Pirelli considering change to tyres after latest failure

2013 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Paul di Resta, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Pireli says it may be necessary to revise the construction of their tyres after the failure experienced by Paul di Resta during practice.

Di Resta’s left rear tyre shed its belt of rubber as he drove onto the pit straight during the session. The tyre remained inflated but Di Resta had to bring the car to a stop.

“Obviously there was a problem in the final part of [second practice] that affected the medium tyre on the Force India of Paul di Resta and we?re going to investigate the cause of that fully,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery.

“Whatever the cause, this is not something we like to see and once we have established all the facts we will decide whether some further modifications to the tyres are required to help avoid this type of issue.”

Pirelli experienced other problems with its tyres during the last race in Bahrain. One of Lewis Hamilton’s tyres failed during practice, causing damage which forced him to take a five-place grid penalty.

Felipe Massa had two tyre failures during the race which Pirelli believe were caused by debris. However they were unsure of the exact cause of Hamilton’s failure.

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60 comments on “Pirelli considering change to tyres after latest failure”

  1. embarrassing…

    1. I would rather say “worrying”

    2. At last!

  2. “I’m Martin Brundle, and welcome to the 2005 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis.”

    1. It woukd be worse than that, at least then there were 6 cars with tyres capable of racing, this time there would be none at all

      1. rain tyres …

        Anyway, anyone remember what tyres failed on Hamilton and Massa, were those alos the mediums? If so we might get “lucky” and just leave out that one. Or Pirelli can just take last years specification, but that will take some time to actually supply

  3. I’m not sure I mind how aggressive Pirelli’s tyres are at the moment, but if they are randomly ruining drivers and teams days, then that can clearly not continue. If we see any more retirements or penalties (following gearbox changes for example) arising from this them it’s a joke.

    1. *then it’s a joke.

      1. I don’t mean to interrupt the internet drum circle of rage regarding the tires – which I think is largely justified but also spilling over in to strange places – last year when the Red Bull ran higher than recommended front wheel camber at Spa and blistered their tires, we, by and large, said “Well, Pirelli told you what the operating window was and you ignored it, too bad, no special treatment.”

        We have no information about how hard the teams are pushing the tires outside of the limitations that Pirelli have set for all of the teams in an attempt to get more speed. If the tires are truly ‘randomly’ failing, well, that’s a part of racing. Just like when engines and gearboxes ‘randomly’ fail. Pirelli are lots of things, but the idea that they are actively responsible for a team or driver’s misfortune doesn’t even deserved to be talked about in reasonable company.

        1. I think it is probably safe to assume the teams aren’t doing anything that much different than last year and years prior in terms of pushing the tires outside of the limitations set by the manufacturer. Don’t know why this year they’d collectively be pushing that much harder than they were last year or the year before. It’s supposed to be the pinnacle of racing. They’re there to push things to the limits.

          And this points to the real problem as I see it too. If for some reason this year the tires are even more sensitive and must not be pushed, then isn’t that the very problem most of the drivers and fans have? Why are they having to tiptoe around the track? It’s supposed to be the pinnacle of racing, not the pinnacle of lessons in tire conservation where the driver is only there to monitor tire conditions and can’t really race like he knows how to race or like the car is capable to do.

          I can’t see this many delaminations so far in 4 races and a few practice sessions as being random, but if they are then clearly Pirelli is at least guilty of not stressing hard enough to the teams how important it is that they stay within their parameters, which again, would show they have way too much influence over F1.

          1. Could be a manufacturing error

        2. I think if that was the cause then Pirelli would have rushed to make us aware of it. Maybe it will turn out to the case after all, but at the moment it is certainly suspicious.

          I don’t think it is a part of racing if tyres randomly fail at the moment. If other components do, it’s because their design is pushed to the limit to make the car as competitive as possible. But Pirelli tyres aren’t in competition to be better than anybody else, so the bare minimum they should be capable of is not randomly fall apart (particularly if that has the knock-on effect of damaging other components on the car). Were we in the middle of a tyre war it would be a little different.

          1. @matt90, @robbie With an announcement in a post later today that Force India were testing a FRIC, or interconnected suspension it would not surprise me at all if they were putting unexpected forces in to the tires in a way that compromised their integrity.

