2013 German Grand Prix
F1′s official tyre supplier previously tried to introduce the revised constructions following the delaminations which occurred at the Spanish Grand Prix. But the move was blocked by Ferrari, Lotus and Force India, who claimed the change would make it harder for them to be competitive.
The tyres, which use Kevlar belts instead of steel ones, have been tested by the teams during practice at the last two races. But both days’ running were affected by rain, limiting the opportunity teams had to evaluate them properly.
In light of the failures seen at Silverstone, which Pirelli blame on multiple factors, Kevlar-belted rear tyres will be used at the German Grand Prix. The front tyres will remain unchanged.
At the following race in Hungary Pirelli will introduce a new range of tyres which will combine the structure, construction and belts used in 2012 with the compounds used on the 2013 tyres.
The revised tyres will be tested at Silverstone on July 17th to 19th. This was originally designated as a Young Drivers Test until the FIA ruled yesterday that race drivers could participate in it for the purpose of tyre testing.
The replacement tyres will be symmetrical in construction, unlike the current ones which are not. Pirelli suspect the teams’ practice of swapping tyres between the left and right-hand sides of the tyres is one of the factors which contributed to the Silverstone failures. Pirelli says teams will be “strictly forbidden” to swap the tyres over.
Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez all suffered tyre failures during the British Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso were among those who narrowly avoided similar failures and some drivers were showered with debris when tyres exploded at high speed.
“What happened at Silverstone was completely unexpected and it was the first time that anything like this has ever occurred in more than a century of Pirelli in motorsport,” said motorsport director Paul Hembery.
“These incidents, which have upset us greatly, have stressed the urgency of the changes that we already suggested – which will be introduced during for free practice in Germany on Friday.
“We would like to acknowledge the willingness of the FIA, FOM teams, and drivers to act quickly to find an immediate solution to the problem.
“In particular, the adoption of winter tests, arranged with the FIA, that are more suitable for tyre development and the possibility of carrying out in-season testing will contribute to the realisation of tyres with increasingly improved standards of safety and performance. I’d like to re-emphasise the fact that the 2013 range of tyres, used in the correct way, is completely safe.
“What happened at Silverstone though has led us to ask for full access to real-time tyre data to ensure the correct usage and development of tyres that have the sophistication we were asked to provide and extremely high performance that has lowered lap times by more than two seconds on average. While we wait for a change in the rules, we will introduce tyres that are easier to manage.”
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Image © Pirelli/LAT