Pirelli keeps an eye on pos­si­ble WRC re­turn

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Pirelli’s motorsport di­rec­tor Paul Hem­bery has re­fused to rule out a full-time re­turn to the World Rally Cham­pi­onship in the future.

The Ital­ian firm has with­drawn from next season’s WRC, but rally fan Hem­bery said it could be back to add to its tally of 23 world ti­tles and 180 world rally wins un­der the right con­di­tions.

“I wouldn’t say this is the end of the road for us in the WRC, far from it,” he told MN. “But a re­turn for us would de­pend on a lot of fac­tors, in­clud­ing the health of the cham­pi­onship and the health of rallying in gen­eral. We have an on­go­ing po­si­tion in global rallying on a re­gional, clas­sic and do­mes­tic level and if we feel the plat­form of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship fits with out strat­egy, we will, of course re­turn.”

Hem­bery con­firmed Pirelli has pro­duced a tyre suitable for 2017-spec­i­fi­ca­tion World Rally Cars, en­sur­ing the door re­mains open for a pos­si­ble quick re­turn.

“Be­ing a world cham­pi­onship, the WRC con­sumes sig­nif­i­cant re­sources,” added Hem­bery. “For us to come back we would have to be in the sit­u­a­tion where we have an op­por­tu­nity to work with a part­ner to put to­gether a pack­age to win ral­lies.”

Lorenzo Ber­tolli was the last WRC car on Pirellis in Aus­tralia in 2015

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