• Pirelli tyre row

Tyre misuse caused blow outs - Pirelli

ESPN Staff
July 2, 2013 « Ferrari wants answers after slide in performance | Pirelli strengthens tyres for Germany »
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Pirelli has blamed the way the Formula One teams used its tyres as the main cause of the blow outs it experienced at the British Grand Prix, citing tyres mounted the wrong way round, low pressures and extreme cambers as the reasons why the tyres suffered cuts from Silverstone's high kerbs. At the top of its statement Pirelli made clear: "The 2013 tyres do not compromise safety if used in the correct way".

The Italian tyre manufacturer said the rear tyres on the cars that suffered blow outs had been mounted with the right-hand tyre on the left-hand side and vice-a-versa. It said the asymmetrical structure of its tyres had not been designed to be used in this way and had put extra stress on the sidewalls where the cuts had appeared.

Several teams have experimented with "tyre swapping" over recent years to gain a performance advantage and Pirelli admitted it too had underestimated the effect this would have on safety and should have banned the practice.

Pirelli claims the use of low pressures and extreme camber settings also put extra stress on the tyres, saying it has "no control" over these settings on the cars. It has asked the FIA to ensure the teams stick to its recommendations in the future and that a dedicated delegate is employed to check the teams do not push the limits.

It added that kerbing, especially at turn four, had been particularly aggressive and most likely caused the cuts that led to the blow outs on the following Hanger Straight. The statement added: "Pirelli would like to underline that the 2013 tyre range does not compromise driver safety in any way if used in the correct manner, and that it meets all the safety standards requested by the FIA."

Pirelli will bring revised rear tyres to this weekend's race at the Nurburgring, with a Kevlar belt rather than steel, before it reintroduces its 2012-specification construction from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards. It has also asked the FIA to introduce a new regulation to allow it access to real-time data from the teams regarding pressure, temperature and camber angles.

"I'd like to re-emphasise the fact that the 2013 range of tyres, used in the correct way, is completely safe," Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery said. "What happened at Silverstone though has led us to ask for full access to real time tyre data to ensure the correct usage and development of tyres that have the sophistication we were asked to provide and extremely high performance that has lowered lap times by more than two seconds on average. While we wait for a change in the rules, we will introduce tyres that are easier to manage."

Pirelli has also arranged additional winter testing to develop its 2014 tyres in the future.

Following the original press release, a further statement from Hembery was issued saying Pirelli was not intending to create arguments or attack the teams.

"Contrary to the impression that some people have formed, I would like to underline the collaboration and support that we are receiving from the teams, drivers, FIA and FOM. In no way are we intending to create arguments or attack anybody. We have taken our responsibilities upon ourselves as our press release indicates. But not having full control over all the elements that impact on the use of the tyres, we need everybody's contribution. With regard to this, we are receiving the full support of all the parties involved, for which we are very grateful."

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