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Race drivers to take part in young drivers’ test at Silverstone
Tyre XPB
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Jul 2013   |  8:27 pm GMT  |  148 comments

Race drivers will be allowed to drive in the upcoming young drivers’ test at Silverstone to help Pirelli solve the problem with their tyres, the sport’s governing body the FIA has announced tonight.

Six drivers suffered tyre failures during Sunday’s British Grand Prix, raising questions over driver safety.

The three-day test, which takes place between 17-19 July and will be open to the public, will feature all teams except Mercedes who have agreed not to take part following their punishment for the controversial Barcelona Pirelli test.

The team’s regular drivers will only be allowed to work on tyre development and safety assessment. Young drivers will be allowed to work on car improvement work. To accommodate this change, the FIA is considering extending the test by an extra day.

FIA president Jean Todt said: “Our priority is to ensure safety for all in Formula One and we believe the incidents at Silverstone represent a genuine safety concern for the drivers.”

“We have thus taken the decision to alter the Young Driver Test to allow teams to use drivers they deem fit to carry out tyre development work in a bid to solve the problems we saw at the British Grand Prix.

“I believe it is fitting to carry out this work at the circuit upon which the issues were manifested.”

The FIA added that it has “asked Pirelli for an assurance that there will be no repetition of the tyre problems at this weekend’s German Grand Prix or at subsequent grand prix.”

The letter from Todt to Pirelli was addressed to the company’s president Marco Tronchetti Provera, who has bigger problems on his mind at the moment as he is being charged with receiving stolen information relating to his time with Telecom Italia. The Italian prosecutor in his summing up statement at the trial today called for a jail term for Provera of two years.

It is likely that there will turn out not to be one single cause of the failures seen on Saturday and Sunday. A combination of factors with drivers being aggressive on the kerbs being a part, in conjunction with teams running the tyre pressures below 19psi, the high loads at Silverstone, the running condition of the tyre with the suspension of some cars.

Hamilton, Massa, Gutierrez and Perez’s failures happened on the medium tyre, which has been used at every race this season except Monaco, without ever experiencing catastrophic deflations like this. Vergne’s failure was on the hard tyre which has seen action in Malaysia, Bahrain and Spain.

Pirelli has been keen to move away from the steel belted tyres used this year to the more succesful kevlar belted models of 2012 and as a change of specification is now mandated on safety grounds this may prove the fastest and most effective solution.

The sport’s governing body have also informed the teams that approval of the World Motor Sport Council will be sought to change the regulation which says unanimous approval from the teams is required to change tyre specifications during the season.

It was this clause in Article 12.6.3 which meant Pirelli were prevented from making changes to its rear tyres for the Canadian Grand Prix as Force India, Ferrari and Lotus failed to agree.

Meanwhile, Silverstone’s owners have defended the circuit’s kerbs following suggestions sharp edges may have cut the tyre sidewalls which caused a number of failures during the British Grand Prix.

President of the BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) Derek Warwick dismissed the reports as “absolute rubbish” having gone out on track himself to inspect the kerbs.

“These kerbs have been in since 2009. We’ve had thousands and thousands of cars go over these kerbs and they have been absolutely fine,” said ex-F1 driver Warwick. “We’ve had them checked by the FIA and they comply completely.

“I think [F1 boss] Bernie [Ecclestone], the FIA and Pirelli are bringing the sport into disrepute and they need to have a serious look at themselves and change these tyres and not expect all the teams to agree. Take it out of the teams’ hands and put safe tyres on these cars.”

On Ferrari, Lotus and Force India decision to resist moves to change the construction of the 2013 tyres because their cars have been able to get good performance out of the tyres, Warwick said: “The teams need to look at themselves. They made the decision not to bring a new tyre. I kind of blame Pirelli but they did their best to bring a new tyre to Silverstone and three teams voted against it.”

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  1. If anybody at any stage of this drawn out story says “yep, we might have been partly to blame there”, they will earn my undying respect.

    1. Lee says:

      I may have been partly to blame.

      1. Andy says:

        You have my undying respect

    2. hotAir-O-foil says:

      If you are referring to the ‘drawn out story’ as published then we are ALL partly to blame.

    3. bearforce1 says:

      Pirelli makes exploding tyres. They are the worst tyre manufacturer.

      Exploding tyres and no one to blame except Pirelli.

      Yes they may have been restricted with testing but that is no excuse to not be able to produce tyres that do not explode.

      Forget the more aggressive /racier tyre excuse. Everyone understands that the requirement was for racier tyres that work and don’t explode. Pirelli cannot make race tyres that work or have any sort or predictability. Pirelli are hopeless.

    4. KGBVD says:

      Warick in particular looks a bit foolish, considering Gary Anderson walked out on track and found a sharp edge on the turn 4 kerbing.

      These same tires were raced at 4 different tracks without systemic blowouts. The track obviously had something to do with it.

  2. Mav says:

    A Mosley-esque decision. That’ll silence the complaints about Mercedes’ punishment.

    So what would you choose? Tyre testing or development testing?

    1. expatpom says:

      Agreed Mav! Perhaps this will shut up those who keep whinging about the Mercedes tyre testing.

