F1 Winter Break
Todt demands immediate action over Pirelli tyre failures; meeting set for Wednesday
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Jun 2013   |  7:50 pm GMT  |  294 comments

FIA president Jean Todt has demanded that F1 tyre supplier Pirelli attend a meeting of the Sporting Working Group, which was already scheduled to take place on Wednesday and is now set to be dominated by the quest for a safe solution to the tyre failures suffered by Pirelli in Silverstone.

THE SWG comprises FIA representatives as well as the Sporting Directors of each of the 11 Formula 1 teams.

Todt wants the Italian company to offer a proposal at the meeting of how it plans to correct the situation after five drivers suffered blow outs during the British Grand Prix. Pole sitter and race leader Lewis Hamilton was the first, with Felipe Massa, Jean Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez also suffering a left rear failure while Estaban Gutierrez suffered a left front failure.

Race winner Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso both reported that they too had suffered problems, but luckily for them it happened close to the pits and so did not end their race.

Hamilton and Massa both called the situation “unacceptable”.

Pirelli had wanted to introduce a revised specification of tyre at this race, but refused to press for it on safety grounds. As a result, the teams were not able to reach a unanimous decision to approve the new tyres.

Now the situation is different; Todt has called this a “safety problem” all options are open including the FIA imposing a change on safety grounds.

However when asked by this website whether the teams would back change this time round, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said,

“It’s something that we have to work together on as an F1 world to solve. I have an idea that of course we need to discuss in the next days – that we have a test here at Silverstone that is supposed to be with young drivers.

“Considering the fact that this track is very demanding for the tyres, and we can really with Pirelli do something during these [test] days to solve this issue I would also say use the race drivers – because this is also for them something very important.

“So I can guarantee to you that, from the team point of view, we are very open to trying to find a solution. This is something we all benefit from.”

The idea of the Young Driver Test being taken over as a safety test for 2013 tyres received universal approval in the paddock, although it was suggested that at least one or two of the days should be driven by experienced drivers, in addition to the young drivers.

Pirelli’s Paul Hembery did little with the media after the race, save for an interview with BBC TV, however his statement said, “There have obviously been some issues with rear-left tyre failures which we have not seen before. We are taking the situation very seriously and we are currently investigating all tyres to determine the cause as soon as possible, ahead of the next Grand Prix in Germany. At the moment, we can’t really say much more until we have fully investigated and analysed all of these incidents, which is our top priority.”

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Great he demans, he made it all happen in the first place


What exactly does the FIA do apart from sit around in long meetings discussing how best to spend the 100 Million they fined McLaren purely to fund their private agendas? "Mmmm let's apportion 10 Million to buying votes from the WMC for the next election and call it development schemes in poorer countries, we'll work out the other 90 Million tomorrow - good work today boys. Now let's devote the rest of this meeting to working out how we can renegociate our deal with Bernie and take even more money out of the sport and use it on issues entirely unrelated to F1!"

Their stewarding decisions are just as disgraceful as they always were. How did Rosberg get away with speeding while under yellows? Because he was the race winner and allowed to keep the position for commercial reasons - that's how! (which, incidently, I am convinced is why the stewards make half of their decisons AFTER the race).

They kind of do and kind of don't give Merc permission to test and cover up their own inadequacies by dusting the whole thing under the carpet by ending the saga with a punishement they knew Mercedes would not appeal.

They took a lazy, inept shortcut to respond to the braying call of the masses (who generally never know what they really want) for more overtaking by asking for tissuepaper tyres and sending F1 one more mile down the road to artifical superficiality.

They decided to risk the lives of drivers and marshalls over and over again on Sunday rather than stop the race and deal with Bernie, CVC and the commcerial ramifications.

They can't even changes the damn rules or stipulate what tyres the teams should use without the agreement of the teams! The 'agreement of the teams' - is that a joke? It's definitely a contradiction in terms. I don't defend Pirelli (I think they've decimated safety and genuine SPORTing achievement in F1) but they wanted to bring new tyres to silverstone and three teams were allowed to object and block the move for their own ends! That is disfunctional governance in action!


Ecclestone demands (to make more money selling better the F1 show), and FIA makes own those crazy requests to tyre supplier, who is really questionable, having underestimated the side effects of garbage tyres, in terms of safety.

