Torino’s Automobile Museum was the setting for the celebration of Pirelli’s100 years of sporting competition. It debuted with a win in the 1907 Peking-Paris race. I wish to express my sincerest best wishes for this anniversary to the entire Pirelli brand and wish it another 110 years of success. We are talking about a historic supplier. Racing was born with it and the development of tyres has grown with the races. It has been a reciprocal exchange of information and technology.
My first collaboration with Pirelli goes back to the 1973 Formula 3 season when the Minardi Team introduced the slicks designed by its engineer Mario Mezzanotte and his assistant Turchetti. The adventure then continued in Formula 2 where we achieved some fine results such as the win at Misano and Michele Alboreto’s pole position at Pau.
After the first two seasons in Formula 1 (1985 and 1986) clad with Pirellis our roads came back together in 1989 and 1990. Thanks to the clearance by Goodyear we began developing their tyres until the end of 1988. It was an important experience. Taking part in the baptism of fire of the new tyres was extremely important for the Team and gave the drivers great benefits. At Estoril during only one day of time trials Martini tested the fine number of 30 sets of qualifying tyres, at the same time achieving the circuit’s newest fastest time (1:13:100). It was thanks to these tours de force that Pirelli achieved its excellent qualifying times. In 1989 we won a third place on the grid at Adelaide behind Senna and Mansell and in 1990 the front row at Phoenix at Phoenix.
Today we are facing a difficult season in which the tyres will be an important gauge, for better or for worse. We are talking about the most important modification of the 2017 regulations.