            Ultimately it’s probably impossible to know, Force India are unlikely to report that they did this to themselves, and Pirelli aren’t going to provide a lot of details because they can’t without giving away the game on Force India and whatever it was they might, or might not, have been trying.

            Tires fail though, for the same reason that engines and gearboxes fail: Because teams try to tweak them beyond the limit in order to gain that little bit of extra speed. Given the lock down in regulations for the past 4 years, it’s more likely today than in the past couple of years because a lot of other ideas are played out. “Well, what if we ran an extra half degree of camber… sure Pirelli says the tire won’t take it, but.. for 0.01 seconds… let’s give it a shot”. Or you start playing with exhaust gasses and bending them around some things and under others and you create unexpected consequences.

            Motor-racing on the bleeding edge is going to cause parts to fail, and tires are parts. In a lot of ways, for better or for worst, Pirelli is competing against the teams, but that doesn’t mean that the degradation and failures are linked to the same ethos.

        3. the difference is that it could be incredibly dangerous if a tyre failed, far more so (in general) than if an engine or gearbox were to let go. if the left-rear failed in turn 3 it could be one hell of an accident.

        4. If the tires are truly ‘randomly’ failing, well, that’s a part of racing. Just like when engines and gearboxes ‘randomly’ fail

          The teams choose what engines and gearboxes they have, not the tyres with a single supplier. That’s the difference.

  4. Teams didn’t wish for these tires? :)

    1. I think Pirelli crossed the boundary. Why change that much from last year tyres?

  5. From what I saw, Hamilton’s and Di Resta’s tyre failures are not your typical punctures: they are the result of the rubber layer letting go of the structural part of the tyre (‘delamination’). Basically, the glue between those layers isn’t strong enough, or there is some sort of construction error (unlike last year, this season’s Pirellis are made in a factory in Turkey I believe). Should be an easy fix.

    1. BJ (@beejis60)
      10th May 2013, 18:42

      Last year’s tires were also manufactured in Turkey.

      1. Last year as well? Hmm, my bad :P

        1. yep, they have always been made there, as have 99% of all tyres Pirelli supplies to Europe.

  6. the failure was quite funny. It appeared like the tyre was re-moulded. Me and a frnd cracked a joke tht Pirelli supplied second hand tyres :p

  7. Traverse (@)
    10th May 2013, 17:52

    Pirelli considering change to tyres after latest failure

    If after all of these failures Pirelli are still only considering a change, it makes you wonder what catastrophe would have to occur for them to bite the bullet.

  8. And now we can all say hello to Pirelli Mark 2 aka the New Bridgestones.

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      10th May 2013, 18:13

      Or just last years Pirelli tyres. Seems a logical move to me.

    2. How about we get tyres that last forever but a minimum of 3 stops per driver per race is mandatory.
      That way, the drivers and teams will be able to be much more aggressive and show the World what true racing is.
      More than that, they will not be able to be conservative because driving flat out and doing the same stops is a lot faster than nursing the tyres and doing the same amount of stops.

  9. My wife’s car needs new tyres soon; Pirelli’s are not going on it!

    1. Bugger, I’ve just ordered some Pirelli P-Zeros to go on the rear of my BMW tomorrow. Let’s hope I don’t have to bring my car to a sudden halt… in a tree.

      1. Why just the rears, Mr. Leadfoot?

    2. @jarvf150 That’s like never buying Michelin because they had problems at Indy. The two tires (F1 race tire and street tire, even UHP) have nothing in common except color. Pirelli have done exactly what they were asked to do and have responded quickly to issues. This is not Firestone/Ford Explorer craziness.

      @mouse_nightshirt – you’ll be well pleased, the P-zeros are some of the best out there. Enjoy this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEAFO0M4f5Q

      And for the record I neither work for, own stock in, nor own products made by Pirelli. I just like the work they are doing. I will strongly consider them for my next set of tires.

    3. No and i haven’t put Pirelli P6000 back on my Jag either

    4. I have to say, I’m with Jarv on this one. The reason manufacturers get into racing is to gain exposure. To me, this is Pirelli showing an arrogance and telling everyone “what is good for them” which is an attitude that could easily carry over into their street tires. I’ll admit, as hobo says, the two have little or nothing to do with each other TECHNICALLY between street and racing tires. BUT corporate personalities do carry over across product decisions and I don’t want these arrogant people making decisions about the tires that go on MY car.