      1. Tim says:

        I wouldn’t hold your breath ;-)

    2. Stuart Harrison says:

      I can’t help think that this is now hampering Merc. The Tribunal decided that Merc weren’t attempting to deceive by running a current car under the direction of Pirelli.

      Being asked to sit out the young driver test was supposed to make up for any advantage they might have gained (which was more than none, but probably a lot less than Horner was making out at the time).

      Now it seems to have swung completely the other way – not only are current drivers being allowed to test, but the time is being extended by a day!

      I must admit to being a Hamilton fan, and so by association backing Merc, but this does appear somewhat harsh on them. The penalty given was fitting at the time, but now the goalposts have moved substantially.

  3. Anne says:

    Good call. And it´s open to the public, another great idea. However I don´t think Pirelli can get anything fixed for Germany. So I guess we´ll have the same problems again.

    I don´t think it´s fair to blame Ferrari, Lotus and Force India. It´s not their fault that Pirelli make bad tyres

    1. Andrew says:

      No, but it’s their fault (along with all their extremely vocal fans) that the tyres were not changed earlier.

      Instead of obsessing over Red Bull/Mercedes ‘lobbying’ to gain an advantage maybe these teams (and their fans) should have been thinking about the safety of the drivers.

      1. Tony says:

        Sorry, but no, I don’t think you can put any of the blame on Ferrari, Lotus or Force India. The proposed changes they rejected were only supposed to be for performance/degradation reasons, not safety reasons – in fact Pirelli explicitly stated that the changes were NOT for safety reasons: from BBC Sport: “It said there was no safety issue but admitted that it wanted to change the tyres because the failures looked bad from a public relations point of view.”

      2. Andrew says:

        “It said there was no safety issue but admitted that it wanted to change the tyres because the failures looked bad from a public relations point of view.”

        So essentially, Pirelli would not admit that their tyres were unsafe but admitted that they wanted to change them because of tyre failures.

        I think anybody with half a brain cell can see that these tyre failures are a serious safety concern.

        Having said that, Di Resta showed a disgusting attitude in his BBC post race interview essentially saying that he didn’t care about the tyre issues because it hadn’t effected him. This is the exact attitude that Ferrari/Lotus/FI showed when the tyre changes were proposed before.

        Tyre failures were obviously a serious safety concern but because Pirelli wouldn’t admit it and the teams who were doing well didn’t want any change in performance we ended up with secret tyre tests and the disgrace that was the British GP.

      3. **Paul** says:

        The irony is that Vettel was roundly slated for saying he thought the tyres weren’t safe after the Spanish GP, where we saw a delamination for Paul Di Resta. That’s also why as a director of the GPDA, along with JB and chair Pedro De La Rosa they sent a letter to the FIA about them. If that were Mark Webber people would heap praise upon him…. different standards for different drivers.

        Cold hard facts are though that Ferrari/Lotus/Force India prevented the change to safer tyres that Pirelli had created. Had those teams said yes we might not have the current situation, so to try and blame Pirelli for ‘making bad tyres’ (which virtually all teams on the grid run outside of the recommended specs I believe) is frankly laughable.

    2. Tornillo Amarillo says:


      The important are the tyres, but also the urgent is the Germany GP: what’s clearly the solution tonight for this?

      1. darren w says:

        Perhaps the fix for Germany (since the track is said to be easier on tires than Silverstone) will be to run the tires at higher pressures (I believe teams were required to do this during Sunday’s race) and penalize drivers from running on the curbs until new tires can be made available.

    3. The blame for the tyre failures begins with Pirelli but, in an effort to ensure the debacle that was Silverstone did NOT happen, they requested a change of construction. Ferrari, Lotus & Force India voted against that change so they ARE to blame for what could have been, should have been, an avoidable situation.

    4. grat says:

      Unlikely. The Nurburgring GP circuit is a modern Tilke track, with average lap speed around 125 mph.

      Silverstone, on the other hand, the drivers were averaging over 145 mph, and I suspect this was the source of the stress that tore the tires apart.

      I’d be more concerned about Spa and Monza.

      1. marc says:

        Completely agree

    5. Quade says:

      Pirelli will be announcing that the tyres failed due to fatigue. That tells us to blame Ferrari, Lotus and Force India with all our might. They were extremely shortsighted and selfish. It is a very ugly irony that both Alonso and Kimi narrowly escaped being hit by heavy belts of rubber moving at high speed.

    6. justafan says:

      Anne, Ferrari, Lotus and Force India vetoed Pirelli’s push to provide safe tyres. That’s a fact.

      1. Anne says:

        I don´t deny that. But they don´t make the tyres and they are not responsible for safety during practice or a race. That´s FIA. Problems with the tyres started during winter tests. And drivers were complaning back then. And neither Pirelli nor FIA did anything about it. As Webber put it recently “deaf years”. Pirelli´s answer has always been “we will analise it and we will fix it” Well they never fixed anything.

  4. jamie says:

    Surely they have to allow Mercedes to test then? Regardless of “tyre gate” how can they perform these tests without running all the cars that suffered tyre failures on Sunday?

    1. [MISTER] says:

      Simple! The problem is not the tyre on a particular car. The tests done on the rest of the cars will help just as much.

