Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says he is surprised by the demands made by rival company Michelin ahead of the bidding process for the 2017-19 tyre contract.
Pirelli has supplied tyres to Formula 1 since the start of the 2011 campaign but the FIA has opened up the tender process for the next three-year contract, with Michelin having submitted a bid.
Michelin's proposal comes with the demand for Formula 1 to adopt 18-inch rims and Hembery, whose company has been adhering to a brief to use 13-inch rims which degrade in a certain manner, said he was surprised by Michelin's request.
"We follow the rules and an example would be an engine manufacturer coming in and proposing a 2.5 litre or 5 litre V8 and acting surprised when the sport says ‘we’ve actually got a 1.6 turbo’ – it’s the same discussion, isn’t it?" Hembery said.
"We can only reply to the rules and we’ve said we will supply what they want, if you want 20 inch, we’ll do 20 inch, if you want tyres that last the whole race we’ll supply it.
"We do what the sport asks from us, it’s not our position to change the rules, we can have suggestions, at the moment it’s very clear.
"The size of the tyre is set by the FIA together with the teams and promoter and it states a certain size of tyre and they’re still asking us to create a certain number of pit stops and if that changes we will – we will respond to what we’re asked to do."
Hembery was asked further about Michelin's proposal and replied "we follow the rules, we follow what we’re asked to do, the sport has asked us to do a certain job as partner and supplier to the sport and that’s very simple."