F1 scrambles for solution to tyre crisis

F1 Fanatic round-up

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2013In the round-up: Reverting to 2012 tyre compounds and opening the Young Driver Test to race drivers are mooted as F1 searches for a solution to Sunday’s spate of tyre failures.


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British Grand Prix blowouts hit Lewis Hamilton and spark boycott threat (The Guardian)

Adrian Newey: “From what I understand had we gone for a new construction we would not have had the catastrophic failures we had today. The nature of the circuit aggravates ?ǣ the combination of kerbs and high speed corners. Whether that is a problem in Germany I wouldn’t like to say.”

Drivers threaten boycott after GP tyre chaos (The Telegraph)

Felipe Massa: “I am 100 per cent sure that every driver is complaining about today. I don?t want to say that [we will boycott] because I don?t want to create loads of problems but this is something that for our safety we can do.”

Urgent solution needed for F1 ‘crisis’ (BBC)

Christian Horner: “Make no mistake about it. Fernando Alonso is a very lucky boy today to be going home.”

Horner: Someone will get hurt (Sky)

“The most logical thing would be to go back to the tyres that have worked for them well previously. Certainly last year, we didn’t have these failures.”

Teams call for full tyre test (ESPN)

Stefano Domenicali: “I had an idea that we need to discuss over the next days that we have a test here in Silverstone with the young drivers that, with Silverstone being a track that is very demanding with the tyres in terms of stress, should be ready to do something to try to solve this issue and I would also say we should do it with the racing drivers. It is something that is very important so I can guarantee to you that from a team point of view we are very open to find a solution. We will all benefit from a solution.”

FIA invites Pirelli to SWC meeting (Autosport)

Jean Todt: “I had a meeting with officials from Pirelli, who will obviously investigate all the incidents that occurred in recent days. They will come up with proposals for the important meeting with all the teams on Wednesday. This [issue] will be part of the priority agenda.”

2013 British Grand Prix – Post Race Press Conference (FIA)

Nico Rosberg: “We shouldn?t get into that situation [of having further tyre failures in Germany]. We need to do what needs to be done to sort it out and make the tyres last.”

British GP ‘was Russian Roulette': Webber (The Age)

“I was praying for the Safety Car, but not with the way they were coming. It was Russian Roulette. I made the most of them though, the strategy was one of our best, and yeah I thought: ?Here is Nico, the one car left. It would have been nice to have a few more laps, but that is the way it goes.”

Sebastian Vettel Q&A: I did everything to win (F1)

“Everything was looking really good and we had a good gap to Nico (Rosberg) behind – then suddenly, coming out of Stowe, I wanted to change from fifth into sixth gear and that was the moment that I lost fifth gear. Then the others subsequently passed out. Why? I have no idea.”

Webber tips Ricciardo to replace him at Red Bull (Reuters)

“I think he’s in the box seat… he deserves it and he’s done the yards over here in Europe early doors. He’s been on the canvas a few times and got back up and that’s part of the rules.”

Straight to Germany to try again (Toro Rosso)

“[Ricciardo] was lying a handy fourth, having started fifth and clearly a pit stop would have dropped him back, but maybe not as far as his eventual eighth place at the flag. However, if we had called him in and those immediately behind him had not stopped, who knows if he would have even made it into the points.”


Comment of the day

After yesterday’s British Grand Prix @Scratt asks if the FIA have been lax in some areas relating to safety:

I am torn by a bunch of things in this race.

I don???t really want to see either Alonso or Rosberg penalised, or the result of this (or any race for that matter) changed.

However, at the last race we had a race marshal die. And at this race we have one or two very obvious unsafe releases, and people ignoring yellow flags. And the stewards do effectively nothing.

All of this in a race where we had multiple tyre delaminations, which in themselves also could have caused injury to the drivers in the cars that had the issue and others around them.

A race where an awareness of safety should have been on people???s minds as a matter of course.

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On this day in F1

Following the disappointment of losing a potential victory in his home race on the last lap two weeks previously, Ronnie Peterson made amends by finally scoring his first F1 win in the French Grand Prix 40 years ago today.

Team mate Emerson Fittipaldi retired after colliding with Jody Scheckter, who was substituting for Peter Revson at McLaren. Francois Cevert was second for Tyrrell ahead of Carlos Reutemann’s Brabham.