  10. I still dislike the fact that Hembery puts the blame on everything else. The drivers are too aggressive, the track is full of debris and etc. It’s the third time this has happened this year and it’s clear that the Pirellis are dangerous to drive. But Hembery says it’s not their fault and their tires are the best ever, so yeah, let’s enjoy some more don’t-fight-with-him-save-the-tires racing.

  11. I really hope the Pirelli shed this tires and get the 2012 tires back on track. Not only Viewers but Drivers also fed up with the Softness. If FIA and FOM want to have more pit stops then introduce a Rule like mandatory 2 pit stops if they really want to see Drivers changing tires

    1. that way you could use harder more durable tyres and have real racing.

    2. @Sri Harsha,
      I’d give you a BIG +1 if we could vote.

      1. @daved
        We saw some real racing in 2012 through out. Diverging strategies to teams/driver strengths which is really lacking in 2013. We saw in a 2 stopper race Mclaren and Mercedes go for O-P-P to finish the race where as RBR Ferrari and Lotus went for O-O-P. Which caused Certain anxiety and Surprise results.
        Bring back 2012 tires and go for aggressive approach with them. We can see real spectacular racing on both Saturday and Sunday.

  12. Well….F1 wanted Pirelli to make tires that degrade and create different strategies…Pirelli figured they’d help F1 by taking it one step further, and it seems one of the strategies the teams may need to adopt is survival.

    At Indy, Michelin had to make a gutsy tough decision to recommend teams not race that weekend knowing they’d get slammed for it, but it became about safety…and really, for the whole season, it came down to those tires not being able to handle one particular corner of high loading, at one particular venue, away from Europe, where they hadn’t tested the tires. And they were castigated for it.

    This year, these tires are failing much more frequently already, and not just at one venue because of one corner…how long before the teams make the tough, gutsy but necessary decision to say No Thank You. Call us when you’ve got tires that are safe.

    1. I couldn’t agree more …

  13. Ben (@scuderia29)
    10th May 2013, 19:37

    they should have started work on revising the construction of the tyres after massa’s failures in the previous grand prix, its good for tyres to be unpredictable….but not when they randomly explode or fall apart, incorrectly manufactured tyres could potentially ruin someones chance over a WDC or WCC this year, its not something teams can control and it needs to be addressed immediately.

    1. @scuderia29

      its good for tyres to be unpredictable

      No it’s not. Predictable wear is what we should have, and differences in wear between compounds.

      1. Ben (@scuderia29)
        10th May 2013, 21:11

        i see what youre saying, but i quite like seeing the teams panic at the start of a weekend because they dont understand the tyres, i like to see them trying to get to grips with them (excuse the pun)

        1. I can see the entertainment value but I did not really like the random results of the beginning of last year where teams went up and down the ladder just because they randomly got the setup right for the temperature of the day.

  14. And this is why I hold my ground in saying Pirelli is FIA´s “callgirl” for giving in to supplying these lemons. If you own a company which is under the watchful eyes of the whole world, then for Christ´s sake, don´t produce something that will reflect negatively on your company´s image.
    I for one used to hold the brand in high regards but now, Pirelli to me, is synonimous with crap!

  15. Di Resta’s failure today was the 6th delamination this year.

    Button’s tyre delaminated after a lock-up in China.
    Guttierez suffered similar at Bahrain.
    Hamilton’s tread came off in FP3 at Bahrain.
    Van Der Garde suffered a partial tread seperation just after Hamilton.
    Massa’s tred flew off during the race.
    Di Resta’s failure today.

    The Button Lock-up in China did result in the tyre losing pressure & going flat, However in all the other instances the tyres have remained fully inflated which makes the issue even more unusual.
    Even Button’s failure from the lock-up was unusual, Big Lock-up’s have always caused flat spots but I can’t recall ever seeing 1 lock-up go straght through the canvas, causing a deflation. Even after several huge lock-ups, A massive flat spot & 20+ laps at Nurburgring in 2005, Kimi’s tyre never failed it just broke the suspension upright.