It's like to supply 100m racers with wodden hoofs, to enjoy Usain Bolts slipping.

Common sense was enough to predict what happened yesterday and it's sad media and journalist didn't want to see the unfair scramble caused by such tyres.

F1 is the race where pilots, cars and tyres expresses their best along the whole GP, not a dangerous game for accountants drivers, racing at 70% they could, to gain one more lap from very poor, unstable tyres.


James, it was mentioned yesterday that some drivers had sent a letter to the FIA asking for guarentees over tyre safety, do we know who signed this? As far I can establish Vettel, Button and De La Rosa did, but did anyone else? Obviously Lewis won't have seeing as he doesn't see the GPDA as worth his precious time! Ironic given that his hero is apparently Aryton and the GPDA was reformed following his and Rolands deaths....

I believe yesterday was a clear indication that Mercedes benefitted massively from it's tyre test with Pirelli, yes they had punctures (but so did others), more importantly though they had no degridation issues. Roll back to the likes of Barcelona and they fell of the cliff in pace terms. That sours Rosbergs win for me. That's also the reason I'm in favour of the suggestion from Ferrari & RBR that the YDT is now converted to a proper test with race drivers. Not only will it give Pirelli masses of data but it will also remove the unfair advantage that Mercedes clearly gained.

I guess the simple solution is roll back to 2012 spec tyres, there were no real issues like we've seen this year and the teams could safely race upon them.

Whatever you think though, above all safety has to come before anything else, and certain teams who are against changes need to have a good hard think about whats more important to them, living F1 drivers or their team getting an advantage through performance on frankly dangerous tyres.

I refute the kerb allegations, it's rubbish, the tyres in other series had no such issue, not this weekend or weekends previously.


I think it was just BUT, DLR and VET, as directors of the GPDA

all revved-up

There has always been a view that the tyres should be changed on safety grounds - since the second or third delimitation of the season.

However, Pirelli refused to acknowledge that there was a safety issue. They came up with the "spin" that they can change but don't complain if you get processional races.

If Pirelli had declared that the tyres were not safe, no team could have objected to changes.

Even now, Pirelli is putting up the "spin" that this is a "new" problem. The cuts to the tyres at Silverstone are different to the "cuts" to the tyres at Bahrain. These are "new" types of cuts.

I'm no genius, but what I can observe is this. Those who do not have a mastery over their subject matter, tend to get bogged down in complexity and minutia. Those who do, see beyond the mere complexity and find solutions that are pure genius in their elegance. (Darwin's genius comes to mind)

Regardless of whether the situations are different, or whether each types of cuts are "new", someone could see beyond these variations, and build a tyre that puts safety first, entertainment second.

Not entertainment first, at the expense of safety.


Putting limits on tyre pressures and camber angles is an option. I believe the lowest pressures are run in qualifying due the combination of ride height needing to be dropped and the short duration limiting the period of greater heat build up from more tyre distortion. This might cloud some arguments for imposing limits on pressures.

For camber settings, the front wheels would be straight forward at the moment as they tend to run a pretty constant angle with load (parallelogram moving more towards a rectangle). The rear wheels would need a something like a 1500 kg weight carefully position on the car to replicate the downforce from the floor and the wing. This is due to the cars running geometry that in slow corners keeps the wheels quite vertical for better traction, but leans them over in fast corners for more grip. Agreeing on the test load points could be an issue (e.g.gearbox casing), and then getting something to apply that force could be tricky. As the suspension wishbones use flexures rather than hinges, the angles cannot be assumed geometrically.

On the F1 teams being less safe than most road drivers, they are racing teams looking for an advantage. Still, I believe all this was going on last year, so the teams' usage patterns will not be new to Pirelli. So reverting to last year's spec should remove the visual of the dramatic delamination. Would we still get punctures and the tyres rapidly losing air? Hopefully Pirelli gets over this, as at the momen I cannot see how another supplier could come in for 2014.



All revved-up

Thank you for the insights on suspension set-ups, and the very detailed points. I got a lot out of it.

I also wish Pirelli well. Pirelli have spiced-up F1 over the last few years.

I just think that think that this particular episode could have been handled better. I don't agree that admitting that the tyres are unsafe if abused, would have been bad PR. Lay people know F1 is demanding and would have held Pirelli in higher regard if they had admitted that the lack of testing meant that the tyres were marginal, and hence better to be safe than sorry.