Here’s highlights from the race:

Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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108 comments on F1 scrambles for solution to tyre crisis

  1. GT_Racer said on 1st July 2013, 14:39

    Lot of comments around the web talking about how the problems seen this year are not Pirelli’s fault because of what they were asked to do & no testing etc…

    Its true they were asked to make tyres that suffered from wear, However its 100% upto Pirelli how they go about doing that & the compounds & construction of the tyres is also 100% Pirelli’s decision.

    This year Pirelli decided to make all the compounds significantly softer, Significantly change the sidewall construction & shape & introduce the steel belt as well as a new bonding process.
    All the issue with tyres through 2013 stem solely from these changes, Changes that Pirelli & Pirelli alone decided to introduce.

    With regards to testing, Its not ideal but Bridgestone didn’t have testing in 2009/2010 & Pirelli didn’t in 2011/2012 & we never saw the problems we have seen this year.
    Plus Pirelli can test there tyres on Friday of race weekends, Something they hardly did until recently.
    One of the problems is that Pirelli totally change the tyres every year, If they did an evolution as Bridgestone always did I doubt we would see problems as they would be working with a largely known product rather than something completely new.

    With regards to the kurb, The kurb at turn 4 is identical to how its been since 2010 & the drivers are taking the same line over it they have been doing since 2010.
    Also if it was solely a kurb, We would have seen a lot of cuts through the weekend, Not just in F1 but also GP2/GP3 & the porsche’s.
    Tyres been cut by kurbs would have been something which would have been obvious earlier in the weekend & would be something happening in every category.

    I understand that many of the problems seen with the 2013 tyres have been caused by the steel belt design, That was something Pirelli themselfs decided to change.
    The steel belt means the tyres run hotter, There more prone to overheating, Suffer from delaminations & give less warning before they totally fail as the temperature rises very suddenly & immediately fails when it reaches a certain temperature point.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 1st July 2013, 16:04

      They weren’t asked to make tyres that suffered from wear, they suggested this themselves. It’s after the fact that the whole thing started to backfire (people complain that your tyres are crappy is never a good advertisement) that FIA and teams tried to help Pirelli a little to shift the blame away from them.

      Still, it was what they said they were going to do before they even got the deal.

    • ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 1st July 2013, 19:37

      Didn’t Silverstone do work to the track to improve drainage this year? The way a track changes over a dry weekend means that traction and therefore cornering speed become greater. If cars are going faster over the curbs and drains (as they were doing on Sunday afternoon), then there is more chance of damage to the track. The FIA should now make a closer inspection at any of the left-handed corners for irregularities as part of their tire post-mortems. On the surface it looks like a Perelli problem, but let’s look closer at the surface.

  2. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 1st July 2013, 16:06

    the solution? get rid of pirelli and find a new tyre supplier, this is ridiculous now..tyre failures and illegal tests, im tired of pirelli taking up all the news in formula 1

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st July 2013, 19:37

      @scuderia29 I think the sport has to share at least some of the blame: I’m sure if Pirelli had it their way they’d have changed these tyres or even better made indestructible ones. I don’t think they are the ones who should be getting shot down even if it is easy to lay the blame wholy on them.

      • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 2nd July 2013, 3:12

        Well the sport asked pirelli to make tyres that would create exciting racing, i.e 2-3 pitstops preferably. Im sure they could make tyres that would last an entire grand prix, but theyre designing them to a specification, but this doesnt mean they can’t be safe, the sport never asked for unsafe tyres.

  3. celeste (@celeste) said on 1st July 2013, 18:46

    Marca (Spain sport magazine) is reporting that Pirelli changed the tyres with out consulting the teams.

    It is reporting that McLaren and Sauber had launched their engineers in a reconstructions of the tyres and both teams will send the evidence to FIA today (01/07/2013)

    • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 1st July 2013, 21:15

      Interesting. They’re reporting that kevlar was added between the steel belt and the tread, in order to reduce high tread temperatures, and suggesting that this was why both Lotus and Ferrari saw a drop in performance. If this is confirmed, it adds a new, rather nasty, turn to “tyre-gate.”

