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Tyre failures at the British Grand Prix: F1 and Pirelli to Investigate Before the Event at Germany

15 July 2013 2,112 views No Comment

Expert predictions about Pirelli ensuring a silent end to the F1 season this year have all gone kaput. The British Grand Prix witnessed not one or two, but three tyre deflations, all impacting rear-left tyres. These occurred during the initial 15 laps, and ensued a long safety car period. On one hand, the race marshals dashed to clear the resultant debris and on the other, the race director at FIA, Charlie Whiting could hardly restrain himself from red-flagging the event on the grounds of lack of safety.

The Spectacular British Grand Prix

The very dramatic British Grand Prix continued despite a series of tyre deflations; and all the 110,000 passionate partisans witnessed a compelling conclusion to it. Sebastian Vettel ended up rolling to a standstill soon after he entered the home straight; and Britain’s favourite Lewis Hamilton engaged the audience with this season’s finest drive to finish fourth. The perpetual nearly-man, Mark Webber, left the spectators gaping in awe as he offered stiff competition to the triumphant Nico Rosberg during the final phase.

All this while, F1 fans made no qualms about expressing verbal displeasure against Pirelli after the early tyre issues. Their voices climaxed as the glorious Hamilton and Webber worked their way all through the grid, using improvised tyre strategies.

The Series of Deflations

Tyre deflation first impacted Mercedes on the 8th lap, following Ferrari on the 10th, Toro Rosso on 14th, McLaren on the 46th and Sauber on the 49th. Paul Hembery commented that there has to be some obvious reason behind this series of rear-left tyre breakdowns, something that has never happened before. He said that the management has taken the situation quite seriously and their team is thoroughly investigating all deflated tyres to find out the cause at the earliest; before the imminent event in Germany.

Pirelli’s Analysis

Pirelli analysed the failures and their investigation team pointed the possible cause as the kerbing at Silverstone circuit’s fourth turn, placed right before the place where some tyres collapsed. Pirelli’s Paul Hembery, however, resisted accepting this as a causative factor. It is most likely that the next FIA meet up at Nürburgring, to be held two days prior to the F1 event in Germany, will concentrate on tyre safety and the measures to be taken to avoid what happened recently.

Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, expressed concern and further said in his statement that at the moment, Pirelli is not in a position to elaborate further until they finish carrying out investigations and analyses of the recent tyre incidents. He added that this remains their top priority and chose to exclude their latest bonding process as the reason behind these tyre failures.

Concluding the discussion, Paul Hembery stated that Pirelli believes some aspect of this particular racing circuit to have impacted their latest version of F1 specification tyres. However, they want to refrain from speculating before putting together all evidence and coming to a conclusion. At this point, Pirelli prioritises finding out the truth about what happened and take appropriate measures, if required.

image credit: getty images

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