Pirelli paradox in F1

ON THE FACE of it Pirelli, the world’s 5th largest tyre company scored a remarkable coup to oust bigger rivals Michelin and Bridgestone from sole supplier to Formula 1. Trouble is they did so on a promise to make tyres part of the racing excitement. They developed a faster degrading product forcing teams into extra pit stops and duly delivered an extra quotient of unpredictability to Grands Prix but have they damaged the reputation of their brand in the process? For chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli gambled on the benefits of association with top class motor racing outweighing the possible negatives of quicker wearing tyres but it is no coincidence that Michelin has been running an advertising campaign emphasising their durability and safety. But F1 is a sport which appeals to petrol heads who delight in the details and will love the extra excitement. Pirelli’s investment looks likely to be a safe one. - 10/6/2011

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