+1 Well put.


The proposed changes after Bahrain weren't to do with safety though. The delaminations kept the tyres intact and inflated which is as safe as a tyre failure can be and probably safer than the flapping around 2012 failures (like we saw at Silverstone but less explosive and with less shrapnel). Pirelli wanted to change as it was bad PR which is why the teams had to unanimously approve the changes.

Now they can be passed on safety grounds which only needs FIA approval and should hopefully be solved.


I understand your general point, but it is like Qantas (my local airline) telling me that safety is our #1 priority. So why are we taking off?

We have the situation now where the teams are manipulating the tyres for a performance advantage. Competitive teams are firstly trying to get the compounds that best suit them. Secondly they run the tyres at pressures that suit the performance of the car, not the integrity of the tyre. Drivers will drive to limits of the track as they see them in terms of immediate damage to the car. The days of not running over kerbs all the time to look after gearboxes and drive shafts ended in the 1990s.

If the combination of low tyre pressures, camber angles and aggressive use of kerbs delivers a better lap time, teams and drivers are likely to take them. Few follow the warnings.

From Pirelli's perspective, making tyres that fail less dramatically is a much simpler step (the reduced inertia of kevlar rather than steel belts) than making tyres that don't fail when drivers and teams push the performance to the limit.

All revved-up

Thank you for this information, that I've also just learnt reading the Pirelli statement. I agree that if the tyres were not properly inflated or run with too much camber, then the tyre manufacturer cannot be held responsible.

It's ironic that the regular road user fastidiously follows manufacturer recommendations for regular road use. But F1 teams flaunt the recommendations sending the tyres out to cope with high stresses.

Should tyre pressures and cambers not be like ride heights? That there are rules governing it for the safety of drivers and marshalls?


Have you ever considered that with the new engines, which are quieter and potentially slower there may be a plan to make 2013 a real mess so that everyone is "relieved" for 2014 and doesn't talk down the new Formula? You don't want to remember how great 2013 was, do you?

If 2013 is a real mess, just think how much happier everyone will be next year when all issues are resolved? Even if F1 is slower, everyone will be "racing" not to a delta and everyone will be "pushing", and tires will be "safe".


I don't think that's the case at all. What you are suggesting is that Pirelli is in collusion with the FIA to make tyres that explode in certain circumstances in order to calm next year's new Formula?

Nefarious as the FIA may be, I don't think they are on that level.

But, I do agree with your point - I am fed up with cheese tyres and racing to a delta instead of the guy in front.


I'll do you one better. Timing of this manufactured non-drama is set so there will be plenty of talk about F1 in these long summer breaks.


Pirelli reckons it needs to make larger rear tyres to handle the output of the new engines, with the cars having nearly twice the maximum torque. They will be quieter though.




Absolutely. Just make a tyre that lasts. There was plenty of warning in this matter of tyre failures. After the Spanish GP Pirelli were blamed for there being too many pitstops and to address that problem rather than the tyre failures. Numerous contributions on this excellent site said as much.


Just like a particular team boss is ultimately responsible for the performance of the team (people demand Domenicali and Witmarsh to leave)...the same way FIA is responsible for what is happening with F1, not Pirelli....


But the teams who have done a good job in getting the tyres to work have said that they dont want changes. The failures today are down to the kerbs and whoever inspected the track and approved those sharp edges is responsible. They have no place where cars are travelling at high speed and as Kimi pointed out, it wouldn't matter what kind of tyre you use with those edges, they would still fail.


So why didn't any front left tires fail?

Or right rear tires?


The sharp edge exuse is the silliest excuse possible. Those edges have been there for donkey years withouth causing a single problem.

Added to that, F1 was not the only race held there on Sunday, but F1 alone witnessed so many life threatening tyre explosions, because F1 alone uses Pirelli's wretched tyres.

Now, to completely debunk the madcap theory of sharp kerbs.

Aside from Lewis, it was the OUTER shoulder of the left rear tyre that was affected. An outward facing sharp kerb can only cut the INNER shoulder of the left rear tyre.


You still apologizing for these tyres? There is nothing wrong with the kerb. Alonso said that he has been racing on THIS kerb for the last 12 years...


