses had collectively lobbied for Pirelli to remain ahead of the final decision being made, insisting there were “many millions of reasons” to continue.