Pirelli has welcomed today more than 200 lucky fans to its Milan headquarters for the FOTA Fans Forum event prior to the Italian Grand Prix this week end. Formula One personalities Stefano Domenicali, Nico Rosberg and Jarno Trulli, as well as Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery were the special guests, along with engineers Nicolo Petrucci (head of aerodynamics, Toro Rosso) and Giampaolo Dall’Ara (race engineer, Sauber).

The FOTA Fans Forum, which began prior to the Canadian and British Grands Prix this year, is designed to offer enthusiasts a valuable opportunity to get closer to the world of Formula One and hear first-hand views from the leading figures at the pinnacle of motorsport.

After listening to the guests, fans were able to ask questions and exchange opinions as part of a unique program that was launched by FOTA (the Formula One Teams Association) last year. This latest event was held at Pirelli’s auditorium, housed in a restored cooling tower that dates from 1957, which is located within the Italian firm’s Bicocca headquarters on the outskirts of Milan. Tickets, which were free of charge, were allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The drivers, managers and engineers invited enjoyed a friendly discussion about many of the topical issues in Formula One. With Rosberg and Trulli taking to the track at Monza in less than 48 hours time, they were also able to give a fascinating driver’s eye perspective on the atmospheric Italian circuit, which is well known as being the fastest of the Formula One calendar.

Paul Hembery also spoke about the background to Pirelli’s three-year tire supply agreement and shared some of his thoughts about how the tires will continue to influence the action in the future.

He concluded: “We were absolutely thrilled to welcome so many knowledgeable and passionate enthusiasts to our headquarters for what was a very enjoyable evening: I’m only sorry that we weren’t able to fit in more people. It’s absolutely vital for all the key players in Formula One to connect with the public as much as they can, because ultimately the fans are the reason why we are all here. Maybe Formula One lost sight of that fact a bit in the past, but this excellent initiative from the teams underlines everybody’s intention to make Formula One more relevant and accessible than ever – and we are proud to fully support it.”

Europe’s best-selling sports newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport, was the official media partner and will provide full coverage of the event, which was hosted by veteran Formula One journalist Pino Allievi. A full transcript will be available after the event.

Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets.  For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com