Tyre explosions caused by “something new” – Pirelli

2013 British Grand Prix

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.

2013 British Grand Prix

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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

  1. andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 30th June 2013, 17:10

    “We’re currently performing as ever our analysis. We’ve got to go away […]” yes you do Pirelli, you’ve got to go away indeed.

  2. Gabriel (@naylamp) said on 30th June 2013, 17:13

    this should give some ideas to mario kart designers. something like a “yellow pirelli” shell for blowing your rivals left rear tyre.

  3. obviously said on 30th June 2013, 17:40

    I think people who are just thoughtlessly shouting that tires must be changed ASAP don’t actually realize that what we saw today was in fact a result of changing tires without properly testing them first. If Pirelli had 3 day test with all 12 teams in the warm temperatures, they would have discovered this thing in the test, after running pretty much just couple of dozen of laps. And if this kind of thing wouldn’t appear in testing, that would mean that teams are intentionally going over the border with the way they are setting up their tires for quali and race.

  4. Michael Brown (@) said on 30th June 2013, 17:48

    I remember people speculating that the jagged kerbs were to blame when Vettel’s tire deflated rapidly in Abu Dhabi 2011. I’ve never understood why these modern kerbs have this jagged edge on the outside but even then they couldn’t figure out why the tire failed in the first place.

  5. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 30th June 2013, 17:53

    Poor Esteban Gutiérrez, he even misses the tyre failure count list for some reasons both in the article and in the Pirelli quote. :D

    Also, Alonso, Rosberg and Vettel were all very lucky as their left rears began to develop the problem just as they were pitting to change them. So that’s eight in total.

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


  7. Paul A (@paul-a) said on 30th June 2013, 18:50

    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.

  8. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 30th June 2013, 18:51

    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.

  9. Sean Doyle (@spdoyle17) said on 30th June 2013, 20:22

    (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.

  10. Vettelfanboy said on 30th June 2013, 20:23

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

  11. Makana (@makana) said on 30th June 2013, 22:58

    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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