• German Grand Prix - FP2

No tyre safety concerns in Germany - Hembery

ESPN Staff
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Paul Hembery: "Tensions are always high in these situations, particularly when there are just a few days between events" © Sutton Images
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Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says there are no concerns over the safety of the tyres ahead of the German Grand Prix.

There has been much scrutiny on the tyre situation following the failures in last weekend's British Grand Prix, with the Grand Prix Drivers' Association threatening to boycott the race at the Nurburgring if there was a repeat. However, with Pirelli making changes to the rear tyres and the FIA saying it would police parameters relating to the way the tyres are used, Hembery said the changes for this weekend and the next race in Hungary were planned with future tracks in mind.

"You wouldn't expect [problems] at this type of circuit," Hembery said. "The changes we made are very much looking forward to Spa and places like Suzuka where they are - like Silverstone - very high load. Tensions are always high in these situations, particularly when there are just a few days between events.

"We saw in Silverstone a very big jump in performance, a two or three second per lap increase in performance which we certainly didn't envisage. We obviously expected a one second improvement, one and a half maybe but not two to three seconds; that was a big jump. So if the rate of development is still going in that way then we know that the 2012 structure is a better solution for places like Spa and Suzuka."

Hembery also said it was questions from the teams on Thursday which led to Pirelli asking the FIA to ensure the tyres are run under set conditions.

"We obviously give indications before every race but what maybe made us feel that way is that there were a lot of discussions on Thursday about 'could we do this?' and 'could we do that?' where they sought advice and we thought that after last weekend 'this isn't a discussion we want to be having', so we wanted to find a way in which we could maybe reinforce that."

Asked whether Pirelli had considered making a change to the tyre compounds as well as the structures, Hembery said it is an option but that the tyre manufacturer will more likely be conservative with its compound choices for each race.

"We are looking at that but with the performance improvements of the cars I think we will still be quite prudent for a little while - the next few races - just to be sure where we are. You look at the soft tyre here that's got a lot of peak in performance and a lot degradation while the medium does the laps and that works OK. Maybe the soft is actually quite aggressive so we'll have to be careful where we use that so you might see a lot more races with the medium and hard tyre, particularly at the faster circuits."

Hembery added that the practice of swapping tyres from side-to-side on cars - which was outlawed for the German Grand Prix - will remain banned indefinitely.

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