But...Merc should provide all the data, they have it....I understood this was the only goal to have a secret test, right?


Alex, the objective of that secret test was to eliminate the tyre degradation problem, not to make tyres safer.


I may be wrong, but isn't it Pirelli that have the data from the tyre test?


...and if the raised edges of kerbs are cutting the tyres who is to blame then?


Blaming kerbs is simply the daftest cop out ever. Next we will hear how the pebbles in the asphalt were too aggressive.


Alonso mentioned that he had been racing on the same kerb for the last 12 years.


The kerbs have been there some time! The tyres should be tolerant of those sort of circuit issues, furthermore we should not be experiencing the explosive failures now commonplace. Ecclestone and the FIA are to blame for giving the directive to produce these ridiculous tyres in the first place.


Tracks can change, of course - Singapore is relatively young as a race circuit, and ready they needed to change curbs because they were coming apart due to the loads f1 puts into them.

I think if there are 'cuts' to a tyre, there's two distinct and obvious things happening - 1 the tyre is weak in that area (pressure, sidewall strength, construction - nothing to do with being 'high deg', which would be a compound/construction issue I think?), and 2 something is cutting them!!


Well, it was actually reported that the kerbs in use were new for this year so perhaps hold some of the blame, how they got approved is an interesting question. You would hope that the tyres would withstand them though.


The report I heard said the kerbs were new in 2009 which seems the more likely. Gary Anderson said the upstand was 30mm-40mm with 2mm-3mm radius. Well the tyres should be durable enough to withstand that. This is what happens when people mess around with things they don't fully understand all in the name of improving the spectacle. Eccleston and the FIA should be sueable for creating a dangerous situation just for the show.


C'mon, that was a big cover up blaming the turn 4 kerbs.


Except that not all the failures occurred at Turn 4.

By the way, am I the only one who hates this "Turn 12, turn 1" crap? I much preferred it when corners had names that meant something.


Do kerbs need to be same everywhere? Can't a track have unfriendly kerbs?


I was wondering the same thing, but then I read that Martin Whitmarsh had commented that debris, kerbs, sharp edges, cars running wide etc. etc have all been part of F1 for years. A good point!

I think it would be more revealing to ask whether-or-not the teams were running the tyres at/above Pirelli's minimum recommended pressure or not.


you mean below the recommended pressure...?


It's running them below the pressure that is the problem. The pressures are 2/3s of what was being used a decade ago. A lot of it is ride height manipulation.

The lower pressures cause the tyres to distort more and the temperatures go up.

Jumpy O' VeRbUmP

Tar Wars : May the farce be with you?


Needs a little work, but 8/10 for the effort 🙂

Jumpy O' VeRbUmP

A fitting assessment for Pirelli?


If you change 'little' to 'lot of', sure 🙂


I wonder if they decide to use the 3 day test as a validation for modified tyres will Pirelli be compelled to tell Mercedes which of the new tyres they ran at the test?

James - the BBC say Pirelli used a different bonding process for this weekend - the previous failures where the tread came off the run but the main tyre body stayed intact was most definitely not the case with today's failures. How did they validate this tyre change before the weekend or did they just bring them without trialling it first?


I meant at the pirelli/ Mercedes test - will they have to tell them the type of 2013 tyres they trialled


Sure, sure... We know FIA. At the end they are going to blame the kerb, the turn, the track and everything but the tyres. And nothing is going to get fixed.


How about too much aero or drivers paying for greed?

Why can't there be kerbs you shouldn't drive over some places? Are they driving tanks or delicate speed machines? Do you hit curbs with your car on the highway to go faster and expect your tires and rims to survive?


The kerbs on racing tracks are not the same as the ones in regular roads. Also, racing track kerbs exist only on the turns and don't run throughout the track, so, it is meant to serve a purpose. Drivers are known to hit the kerbs and this practice goes way back and not necessarily for this race or this track...


Please tell me you´re being sarcastic...


The FIA could - and should - have imposed a change long ago. Not wait for half-way through the season.


Todt to Pirelli: Your tyres are exploding in races

Pirelli to Todt: Sure they are, the cars are generating more downforce and drivers will insist on hopping the kerbs. We told everybody months ago we wanted to assure safety by changing the construction. The teams are a bunch of self-absorbed twits who couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery, so they can’t agree on allowing us to introduce the new construction, just like they couldn't agree on whose car we should use for tyre testing. In addition, the FIA has been wasting a lot of time recently in some body called the International Tribunal.

