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Tyres should be changed on safety grounds - Vettel

ESPN Staff
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Pirelli has suffered some high profile delaminations this year © Sutton Images
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Sebastian Vettel has criticised resistance against introducing a new structure of rear tyres at the Canadian Grand Prix, arguing it should have been changed on safety grounds.

Pirelli intended to change the belt material of its tyres from steel to Kevlar at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix after repeated delaminations earlier in the season, but decided to delay the switch to Silverstone after facing opposition from within the paddock. The teams will now have the opportunity to test the new tyres in Friday practice in Canada before the planned full introduction at the British Grand Prix in three weeks' time.

But Vettel thinks the tyre changes should have been made earlier and those that are opposing the switch take responsibility for any accidents that happen because of delaminations this weekend.

"There was a little bit of going one way and then the other way, because on Saturday in Monaco we thought we would have different tyres for this race [in Canada] and then we found out in the week that we won't," he said. "I don't understand because the point that we tried to make clear from a driver's perspective were based on safety. Surely you need all the teams to agree, but I think that is generally something that is unlikely to happen, whether it be for different tyres or arguing about putting your number on the car at a 45 or 90 degree angle - it's always difficult for the teams to agree on something unanimously.

"We learned that we will not use different tyres for here, only for Friday testing. On safety grounds we had concerns, but some people took the responsibility for this weekend that it will be fine. What exactly is the plan [going forward], I don't know."

Opponents of the new tyres have argued that the Kevlar belt is not needed on safety grounds as the steel-belted tyre stays inflated when the delamination occurs and does not cause a blow out. But Vettel believes large parts of tread flying off cars is intrinsically dangerous.

"We've had lots of races in the past where we didn't suffer any problems, but we've had races this year where we did have problems. I don't like going through worst-case scenarios, but I think if you look at the accident Felipe had a few years ago in Hungary [2009] there was a small piece coming off a different car and just going in the wrong place. If the whole tread of the tyre comes off and hits in the wrong place, surely that is not safe."

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