    A worrying issue is actually comments coming from some of the drivers regarding the fact that they have such little feel from the tyres that when they start to lose grip they just put it down to the degredation.
    Alonso thought his DRS failure at Bahrain was the tyres degrading & neither Hamilton or Di Resta were able to feel the tyre’s overheating which seems to be the cause of those failures.

    1. I agree with the Massa assessment. I don’t buy it was a puncture at all, the side of the tyre seemed to shear off through the corner much like a tin opener doing its job.

      I blame the FIA most, and for me the brand image hasn’t changed… but for most surely this doesn’t look good.

      Just stick the 2012 tyres on and let’s talk about something else please can we?

      1. And even if it was ultimately caused by a puncture, that is NOT how a punctured tyre should behave at all @john-h.

    2. Fully agree with you that we are seeing some really unusual behavior from these tyres which could be very dangerous.

      Sure, teams might be doing unexpected things with the tyres, and puntures might play a role. But those are nothing new. Delamination seen on this scale on track is certainly something they should get around solving immediately.

      I think I read something from an interview with an ex-Bridgestone guy where he mentioned Bridgestone (or was it Michelin?) had something similar happening to them during a test almost 10 years back where they went wrong in the temperatures used during the processing.

  16. For all the Pirelli’ defenders here it is…
    This is a joke, the team invest millions on the car, setups, engineers, pilots.
    All the sponsors are investing millions, for what?? For the ONLY manufacturer in the F1 world to go and do a thing like this that puts in risk the car.

    So, if a team releases a car with a loose tyre, takes a huge fine and can see his pilot penalised.
    My question is what’s the consequences of this HUGE mistake that puts pilots life and results in danger?
    Why this unprofessional behaviour by Pirelli in a million dollars show? Why try and give the tyre monopoly to a 1 manufacturer only? Who is winning from this situation?

    I’m sorry but i cannot believe in this, and i’m very very apreensive about the future, they are killing F1.

    1. Drivers. Drivers drive cars. Pilots fly planes.

  17. Lol! That’s all i can say. It is funny to watch this silly circus go on. By the time the FIA, Pirelli and the fans/journos who support these silly tires come to their senses, F1 will be the laughing stock of the motorsports world.

  18. I’m a fan of Pirelli, after all they’re just doing what the FIA ask. I think the issue of degrading tires and these structural failures should not be confused, I’m fine with the degradation, but the failures are worrying and dangerous, if the failure had happened earlier in the corner, Di Resta would have been thrown into the gravel at high speed. That isn’t good enough.

    1. I think the issue of degrading tires and these structural failures should not be confused

      I agree, Unless the root cause of the failures are been caused by Pirelli designing the tyres to act the way they do.

      If could be that in order to get the degredation there after they have made t

      I think the issue of degrading tires and these structural failures should not be confused

      I agree, Unless the root cause of the failures are been caused by Pirelli designing the tyres to act the way they do.

      They have said before that that to get the performance loss over a stint that there getting the tread depth is thinner & there’s nothing inbetween the tread & the canvas.

      Plus all the tinkering with operating windows & temperature ranges could be the cause of the overheating which drivers are now saying there totally unable to feel on the 2013 tyres.

      I think they should go back to the 2011 tyres, I think they were the best Pirelli have produced thus far. They still suffered from wear but still allowed drivers to push & I don’t recall any complaints about the tyres from teams/drivers that year.

  19. Geez finally sense will prevail….

    1. You think?

  20. Must’ve been all the carbon debris lying around…!

  21. TheBeast23
    11th May 2013, 7:21

    Get Pirelli Mk 1’s out and bring on Pirelli Mk 2’s or New Bridgestones

    Now we could have the real Hamilton back or i should say BEASTALTON!

  22. Hembery on BBC sport:

    “‘It’s similar to the (failures of the) other tyres we’ve seen this season,’ Hembery said. ‘When we made the move to putting high-tensile steel in the belt pack, when you get debris cutting the tyre it doesn’t penetrate it. Instead the tread heats up and comes away. Last year it would probably have deflated the on the rim and gone down immediately. So we’ve changed the mode of failure. You could argue it’s safer because the tyre hasn’t gone down.”

    So don’t worry folks, the tyres are actually “safer”!!
    That told us.

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