    2. gudien says:

      This is all quite obviously a conspiracy to prevent Lewis Hamilton winning the driver’s championship!

    3. Rui Correia says:

      Didn’t Merc test tyres? It just weren’t the ones that were used in Silverstone.
      It is my understanding that they’ve been allowed to test in Germany too, but I wouldn’t have allowed them. If they tested already and didn’t have problems with the tyres during testing, then it’s just a matter of having every other team test the same tyres that they’ve tested and hope that it works for everybody.
      Just IMHO.

    4. K says:

      They should have thought of that before cheating. Besides, Mercedes and their fans said there are no benefits to doing 1000km tests, so what’s the big deal ;)

      1. Barry says:

        Merc were banned from the Young Drivers test, this clearly is not a Young Drivers test anymore so they should be allowed to take part.

      2. Anne says:

        Sorry they had their test back in May. However it is believed that there will be a coulple of more tests before Hungary. Maybe they can participate there.

      3. Rui Correia says:

        Don’t take me wrong, I mean no harm to Merc. In fact I am actually a big fan of both Hami/Rosberg/Brawn.
        But if the FIA/FOTA are fair, they will not allow Merc to run this test because they already tested. Please consider the last 3 words on my previous sentence as underlined and bold.
        I am sure that the other 9 teams (or is it 10?) will be able to provide Pirelli with enough data to build a safe long lasting tire that can be used by everyone.

    5. Quade says:

      I think Merc are satisfied with the rims of data from their 1000km test. They opted not to test without any pressure from the FIA or other teams.

      1. Quade says:

        Sorry, “reams of data.”

    6. **Paul** says:

      The failures looked the same across the cars to me, resolve it on the McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Torro Rosso and whoever else had issues and surely you resolve it (by amending the tyre construction/build) for Mercedes too – meaning they don’t have to be there.

      The only instance in which Merc should be there is if their tyre issues were different to those others experienced. I don’t believe they were.

  5. Paul Gill says:

    As Mercedes were originally given a 3 day ban for the young driver test technically if the tyre test runs on a fourth day they could argue in court/tribunal that the ban has been served and they should be allowed to run the fourth day

    By agreeing not to run does it mean they already know the data of the tyres Pirelli want to change to. If they don’t then do they have a right to ask Pirelli to release the data to them from their private test?

    1. grat says:

      I think Pirelli should share all their data for 2013 tires with all the teams, Mercedes included– that would genuinely level the playing field.

      The question is whether Mercedes will request, in light of the changes to the YDT, that they be allowed to run Sam Bird around on one or two days.

      I think it’s reasonable for them to miss out on 1000km of test driving, so the YDT was an OK way of equalizing things– but now things have changed, and as a result, Mercedes could be punished more severely than originally intended.

      1. Quade says:

        Mercedes opted out.

      2. J Hancock says:

        Merc may end up getting a more severe punishment than they expected, but ultimately a fairer one too.

        Sitting out the YDT was a nothingment next to race driver testing in private. If they miss this test it evens out the testing gap they created, if they end up lacking understanding of the tyres, it takes them back to where they were before they decided to side step the rules.

        If they complain, they should be reminded that being banned from the test after Silverstone was their own suggestion, I’m sure the irony won’t be lost on Brawn.

  6. Mike says:

    Does anyone know whether all of the track will be open to spectators or just a small section? If it is just a small section which section?

    Unless any of the teams want a budding engineer to stand and watch in the garage??

    1. Chris says:

      According to Silverstones website, it will be all of the GA viewing areas along with (currently) 2 grandstands at Woodcote and Abbey. Perhaps if theres more demand, they will open up more stands.

      Either way, for £15 a day, its a bargain!

    2. Paul says:

      All of the outside on the track and the north part of the center will be open, but I expect the the south part of the center to be closed at the narrow gap. If it is not closed at the gap then you could walk down to the back of the wing, but I am certain the paddock gates will be closed.

      If you can get to the back of the wing, then head for the north end entrance and stand up against the rail so you can look down on top of the cars as they exit the pit lane, its quiet a view.

      For another close view stand at the entrance to beckets on the outside of the track where the curve bends inward.

    3. JohnBt says:

      LOL! we all loved that don’t we?

  7. john gill says:

    After this test there’s a significant chance that the teams *won’t* agree to change the tyre specification [esp. if it rains].
    And that leaves us back where we started – which is – Pirelli rocked-up with the wrong tyres.

    Egged on through two years of supplying entertaining tyres they pushed the tyre formula to a marginal level in 2013. Pirelli did this. And the Realpolitik of Formula 1 is going to bite the hand that feeds it…

    1. Steve says:

      They’re going to change the tyres, with or without the unanimous consent of the teams.

      In practice everyone is going to consent. Would YOU want to be the team that got somebody killed?

    2. grat says:

      No, this is now a safety issue. The World Motorsport Council and the FIA are in charge. The teams can get stuffed.

      If nothing else, the WMC will change the rule that requires unanimous consent– but that rule doesn’t apply for safety issues.

    3. Quade says:

      They are using the Tyres Merc tested by FIA order. Its a veto.
      After the next race, they will either continue or fall back to the 2012 construction.

      We are done with crap tyres for good! Waheeeeyyy!!!

