Vettel attacks Pirelli over safety of tyres

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Cataunya, Barcelona, 2013Sebastian Vettel launched a stinging attack on Pirelli’s tyres in the build-up to the Monaco Grand Prix, describing them as unsafe.

“I think we’ve seen a couple of occasions this year where, I don’t want to talk bad about people, but they have to do a better job on safety grounds,” said Vettel.

The reigning world champion said the tyre delaminations suffered by drivers in recent races had not been caused by debris, as Pirelli have claimed.

“We saw that people suffered the tyre, the surface, the tread delaminating and blowing up,” he said. “Fortunately nothing happened but it’s not because drivers drove over debris it’s because the tyre’s simply not good enough and that can’t be safe.”

Pirelli initially blamed debris for the tyre failures suffered by some drivers in Spain and Bahrain.

Vettel warned against the potential dangers of a driver suffering a tyre failure: “So I think there’s certain thing we need to be careful with because the last thing we want is a big off.

“You can imagine here, end of straight, down to the harbour chicane, you have a tyre coming off, I think it’s something none of us want to see.”

Red Bull have repeatedly criticised Pirelli’s latest tyres since the beginning of the season, saying they do not allow drivers to push to the limits of their car.

The team renewed their criticism after the Spanish Grand Prix, in which most drivers had to make four pit stops, more than Pirelli’s intended maximum of three. Pirelli initially announced plans to change the tyres for performance and safety reasons but the FIA told them they could only do so on safety grounds.

Vettel also added he was concerned about the quantity of marbles produced by the rubber.

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

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69 comments on Vettel attacks Pirelli over safety of tyres

  1. Sean Doyle (@spdoyle17) said on 24th May 2013, 0:44

    You have Vettel among those lobbying for new tyres.

    You have Bernie and the FIA saying safety can be the only reason to change the tyres.

    Vettel and others use “safety” in their lobbying…

    Who here caught this in the interview?
    Prost: “…In our time, if you want to compare, we had to take care of the brakes and gearbox and fuel consumption and obviously also tyres because sometimes we had to be careful of the tyres, but the regulations were also very different and at one stage we had three types of rubber and we could make changes and I very often ran hard tyres on the left and soft tyres on the front. I even raced in Las Vegas in ’81 with qualifying tyres on the front, but that means we cannot compare.”

    Ok… What would it take to change the regs to allow any compound on any wheel at any time? If, say… Mercedes wanted to run a four-stop strategy with Softs on the front and Mediums on the rear, could they push all race? What about the other teams?

    Why isn’t changing the gimmicky regulations on the table at this point? Just tell Pirelli to bring every compound and let the teams sort out what they want to run.

  2. Irejag (@irejag) said on 24th May 2013, 3:26

    I scan all the comments and it is very easy to see that quite a few people think that Red Bull is complaining simply because they don’t feel they have the fastest car. Maybe that is true, but the argument on safety is still a valid point that needs to be addressed by Pirelli.
    It only takes ONE moment for a tire to blow up and cause a major accident. Imagine for a moment the cars going into the first corner and leaders tire blows up.. I personally don’t want to see that kind of carnage. I admit that is a worst case scenario, and maybe a little bit dramatic. Racing is dangerous and anything can happen at any moment on the track, but to be using these tires is basically like asking the drivers to play Russian roulette.
    I am a Red Bull fan, but I would be willing to see them lose this season if it means switching to a safer tire for ALL the drivers and teams.
    I am making a prediction. With these current tires, I believe that we will see the safety car at least 5 times or more on Sunday.

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