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 1st July 2013, 21:42

        I don´t think it is true, but after yesterday Pirelli is really taking a beating… their Facebook is really full of negative commetns, and fater Mercedes test people is really questioning their integrity…

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd July 2013, 7:39

        Actually I would say its rather a show that Pirelli were doing their best to solve the issues instead of anything bad @paul-a

  4. Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 1st July 2013, 22:46

    I just read the article by Gary Anderson regarding this saga on the BBC website. And with this article, he has lost every shred of respect I had for him. I feel he should no longer has any place in this sport. And it’s all from one short paragraph.

    There has to be a grand prix. And there will be. Pirelli will take the best tyres they have for the situation and if some of the teams don’t like them they can sit in the garage.

    It’s clear from that – and from the rest of that article – that Gary Anderson isn’t thinking about the safety of the drivers. After all the hard work by Jackie Stewart, and all the improvements since 1994, surely this kind of attitude simply cannot be tolerated? He may now just be a commentator, but if this belief is repeated elsewhere in the paddock, how long before we see a driver death again?

    This is sport. Death is not part of the game.

    • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 2nd July 2013, 0:11

      Death is part of everyone’s game — you can sit at home watching TV and eating potato chips (crisps) and die of a heart attack. I raced motorcycles and cars back in the 1950s and 60s, knew Jackie Stewart more than casually, and have the greatest of respect for all he and others have done for safety; I lost some good friends and was very lucky myself on more than one occasion, so truly understand advances in safety. But to pretend that motor racing is not dangerous is a fantasy reserved for computer games.

      As Bill McKenna once said: “…Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece, but to slide across the finish line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, and shouting GERONIMO!!!”

      • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 2nd July 2013, 3:55


      • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 2nd July 2013, 13:03

        While I have huge respect for any racer – especially back in the days when the safety record was far worse – these kind of views no longer have a place in any sport. While there will always be an element of risk in any activity, it is the responsibility of everyone involved to ensure that everything that can practically be done do improve safety has been done. If not, then the race should not happen.

        I have worked in a pretty dangerous operating environment myself, and I promise you that such lax consideration for human life simply isn’t tolerated.

        It’s time we put this kind of attitude in the same box as racism and sexism – it has no place in a modern society.

        • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 2nd July 2013, 17:01

          Then we ban all sports? Excitement, challenge, pushing the envelope, winning are all part of immutable human nature and all involve increased physical danger (which racism and sexism rarely do.) Think of boxing, climbing Everest, college athletes succumbing to heart attacks. On of my grandsons recently broke a leg playing soccer (he coaches a youth team) and had to have his tibia pinned — after twenty years of extreme dedication to his sport of choice.

          My point is only that driving a three quarter ton, 200 mph car in which any one of ten thousand pieces can fail is not as safe as sitting at home watching it on TV. That is perhaps what Gary Anderson was suggesting and which started this thread.

          You mention “everything can practically be done do improve safety” and I do not disagree. But accidents happen, many unpredictable, some never seen before. Jet fighters have windscreens that would have prevented Massa’s injury, but that is not F1. I could go on, but I’m sure you’ve got my point.

          P.S. I’m not at all happy with “tyre-gate”, it’s a fiasco. Just very glad that (so far) nobody has been hurt. Something is being done now, in hindsight, and I fear that it will “hurt” the sport by introducing revised technology in mid season.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 2nd July 2013, 21:23

            I agree with much more of your second reply than your first. I fully accept that the sport will never be entirely safe – much like everything else in life (albeit to a larger degree). But accepting then inherent risks that make motorsport the exciting activity it is, is very different to seeing a new, unexplained and highly dangerous (particularly thinking about the proximity of Alonso’s head to most of a tyre) event the correct response is not to effectively say “pfft, stop moaning and get on with it”.

            Those ten thousand potential failure points you mentioned? There have been great efforts to measure, understand, and where possible mitigate their risk. That same effort has not gone into preventing these incidents, and until it has, then the teams, FIA and Pirelli have not taken reasonable steps to keep drivers safe.

            You mentioned jet fighters, albeit in passing. When a jet has a “new” incident, and where there is a reasonable suspicion that it is something that could affect the whole fleet, the fleet are usually grounded until the problem is better understood. No ifs, no buts. When that doesn’t happen, there is understandable uproar, and the possibility of criminal liability. And getting those aircraft airborne again is far more important than anything that’s ever happened in every motor race combined.

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