  8. stoic says:

    Use the young drivers on the first days to do car development then have the official drivers confirm it by doing “tire development” on the last days. :)

    1. What? Run young drivers on the existing (failure-prone) or new (untested) tyres? No real value and potentially dangerous.

      1. bearforce1 says:

        @BB, Good point mate. Very good point.

  9. #BringBackBridgestone says:

    2010 is still considered by many as the best season in formula 1 because it had pure racing. None of that tire and refuelling nonsense. The conditions created themselves and it provided for a fantastic season with a four way shoot out at the last grand prix. Something we have never seen with the degrading, exploding pirelli tires, not to mention providing extremely confusing races (4 stops for goodness sake)without a clear outcome to the very last lap unlike in 2010 where it was clean proper racing without artificial aids. (I would keep kers, it’s small enough to defend and attack without making passing a walk over.) bring back proper racing, #BringBackBridgestone

    ps. I know I posted this elsewhere but it needs more attention from a wider audience.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:


      Yeah, Montreal 2010 was the model, but then FIA-Pirelli had created a “Frankestein F1″

    2. Random 79 says:

      I did read this before, but it’s still a good argument that was worth posting again.

    3. aveli says:

      they don’t have to bring back bridgestone, they can ask pirelli to make bridgestone spec tyres with a thinner tread for them to last fewer laps. A very simple solution.

    4. The Bear says:

      Completely agree with you, well said.

  10. Richardd says:

    It’s gonna hurt Mercedes…

  11. DC says:

    It does seem a bit of a shame that both Mercedes cheating and the whole Pirelli tyre safety/Silverstone kerb outcomes have primarily impacted young drivers gaining experience of F1… Not the best message from the FIA.

  12. Steve says:

    >”On Ferrari, Lotus and Force India decision to resist moves to change the construction of the 2013 tyres because their cars have been able to get good performance out of the tyres”

    I have no idea why people keep on repeating this. Am I the only person left who ever looks at the standings? Red Bull and Mercedes, who supposedly do NOT get good performance from the tyres, are leading, trailed by Ferrari, Lotus, and Force India, who I’m constantly told “get good performance out of the tyres”.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    1. Me says:

      The problem with the picture is you not understanding what people are saying.

      1. [MISTER] says:

        Yeah but Steve is pointing at the facts i.e. the results. And the results show RBR and Merc in top 2 while those 3 who “understand the tyres” are top 5.

        The discrepancy here is the choice Pirelli are making in regards to the tyre choice for the races. The conservative choice is helping the top 2 and hindering the other 3.

        It’s basically RBR, Merc and Pirelli against the rest of the grid.

        These shambles in F1 are getting tired now and I’m already starting to look at 2014 Le Mans 24h tickets instead of F1.

      2. Nigel says:

        “The conservative choice is helping the top 2 and hindering the other 3″

        Given the number of tyre failures at Silverstone, it seems more than a little perverse still to be criticising Pirelli’s tyre selection as conservative.

      3. [MISTER] says:


        The tyre failures didn’t occur because of the wear, but cuts of some sort.

      4. Steve says:

        “The discrepancy here is the choice Pirelli are making in regards to the tyre choice for the races.”

        But there has been no change in the tyre choice for the races. Some uninformed people keep acting as if Pirelli bring certain tyres to a track last year and (nominally different) ones to the same track this year is a “change”. And it’s simply not. The root of the problem here is that a lot people don’t know what they are talking about. Each season is it’s own distinct entity. If Pirelli bring supersoft/soft to a certain track in 2011, soft/medium to that same track in 2012, and medium/hard to it in 2013, that is not a change.

        Even adjusting the tyre compounds chosen during the course of a season is not a change, it’s just normal procedure.

    2. grat says:

      Lotus, Force India and Ferrari believe that as long as Mercedes and Red Bull are complaining, it’s to their (FI/Fer/Lot) advantage to keep the status quo.

      Last year proved though that the teams will figure out the tires sooner or later (unless you spend half the season on a double-DRS system that’s just too finicky to make work, a la Mercedes W03).

      Believe me, if Mercedes wasn’t climbing the board the way they are right now, Christian Horner would have forgotten about the super sekret tire test already. The only reason he cares is he’s genuinely concerned that Mercedes might pull the Constructor’s title out of Red Bull’s grasp this year.

    3. [MISTER] says:

      Steve, in regards to your other comment about different tyres in different seasons.

      It’s not about what tyres were brought compared to past seasons, but some teams felt the choice was too conservative. The choice was Medium and Hard instead of a Soft and Hard for example.
      That’s what Ferrari, Lotus and FI were hoping for. The Medium and Hard didn’t show great difference between, so that teams work out different strategies, but we could’ve seen if we had the Soft instead of the Medium.

      At least that’s what I think.

  13. Gavin Pendergrast says:

    It has to be a combination of the new tyre construction and the way the drivers were driving over the that kerb & I would suspect that Pirelli will come to this conclusion. Silverstone is right that the kerb has been there for the last 4 years but other tracks move walls or barriers for safety reasons so surely they could adjust their kerbs for safety reasons. Seems that just getting rid of the square edge would solve the problem. A couple of hours with a concrete cutter would do the trick! The fact that failures of this type hadn’t occurred so often in all the races so far this season does point to a specific characteristic of this track causing the issue.

