Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
ROME

F1: Pirelli takes offensive over exploding tyres

English
© ANSA

(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, July 3 - Pirelli has taken the offensive
over the furore caused by a series of blowouts at last weekend's
British Grand Prix, insisting its tyres are safe and saying the
Formula One teams contributed to the problem by not using them
correctly.
After conducting an investigation, the Italian company
said four rear-left tyre failures at the Silverstone track on
Sunday, which sparked alarm about driver safety, were caused by
a combination of factors.
These included the fact that some teams had deliberately
put tyres intended for the right rear on the left side of their
cars, had run them at lower pressures than recommended and used
extreme camber angles in an attempt to boost performance.
"Under-inflation of the tyres and extreme camber settings,
over which Pirelli has no control, are choices that can be
dangerous under certain circumstances," it said.
The company accepted that it was in part to blame though,
as it had not banned teams from mounting tyres on the wrong
side.
But it stressed that its product was safe.
"Pirelli would also 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 (F1's governing body) the FIA," Pirelli said in a
statement.
Nevertheless, the company said it would take stronger rear
tyres to this weekend's German Grand Prix and introduce a new
range by the time of the Hungarian Grand Prix later this month.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso said he was confident Sunday's
at the Nurburgring will be safe.
"After what we saw in Silverstone, we now go to the
Nurburgring, confident we can see an improvement," Spain's
Alonso, a two-time world champion, said Wednesday.
"I know that various modifications have been applied and
let's hope that means all of us drivers can race in safe
conditions.
"At the moment, we can't make any predictions, because no
one has tried them and we don't know what and how many benefits
they can bring, apart from trusting in the fact that it won't be
dangerous to race".
Last weekend's rear-left tyre failures hit Mercedes' Lewis
Hamilton, who was in the lead at the time of his blowout,
Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and
McLaren's Sergio Perez.
Pirelli's deliberately fast-wearing tyres, designed to
make F1 races more exciting by forcing teams to make several
pit-stops, have been criticised by some teams all season.
Several drivers, including Red Bull's German world
champion Sebastian Vettel, have complained the tyres perform
unpredictably and frequently force them to cut speed to stop
them wearing out after only a few laps.
But the British race was the first to feature tyre
explosions.
Some in the sport had talked of a possible driver boycott
after Silverstone.
Pirelli's attempts to introduce significant changes to its
tyres previously this season were opposed by Ferrari, Force
India and Lotus, teams who had adapted well to the current
specifications.
After the tyre explosions, the FIA, F1's governing body,
changed its rules to allow race drivers to test tyres with their
2013 race cars at Silverstone later this month.
The FIA is also looking at the possibility of changing its
regulations to enable Pirelli to modify the tyres during the
season without requiring unanimous agreement from all the teams.
Pirelli has been the sole tyre supplier to all the F1
teams since 2011.
Its exclusive contract with the sport expires at the end
of this year and a renewal has not yet been signed.

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