Todt: Hmmmm

Pirelli: Just bear in mind that we are your only current tyre supplier. Your move.



Somewhat ironic that Todt wants 'immediate action', but refused Pirelli's previous request for changes.


Todt buckled; yes, may be under Ferrari pressure.


Wrong answer.

I have been there before.


Todt: There are other tyre manufacturers.

Pirelli: True, but which of them haven't already come out to say they wouldn't be interested in supplying F1?

Todt: Ummm

Pirelli: And what tyre company would be daft enough to voluntarily put themselves in the position that we've been forced in to?

Todt: Errrr

Pirelli: Have you signed-up a tyre supplier for next year yet?

Todt: Not as such, no

Pirelli: 2014 isn't going to be much of a season if the cars are racing on their hubs, is it?

Todt: No

Pirelli: Your move again.


Just like the CQC, everyone is covering their respective arses.

As long as something worthwhile is done...


But as the teams discuss on what to do about the tyres on Wednesday, I hope they haven't forgotten there's a race in 7 days time that needs safe tyres urgently.

To be fair to Pirelli, they proposed bringing in more durable tyres for Canada but it's the teams that didn't agree and so Pirelli's hands were tied.

Actually, Pirelli is just a convenient fall guy for some puppet masters behind the scenes who always tell Pirelli to do this and that.

Personally, I don't get the point of wasting time re-testing and trying to modify these 2013 rubber when the 2012 ones are just gathering dust in some warehouse.

Come on people, make it happen.


Sure - and here's the timetable:

Wednesday - discuss & decide (won't happen)

Thursday - make those thousand tires (it only takes a minute, right?)

Thurs night - ship those thousand tires (sure)

Friday - put on new tires and go fast! (no chance)


I wonder whether this wouldn't just be the easiest solution at this stage. Use 2012 spec tyres for the remainder of this season and let Pirelli get he 2014 tyres right.


+1 but I think Pirelli are not completely blameless for yesterday's fiasco, they could have forced the change in Canada by saying it was a safety issue but they didn't. Either way lets get the 2012 tyres out and get racing. It was a shame for the guys yesterday particularly Lewis, it would have been a great fight with SV yesterday, I think SV had more pace in reserve yesterday judging by MW v NR both on new tyres at the end.


I imagine that the 2012 tyres, rather than gathering dust in a warehouse, have already been recycled into 2013 tyres to be honest. I'm sure that the 2012 spec could be revived easily enough but by Germany? Seems unlikely...


No changes for 2013!


Hasn't Pirelli been asking since the start of the season (perhaps even before the start?) for the teams to do testing with them. But the teams have selfishly refused in order to avoid any of them getting an unfair advantage, or divulging trade secrets.

Now poor Pirelli is left holding the bag. Do they even have a contract for next year? Who would blame them if they pull out. And then what happens for next year?


The FIA and Ecclestone are responsible in the first place by giving Pirelli direction to develop these tyres in the first place just to improve the spectacle. Well I'm afraid they've now been bitten by such irresponsibility, and let's face it only Pirelli know the technology and are the experts. Unfortunately they are in unknown territory and have created a dangerous siuation. Gary Anderson's comment about the kerb is valid, but the tyres should be durable enough to withstand such conditions, as the kerbs have been there some time, but the tyres are weaker and too fragile by some margin. I think it unacceptable that a tyre should fragment in such a way, and should remain intact even in a deflated condition.


Since the FIA banned refuelling, it changed the team strategies. Richard is right, changing the dynamics of the tyres was a FIA decision, and gave directive to Perelli what they were expecting for tyre degredation.

The safety of the drivers is paramount. Jacky Stewart I am sure would agree.

Whatever the cause, the tyres need to be changed.


Much of the performance "solution" this year seems to be running significantly lower pressures in the tyres, who says that the 2012 tyre running at theses lower pressures would still survive? Would be interesting to know the difference in tyre pressures for individual drives 2012 to 2013,

Scuderia McLaren

I agree and I feel sorry for Pirelli and as someone who raced open wheel race cars for a while at a reasonably high level, I also feel equally for the drivers. What Alonso had to avoid and what happen to Kimi was totally effing disgusting! I really felt the terror that Alonso must have felt and can imagine what Kimi must have felt when huge parts of tyre carcass are pelted into his car. Believe me when I say, this would have been terrifying. I wouldn’t honestly race on those tyres again. But I don’t blame Pirelli.