    1. Rui Correia says:

      It’s easy. Has GP2 or GP3 had any tyre issues so far this year? Not really, right? And it’s the same tyre supplier, right?
      Then have Pirelli build a tyre with similar specs to the GP2/GP3 series but with the same sizes that have been approve for the F1 series.
      There: problem solved.
      And we shouldn’t whine about it if that would be the outcome of all this because F1 is about cars and drivers. It’s never been about sticky-glue’sque tyres that nobody uses on normal day-to-day cars.

      1. Lee says:

        Saying it’s just the tyre is like saying the Titantic sank because it wasn’t strong enough to hit the iceberg. Gavin is correct it’s a combination of issues. These tyres have been used all year without these types of issues so that alone is evidence that your single cause theory is wrong. It’s clear that something acted on the tyres to cause the blowout. Their use all year without issue shows that its they’re not just exploding of their own accord. The most likely explanation is a sharp kerb so that by definition is the causal factor but you suggest ignoring this and just sorting the tyres.

        Coming back to my analogy. People say that thousands if cars have used those kerbs without issue. Well thousands of liners sailed the North Atlantic without hitting an iceberg. Saying that all that needs to happen is that Pirelli need to change the tyre is like concluding that avoiding the iceberg isn’t necessary to stop your ship sinking. It’s a combination of issues. Clearly the tyres aren’t as strong as they could be at the inner shoulder. On its own this isn’t an issue and doesn’t make the tyre dangerous. However when that comes into contact with a sharp kerb it can’t resist that contact as much as other tyres and fails. Clearly to avoid sinking strengthening your hull AND avoiding the iceberg would seem to be a sensible solution.

      2. aveli says:

        please keep it real. what has f1 tyre use got to do with the titanic hitting an iceberg?
        those teams have raced on those tracks for many years without major problems. the only factor which has changed is the tyre, an independent variable. basic science for you. observation is very important and it’s not polite and inaccurate prophecise to others about how they feel when they haven’t told you how they feel.

      3. Lee says:

        How do you know nothing has changed. Silverstone installed drainage since last year and there’s been 12 months of weather impacting on those kerbs, water freezing and thawing getting into small cracks and blowing the concrete. There’s been 12 month of traffic from circuit vehicles to other racing cars which could of damaged it.

      4. Rui Correia says:

        Does Pirelli keep the same specs for each compound all year long?
        Like, is the Medium tire that we used in Silverston the exact same compound that we used on all previous races this year? I was under the impression that they were doing 2 or 3 upgrades during each season.
        Besides, they have accepted that they changed the building process for these tires.
        *And*, this was not the 1st time we had this kind of issues this season. Many drivers have experienced similar issues over FP1/2/3 on other venues and Hami has had similar issues on other races. Just saying.

      5. Peter says:

        GP2 had a similar explosive tyre delamination this past weekend, I think.

      6. Rui Correia says:

        That means it’s either the kerbs or Pirelli doesn’t know how to build tires anymore…

  14. Blade Runner says:

    I would like to know what has changed with the tyres from earlier in the season.

    When they punctured/ failed earlier in the year, the steel “belt” stayed in place and just the upper layer of the tyre flew off.

    This weekend the whole thing exploded. Was the steel belt shredded? If so, why did it not stay in one piece like before?

    Sudden tyre failure is never any good but at least the earlier failures kept most of the debris on the tyre and not flying through the air, with the potential to do damage to a following driver.

    I just hope this has not done damage to Pirelli’s sales of road tyres/ reputation, they have just tried to do what they were asked to do and have been given very little opportunity to test the tyres.

    Imagine trying to develop a safety crucial part in any other industry/ sport and not being allowed to test it.

    Only in F1…………..

    1. [MISTER] says:

      Very very good question and observation Blade.
      When Lewis and Paul suffers shreded tyres earlier in the season, the tyre remained inflated and the steel belt was still there.

      I have a strange feeling Pirelli did changed the tyres even if the teams didn’t want. Pirelli said the tyres stayed the same, but I have a feeling they just told us and the team what we wanted to hear. Something must’ve changed since earlier in the year they did not explode like these ones.

      Even thought I understand that Pirelli are making tyres to the specifications of what FIA requested, the way they run this show and the inconsistency shown so far has made my mind to stay away of any Pirelli branded tyres for my car.

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Pirelli DID change the tyres for Silverstone but they didnt tell the teams nor the FIA. That’s why tyres were not delaminating but exploding (way more dangerous) and that’s why suddenly Lotus-Ferrari lost race pace and thats why their new parts didn’t work. Sauber and McLaren took some parts from exploded tyres track and discovered that.

      2. hero_was_senna says:


      3. Robert says:

        Do you have proof of this or a link?

    2. Random 79 says:

      From what I read they used a new bonding process (again), but that definitely absolutely most assuredly was not to blame…even if they don’t quite know yet what was to blame.

      ‘I just hope this has not done damage to Pirelli’s sales of road tyres/ reputation’

      Blade if you haven’t already you need to go back and read some older posts – maybe try using search terms such as “I will never buy Pirelli”

      Trust me, the damage is done – and just so you know I’m one of their supporters…a slightly confused one to be sure, but still.

