Sergio Perez, McLaren, Silverstone, 2013

Tyre explosions caused by “something new” – Pirelli

2013 British Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Silverstone, 2013Pirelli say the spate of tyre explosions seen during the British Grand Prix had a “new” cause and they are investigating the problems.

“Obviously today wasn’t foreseen,” said motorsport director Paul Hembery after the race. “We’ve seen something new, a different type of problem.”

“We’re currently performing as ever our analysis. We’ve got to go away and understand what happened today. When we’ve got the facts then we can understand what’s happened and get to the core of the issue. We take these things seriously and when we have the answers we’ll let you know.”

Hembery wouldn’t be drawn on the potential cause of or remedy for the problems until Pirelli has completed its examination of the failures: “It was one tyre at the back, the left-rear, so we need to understand that.”

Sergio Perez was the first driver to suffer a left-rear tyre failure during final practice yesterday. Qualifying passed without any further failures.

Pirelli previously said Perez’s failure was caused by a cut in the inner sidewall of the tyre.

During the race Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Jean-Eric Vergne all suffered major failures of the left-rear tyre. Afterwards teams increased the tyre pressures they were using the guard against a repeat.

Pirelli saw a series of delaminations earlier in the season and proposed changing the construction of their tyres to ones that use Kevlar belts. This was blocked by some teams.

Further prototype tyres were tested during practice in Canada and at Silverstone this weekend. But teams only accrued limited mileage on them due to wet weather.

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63 comments on “Tyre explosions caused by “something new” – Pirelli”

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  1. Thank goodness for these conservative tire choices, now finally we can get on talking about the racing and the cars instead of Pirelli!


  2. Anyone remember Michelin/Indianapolis? A very different manufacturer’s decision from what happened today. I am seriously thinking that this is truly a technical error by Pirelli — until now, their tyres have lost the tread leaving the carcass intact; so they came up with a new bonding technique (curing the tread more integrally to the carcass.) The side walls are now taking more punishment and failing. Shards of carbon fibre and riding the kerbs has been an integral part of F1 for many a long year, and maybe some teams were going as low as possible on pressures to increase heat, but it remains that these Pirellis are just plain fragile.

    When was the last time that there were five terminal tyre failures in one GP? I can’t remember a single time that this has happened in the 60 odd years that I’ve been following F1.

  3. For comparison we’re 113 laps (170miles) into the NASCAR race today and there have been atleast 2, maybe 3 or 4 Goodyear tires that have just randomly failed and had the tread come off.

  4. (Back at Enstone as they clean Kimi’s cockpit): “One diffuser fragment, ha ha ha. Two diffuser fragments, ha ha ha…”

    They’ll be counting all night.

  5. Vettelfanboy
    30th June 2013, 20:23

    I will definetly be removing the Pirelli tyres on my truck just in case they blow up .

  6. Enough with this farce, bring back last year’s tyres and let’s get on with it… It’s not exclusively Pirelli’s fault but the tyres have to change full stop.

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