Massa, Hamilton welcome tire war

Following a press conference at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the Canadian Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver Lewis Hamilton and Williams F1 Team driver Felipe Massa expressed their desire for an additional tire supplier in Formula 1.

Pirelli became the official tire of F1 at the start of the 2011 season and has been unrivaled by another tire manufacturer since despite countless rumors or a second supplier entering the sport.

The last time there was multiple tire suppliers in F1 was 2006.

Michelin and Bridgestone rivaled each other for best rubber, until ultimately Michelin left at the end of the season.
When asked if he would welcome a return of an additional tire supplier in F1, Massa was very candid in his response.

“For sure, when we had the big fight between the tire suppliers it was amazing the grip we had on the tires,” said Massa. “It was really… I mean all the companies were giving the best they could, you know? So, I think when you have only one company, whatever they’re doing it’s the same for everybody. It’s the same for every driver so for sure they can spend less money on that.

“From the driving point of view, for sure it was better before but for the money point of view I think it maybe was too expensive, especially now. How it’s going in Formula One? For sure it would be too expensive. So, I’m not so sure it will happen. I don’t think so to be honest.”

Hamilton, the defending Formula 1 World Champion, was a rookie in 2007 and hasn’t raced in a time of multiple tire manufactures in the sport. However, Hamilton echoed Massa’s thoughts on an additional supplier in F1.

“I never really got to drive when it was a tire war but I agree with Felipe in the sense that I can only imagine one manufacturer… they’re always pushing technology and that’s naturally what the sport is about,” said Hamilton. “When you have one manufacturer there’s no need to push the technology.

“That’s how all of us teams… we’re always pushing each other. Everyone wants to get faster and get better and improve and naturally that’s what happens if you have a tire war.”

Image: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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