Pirelli given extra time to submit 2014 plans

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Pirelli have been given an extension to submit their tire designs for the 2014 Formula One season should they extend their contract with the sport into next year.

The Italian tire supplier has come under fire this season for its designs. At the beginning of the year, many of the teams criticized the tires for not allowing their drivers to push to the limit throughout the race, but the proposed ‘prototype’ tire was rejected. The crisis worsened at the British Grand Prix following a series of concerning tire failures, prompting Pirelli to re-introduce its 2012 tire construction on safety grounds. Despite all of these issues, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery explained to Sporting Life how he was still seeking a contract renewal and that he had obtained an extension to submit the initial plans.

“We’re in the most bizarre situation,” Hembery explained. “There isn’t a clearly defined process but we’re going forward, getting the teams signed up, the promoter signed up and we’re working on 2014. We’ve agreements in place with the majority of the people involved, co-operation from them, and we’ve ongoing co-operation from the FIA.

“Until somebody tells us anything different, we don’t know what we should be doing differently.

“For now, with regards to the plans for 2014, we’re going for October 1st, so we’ve a few more weeks yet.”

Hembery had previously expressed his concerns over a lack of knowledge for next season, claiming that it would be impossible for Pirelli to re-design tires for 2013 whilst developing new compounds for next season. However, by reverting to last season’s tires, it would appear that a solution has been found and Pirelli could yet secure its fourth season in F1 for 2014.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”