"Ogier is the driver who gives us the most information"

Terenzo Testoni, head of Pirelli in the World Cup, assures that "it has been very difficult to return to the highest level because of the Covid."

The passage of the equator of the World Rally Championship in Estonia is a good time to review with Terenzo Testoni, Pirelli's head of the specialty, his balance in the year of his return as official supplier of the WRC.

- Are you happy with how everything has gone on your return to the specialty?

- The truth is that everything went well, especially since we never stopped working on rallies. Although for a few years we have not been an official supplier, we continued working in the other categories and with private drivers. But it has been difficult because of the Covid, which has prevented us from doing all the tests that we would have liked, and we arrived in Monte Carlo with very few kilometers of tests.

- What has been the most complicated rally and which is the worst of the remaining ones?

- Kenya was a great challenge, because it is a very tough rally in which punctures could be decisive. But the test in which we had the most pressure was in Portugal, the first gravel event of the year. Of what remains, the most complicated is going to be the Greek Acropolis, but not only for the tires, but also for the teams, the cars and the drivers, who reach a practically unknown terrain and very hard for everyone.

- Who is the pilot that provides more information?

- It is difficult to say one in particular, because they all contribute information to improve the tires, but Sebastien Ogier is the one with the most experience, and therefore the one who contributes the most. Also, he already raced with Pirelli and knew us, which also helps. However, others like Ott Tanak or Thierry Neuville also help us a lot in development.

- And for 2022, new hybrid cars. Have you started working on the new products?

- Not yet, because no team has finished the new hybrid cars. It will be in September when we start working, and the truth is that we will have very little time until this new era of rallying begins in Monte Carlo. It will be a challenge for the tires, because electric motors have more torque and demand more from the wheels, but we rely on the current product to meet the challenge.

- Pirelli is in Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship. Which brings more to the series?

- It is clear that rallies contribute more to the series tires, especially since they are more similar to the series cars, and they take place on similar roads. For example, the 'sottozero' tire we use in Monte Carlo has served to improve our compounds for snowy roads. Formula 1 perhaps contributes more to the tires of high-end sports vehicles. F1 is one more marketing action and rallies further help the development of the series. We are in the two most important disciplines of motorsport and for the moment we are not considering others such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the Dakar.

Photos from as.com
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