      1. aveli says:

        pirelli tyres are cheaper than bridgestone and selling better than bridgestone. most tyre fitters tell their customers that those pzero tyres are being used for f1 racing. the more the name pirelli is mentioned the further it imprints into brains.

      2. Random 79 says:

        ‘the more the name pirelli is mentioned the further it imprints into brains’

        …and before you know it Pirelli have taken over the world!!!

      3. Exactly, Pirelli used a new bonding process in the manufacture of the tyres, where I am guessing the tyre tread (upper layer, that flew off in initial races)was bonded to the steel belt. So when ever there was a failure the tread along with the belt disintegrated.

        Can you confirm if this could be right or wrong James?

    3. Lee says:

      Well said.

      1. aveli says:


    4. Quade says:

      The FIA carries the greater portion of the blame for asking for irresponsible “show” tyres. Even worse, for the unsafe things to be produced with hardly any testing.

      However, Pirelli took on the task with obvious relish. At ever race, there was an ecstatic Paul Hembery bobbing everywhere like a happy toad on steroids, telling us about race strategy based on the pop corn tyres he’d brought. No one asked them to make the tyres so bad, but they did anyway.

      I read somewhere that Pirelli’s website says, “bring the F1 experience to your roadcar.” WHAT?!!!
      …Or “we sell what we race.” OH LAWD!!

      F1 is your only opportunity to drive cars with mini-nukes for tyres. Thank you Pirelli, we are grateful.

    5. iceman says:

      The difference here was that the damage was being done to the sidewall rather than the tread.

    6. rob in victoria bc says:

      Delamination in first case, puntures in second. Different cause – different effect.

  15. The Hoarse Whisperer says:

    Would Mercedes miss out on any extra day too?

  16. Anne says:

    James, there is a rumor (another possible tyregate) Pirelli aparently changed the tyres for Silverstone and teams found out after the race. McLaren, Sauber and others analysed the tyres. And they found out that kevlar has been used. The problem would be that they did it behind everyone´s back. Neither teams nor FIA new about it.

    1. James Allen says:

      You don’t think they would notice a different vehicle dynamic?

      1. aveli says:

        i think we saw tyres breaking up while remaining inflated with a steel belt exposed. this time, the steel belt was no where to be found. not a single one of the tyres which failed had a steel belt in them as seen in the past. i suspect pirelli changed the tyre construction without telling the teams. that’s why mercedes were so fast over the race distance all of a sudden.

      2. Lee says:

        You must either work for a team, for Pirelli or have inside access to the tyre debris from Sunday because of course you wouldn’t make such a ludicrous statement like that based upon what you saw on the television. You clearly wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself in public by doing that would you?

      3. Ben Miller says:

        There seems to be a reasonable amount of evidence (or rumour if you like) that Kevlar was in the tyres in some form of hybrid compound.

        Were these the tyres that Merc ran in their secret test and does that explain there sudden increase in improved tyre wear at a similar fast flowing circuit?

        On paper Silverstone is a Ferrari circuit and they have no explanation why they were so far off the pace. Could going on to a kevlar compound tyre like last year, where they also struggled be a reason?

        If this is true and Pirelli went ahead with changes other than the type of bonding, what are the ramifications. If the FIA are forcing through changes to the tyres on the basis that they were unsafe in Silverstone, what happens if they weren’t steel belts and were indeed kevlar or a hybrid version? Would they have to go back to steel belts which were arguably safer but not great for Pirelli’s image?

        This all feels like a complete farce at the moment and is going to be detrimental to some teams in this championship, whoever wins it it will feel somewhat tarnished imo.

      4. aveli says:

        lee, i was trackside, turn one, abbey. as a result i only saw the tyre failures on tv. i watched the highlights on tv when i got back. i have used my observations to make a suggestion and that has upset you so much? i saw a metre and described it as a metre and you’re suggesting it’s not a metre yet you don’t have a calibrated metre rule either. is that normal?

      5. aveli says:

        lee, profecy is the least profitable profession. how are you able to tell how i feel without me telling you how i feel?
        pirelli are trying to blame it on the teams instead of accepting blame. do you accept it simply because they wrote it with 100% insider information? :-)

      6. [MISTER] says:

        Any idea why they exploded instead of remain inflated like in the two cases when Paul and Lewis had failures?

      7. Random 79 says:

        Respectfully, I’d suggest they would’ve noticed a different vehicle dynamic on Sunday, but if it is true, realistically what would be the consequences for Pirelli?

        They can’t be fined, they can’t be banned, so is there any penalty that could be enforced on them apart from failing to secure a contract for 2014?

      8. grat says:

        Oh, c’mon, James… You’re raining on someone’s perfectly good paranoia parade!

        Besides… we all know that all it takes for “rumor” to become “fact” is for it to be repeated at least 3 times. ;)

      9. Craig in Manila says:

        The drivers of the cars that only had three tyres certainly noticed a different vehicle dynamic !

      10. Anne says:

        Well I´ve seen many bizarre things over the years. I don´t know what to believe anymore. By the way now Sky is reporting that Pirelli will make a statement saying they will use kevlar in Germany. And more private test coming up in France and Barcelona with current cars.

