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Motor racing-Pirelli warn of possible 2014 tyre crisis

Reuters

By Amlan Chakraborty

GREATER NOIDA, India, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Pirelli warned on Friday they will not be able to supply tyres for next year's Formula One season unless they are allowed to do more winter testing with an up-to-date car.

A spate of blowouts earlier this season and the criticism that followed led to a change in tyre compounds and structure, but even that could not satisfy drivers including Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Mark Webber.

New rules for 2014 are likely to pose different challenges for the tyres and Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery told reporters at the Indian Grand Prix that the first official test with all the teams at Jerez at the end of January was too little, too late.

"Based on the comments of our chairman a few weeks ago, there has to be some running or we can't do the tyres," said Hembery, referring to reported remarks published in Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

Hembery said he would like ideally to be able to test with 2014 cars in December but the teams are already racing against the clock to be ready for Jerez.

"Not by force, we'd like some common sense. We have to do some testing. If we can't, we won't be able to provide the tyres," he said.

Alonso was critical of the tyres at the South Korean Grand Prix, complaining they could not even last a fast lap of the circuit without their performance dropping off.

Hembery said the Italian tyre manufacturers faced a "tough job" and offered an alternative perspective of the current season where tyre management has assumed greater importance.

"People expect just the magic things sometimes out of thin air...We still see some interesting races and interesting scenarios. That is what the sports is asking for."

Pirelli have announced a tyre test with McLaren at Italy's Vallelunga circuit near Rome on Nov. 11-12 with next year's tyre and a 2011 car, subject to approval by the International Automobile Federation (FIA). (Editing by John Mehaffey)

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