Pirelli tyre, Nurburgring, 2013

Pirelli admits it was wrong to let teams swap tyres

2013 German Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Pirelli tyre, Nurburgring, 2013Pirelli motorsaport director Paul Hembery says they shouldn’t have allowed teams to swap tyres between opposite sides of their cars.

F1’s official tyre supplier cited this as one of the causes of the series of punctures seen during the British Grand Prix.

“At Silverstone we’d underestimated the impact of swapping the tyres,” said Hembery. “The cars were two, maybe three seconds per lap quicker this year and whilst we’d allowed the teams to do that we’d underestimated the impact on the tyre.”

“When you swap them around that creates a point with the metallic belt that we have on it, on the left-hand side, the camber side, and that created the weakness. We got that wrong and we needed to get it right going forward.”

Further changes will be introduced for the Hungarian Grand Prix which will be tested at Silverstone next week by drivers in the current cars: “The young drivers test were taking along some of the tyres, well the structure of the tyre, that will be used going forward this season.”

But Hembery confirmed Pirelli will have to go back to using their three-year-old Renault R30 for further work: “The Paul Ricard and Barcelona tests are with the 2010 Renault and it’s our own testing that’s looking for a few things for next season.”

“But obviously it’s a little bit slow now compared to the way the cars are moving.”

Asked why Pirelli had changed its tyres despite stating the previous compounds were safe, Hembery said: “You’ve seen at Silverstone a very dramatic increase in performance compared to previous years. Some teams described it as a three-fold increase in loading on the tyres.

“So going forward you learn from those situation, obviously, and you want to give a great margin. So it’s purely that.”

“The rate of development in Formula One is vast and you’ve also got a moving target,” he added. “So you don’t need two signals like that, do you?”

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Image ?? Pirelli/LAT