    2. Quade says:

      This is a pic of Vettels tyre (he pitted just in time). You can see the steel radial.


  17. Matthew says:

    Does anyone know where we can spectate from? Thinking of taking a day off work and wandering over, but not sure where we’ll actually be allowed?

  18. Matthew says:

    Answered my own question!

    A Roving Grandstand ticket allows you access to any of the following grandstands:

    - Woodcote B
    - Abbey

    This ticket type also allows you to view from any of the General Admission areas during the weekend.

  19. ozherb says:

    It’s a good decision to allow the regular drivers to take part.

    Lets hope the tyres that Pirelli bring to the test are up to the task, as similar failures happening when young, less experienced drivers are at the wheel could have the most dire of consequences.

  20. Stephen Taylor says:

    James , if Pirelli tell the FIA they don’t have suitable tyres for Germany? What do you think will happen should that arise? Is there still a meeting on Wednesday?

  21. aveli says:

    more politics are being introduced in f1. the bosses are now suggesting that pirelli should have 2 further 3 day tests this year. surprise surprise! one for ferrari and the other for red bull to sweeten them.
    hamilton said improvements were made to the tyre following their 3 day test in spain but the fia refused to use them.
    improvements have already been made, use them and if they are not good enough then introduce further tests. changes should be made as the sport demands and not for political reasons.

    1. James Allen says:

      Hamilton wasn’t supposed to know what tyres he was testing….

      1. rosberg has already acknowledged that he knew what tyres were being tested. how could he possibly drive,test and not know what he was running on?

      2. Rockie says:

        Exactly that was a faux pas from him though I guess still seething from losing because of the tyres.

      3. Steve says:

        He wasn’t supposed to admit that he knew, you mean.

      4. Adrian J says:

        Indeed, but perhaps Pirelli have said that they were able to make improvements as a result of the test and that is what Hamilton is referring to…

        I don’t know if they have, just speculating…

      5. Rui Correia says:

        Funny thing, right?

      6. GT_Racer says:

        Think he was giving a general opinion on how the tyres he ran at the test felt.

        On sky he said something like “The tyres we tested felt better yet we have not raced them, I feel like doing the test was a total waste of my time”.

      7. grat says:

        That doesn’t mean Pirelli didn’t shake his hand and say “Yep, we’ve figured out the delamination problem, thanks for your help!”.

        Besides, Hembry’s publicly said they had changes in the pipeline that would fix the delamination issue, but that the teams wouldn’t agree to run them.

        There is the possibility that Pirelli deliberately sabotaged their own tires to force the issue, but from a PR standpoint, that would be the equivalent of using a shotgun to cure dandruff.

      8. Bayan says:

        I thought they said they were 2014 tyres being tested by Merc and only the delamination was being addressed with regards to 2013 tyres. So what use would they be this year? Unless ofcourse….

      9. Bayan says:

        Meant to reply to Aveli.

      10. aveli says:

        see jake’s response mate.

      11. Jake says:

        James that is a little provocative. I am sure Pirelli came out publically and said that during the test of the 2014 tyres they also tested the new tyre proposed for the Canadian GP. Why are you implying Hamilton knew something he should not have?
        There is enough controversy around these tyres, there is no need to invent more.

      12. Drivers are pretty perceptive. They can tell when one tire is better than another. What Hamilton may have meant is that the tires he was driving on felt better, irrespective of whether they were existing 2013 tires, new tires for the Canadian GP, or 2014 tires. He doesn’t have to know what they are and what their purpose is to know whether or not they’re better or worse.

      13. aveli says:

        now that’s naughty:-)

      14. aveli says:

        james, i think it was a lot easier for hamilton to answer ‘no’ to the question rather than explain what he knew and what he didn’t know just in case he said something that might be restructured to mean something else. after all he knows just how good the journalists are at that.

      15. Quade says:

        Hamilton said the tyres they tested didn’t have exploding issues. I’m sure he’d have known if any exploded while he was driving.

      16. hero_was_senna says:

        Doesn’t that go back to your point about,
        “You don’t think they would notice a different vehicle dynamic?”

    2. [MISTER] says:

      Lewis said in the interview with Lee McKenzie:
      “We had that tyre test to develop and improve the tyres and stop this from happening and after that tyre test they didn’t do anything about it. And to have 4 blown ups, you know, and it could’ve happened to anyone and at high speeds and someone could’ve crashed…”

      This is riddiculous. What the hell were they testing there? These tyres or 2014 tyres?

      1. IJW says:

        Both in fact, from what I’ve read from older posts and articles.

      2. Quade says:

        How can it be ridiculous when both Pirelli and Merc said they tested mainly 2014 tyres and also did safety work on the 2013 tyres?
        It was said several times and was repeated too at the tribunal. Its ok to banter in forums, but we’ve got to keep up with verifiable F1 news out there too.

      3. Cali says:

        they were testing a special compound codenamed “german domination” :roll:

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        Italians and Germans are allies again? Oh Lord!

