Following the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Formula One's sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli had no other choice than scrapping 1800 brand-new tyres.
After doing everything possible for the season-opener at Melbourne to go ahead as planned, the FIA, FOM and the Australian Grand Prix organizers have jointly made the decision on Friday morning to cancel the race. The decision also affected the sport's tyre supplier Pirelli, forcing it to write 1800 tyres off.
By the time the announcement was made, the Milan based company had finished mounting its tyres for the weekend. With the current generation of F1 tyres, Pirelli has to write off any mounted tyres even if they are brand-new because there is a chance for the tyres to get damaged when being taken off the rims. This applies to all flyaway races since the transportation requirement would be significantly bigger for mounted tyres.
However, Pirelli transports its tyres for most of the European races on road while it uses sea transportation for some other venues. In these cases, if a mounted tyre is not used over a race weekend, it can be transported and re-used in another race.
The tyres for the postponed Bahrain and Vietnamese Grands Prix have already arrived, albeit those can be used later on during the season. Asked by motorsport.com, the company's head of car racing Mario Isola disclosed how Pirelli intends to solve the issue, the Italian said that plans have already been made.
"The tyres for Bahrain and Vietnam are already there, but it's not a problem. We use sea freight for most of the tyres, and they are in thermal controlled containers. It's like having them in a warehouse, it doesn't make any difference for them. If there is any change in the calendar we can use them. "
Isola also stressed that Pirelli does not produce unnecessary waste with the large amount of tyres it uses during a Formula 1 season, but it tries to recycle them in the best possible way.
"We crush the tyres in order to fit them in fewer containers, and send them back to the UK where we recycle them in a cement factory close to Didcot. We burn them at high temperature, and we create energy, but not pollution.
"We are investigating many possible ways for recycling F1 tyres, but at the moment this is the way we recycle them after all our analysis," he said.