  22. Rein says:

    it will rain …

  23. Alysha says:

    The FIA also needs to look at the other issue that has plagued F1 tires in recent years: the inability of F1 cars to run ib the rain (as in anything more than a drizzle). All the “tyre-gate” discussion has obscured the fact that numerous sessions/races have been delayed/red flagged/brought under safety car. I would expect that a race will have to be cancelled in the next 2-3 years if this is ignored.

  24. whilst a lot of people appear sympathetic to pirelli, i find it difficult to do so.

    pirelli are not newcomers to the tyre industry. they are a major supllier of international repute. to allow themselves to be manipulated into providing tyres that have dubious qualities is derelict, IMO.

    to think that the singular most important governing factor in F1, the contact patch, can be frivolously treated is beyond any joke.

    they, pirelli, went along with the ‘joke’. they could always have said, to whomever, ‘no, we won’t do that’ and that would have been the end of this sad and sorry state of affairs.

  25. Bullish says:

    Any chance Red Bull will use this opportunity to test Ricciardo and Verge?

    1. Rui Correia says:

      I wish they would use Antonio Felix da Costa. :)

  26. Goob says:

    Can’t they put a chain on an anchor, and attach it to an F1 car, and let it go full throttle for testing?

    Like those control line airplanes?

    This is less stupid then DRS…

  27. Bayan says:

    I bet you Nico and Lewis are happy over this.

  28. AMSG says:

    This is all making F1 look very silly…

    On another note. what ever happened to the talk about going to a low profile tyre, to show a link to road cars. I know it would mean a complete new car concept, surely 2014 was the perfect oppertunity for that…

  29. iceman says:

    This is to help Pirelli? So what are the FIA saying, that the test drivers who already qualify for the “young” drivers test are not good enough to collect tyre data? I can see using race drivers helps those drivers, and helps the teams adjust their cars for those drivers, but I’m not convinced it does much to improve the tyres.

    I suspect the more likely reason is someone in the FIA is not happy with the punishment that their tribunal gave Mercedes, and has decided to make this concession to the other teams to even things up a bit more.

  30. Matt W says:

    I never understood Ferrari’s motive in wanting to keep the current tires. It seemed to be out of fear that Red Bull would get an advantage, but before Silverstone they were already dominating the championship.

    The FIA should have the ability to make changes to any regulation on safety grounds. Imagine in 1994 if teams had refused the raft of safety changes brought in and the FIA had backed down.

  31. Grant says:

    This is an outrage!!!!

    Safety is clearly not the priority here.

    A team that suffered a tyre explosion, and is therefore best positioned to determine the safety of these tyres, is left out?….

    It’s these tyres that are responsible for tyregate in the first place.

  32. Grant says:

    Decision making in F1 just consistently poor.

  33. Adam W says:

    This whole tyre issue is an unnecessary debacle. It has been clear since before the season started that Pirelli needed to test its tires – both for safety reasons and performance reasons (I don’t want to get into a debate about how many pits stops is or is not “good for the show”). Everyone involved in F1 has allowed politics and self-interest to prevent anyone solving the problem and allowing Pirelli to test its tyres. As a result people’s lives were put at risk last weekend.

    I know the HRT was not the best car in F1 last year but surely it is representative enough for Pirelli to be allowed to use it to test and none of the current teams could be perceived as getting any advantage from this? And there are plenty of F1 drivers without a current drive who could carry out the testing.

  34. What I wonder is why they switched from kevlar belts in 2012 to steel belts in 2013?

    Shades of Bridgestone, making cheaper and lower-performance tires over their reign as sole supplier?

    1. iceman says:

      According to Ted Kravitz on Sky, the main motivation was indeed cost.

  35. Paul D says:

    If Pirelli are reverting back to 2012 tyres from Hungary, does it make sense for Mclaren to revert back to the 2012 car?

    Can’t be any worse surely?

    1. Random 79 says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not already ruing the decision not to revert earlier, but at this point in for a penny, in for a pound.

  36. Olivier says:

    Great news for Webber! His good bye to Silverstone in a F1 car has been shortlived :)

  37. Werewolf says:

    I don’t agree that there are multiple reasons. There is only one: Pirelli’s tyres are inadequate.

    The Silverstone configuration and kerbs have been consistent for several years now; F1 drivers are paid to drive aggressively over kerbs and fans like to see that; teams have always pushed the envelope on camber and pressures. Nobody has diamond-cut any banked curves without notice. Further more, built in high degradation is about performance drop-off not outright failure.

    The tyres should have been able to cope with all the physical features of the track and the cornering forces generated thereon. They should also have been over-engineered to operate safely to a tolerance outside of those recommended. To do otherwise is to fail to understand the nature of F1.

    So, when is a failing tyre not a dangerous tyre? It is when the governing body is more concerned with the risks of a (dubious) lawsuit for libel than it is with driver safety. Well, guess what? The tyres were dangerous. Perhaps the FIA would prefer a lawsuit for negligence in failing to ensure safety (probably as a co-respondent with Pirelli) in the event of serious injury.

    Actually, they preferred to hide in some non-existent territory between FOM/CVC/Ecclestone/team contracts and motorsport governance in the hope somebody else might solve the problem. Ulta-competitive F1 teams and commercial vested interests will never agree and rarely solve anything. They need strong governance from the FIA. To do otherwise is to fail to understand the nature of F1.


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