I blame the idiotic self serving selfish teams for their short sighted behaviour and inability to let Pirelli fix the situation. They don’t drive the cars and they will be too blame when injury occurs. If I were at the next GPDA meeting… I can’t even finish that thought.

When politics begins to do such things to Drivers, then we have lost our sporting way. Feel like punching any team owner who veto’d tyre change because their car might be worse off in the face.


It is a mystery to me how Todt can blame Pirelli. They wanted to introduce new tyres, get rejected and now are to blame for tyres which they didn't even want deployed in F1 anymore.

It just does not make sense.


I fully agree. Pirelli has done all it can to change tires that get blocked by selfish teamowners and also try to do some testing so it can make tires better and here again its met with greed and scandals. Im not a Pirelli fan but they are being blamed for everything and most of it is NOT their fault. Pirelli should probably quit F1 and let them sort out their crap.


It is a fact of life in F1 that teams will try to protect their own competitiveness, but of course now things have a rather different complexion. It is the FIA at fault because they need to instruct Pirelli to make a mandatory change for safety's sake, unfortunately Pirelli cannot make the best choice for the sport if they are restricted intesting. The FIA have now done an about turn and will probably let them do as much testing as is appropriate to properly understand the issues involved.


The FIA have the power to enforce change irrespective of the effect on competitiveness that the teams are twitchy about. More durable tyres are going to play into the hands of teams like Red Bull and Mercedes, but as safety is paramount, then any objection needs to be overruled. In other words they need to enforce a mandatory change to a situation that the FIA and Ecclestone have got the sport into in the first place.


"More durable tyres are going to play into the hands of teams like Red Bull and Mercedes"

People keep on saying this, but there is zero evidence that it is true. Ferrari have had more problems with the current tyres than have Red Bull, and a comparable number to Mercedes.

As luck would have it, it's always been Massa's car which has experienced the tyre problems. This seems to have convinced certain blinkered fans that "Ferrari" (by which they mean Alonso) has no tyre issues.

If Alonso had gone through what Massa has gone through with the tyres, Ferrari and its fans would be leading the charge for new rubber.


Steve, some cars work the tyres more than others, and hence put more energy through them. Mercedes were at the high end of the table on that score why on earth do you think they were having the problems with thermal degradation. - They were simply elevating the temperature of the tyre beyond it's operating range. Other cars were far more gentle in that respect. Race results are not a good indicator, but qualifying results are because it shows how rapidly a car get's it's tyres into their working range. Mercedes and Red Bull very quickly with Ferrari and Lotus much slower, and hence don't qualify as well.


No Richard, it is not a "well known fact". It's an internet rumor without basis in fact. A bunch of people on blogs repeating something does not make it reality.

The hottest race of the season so far was in Bahrain. The results of that race contradict your claim.


It is a known fact that Red Bull and until now particularly Mercedes put more energy through the tyres than teams like Ferrari and Lotus. Those teams in terms of degradation are better able to cope with higher temperatures particularly where the softer compounds were to be used. After this however Pirelli are bound to go as conservative as they can to try to mitigate the circumatances that give rise to incidents experienced at Silverstone.


So Domenicali wants the 'safe'tyres to be tested at the young driver test. That wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Mercedes won't be there, would it?

Machiavelli was an Italian, wasn't he?


Unfortunely these things have to be planned as I doubt Pirelli have the appropriate tyres at Silverstone to oblige him. When the solution is so blindingly obvious they have to have a meeting to share the blame as to where they go from here.


Mercedes cheated according to the verdict (but not intentionally of course...LOL).

They clearly benefoted from cheating so why can't the other teams have the same?


I wonder how close Pirellis bosses are saying "sod this, we are off" as its a pr disaster and must be harming their brand


Pirelli could have resolved this issue at any time, so I have zero sympathy for them. All they had to do was admit the blindly obvious - that the tyres are unsafe. They have been a key part of the roadblock in the way of change.


They are instructed by Ecclestone and FIA to produce high degration tyres so while they will retreat a little way we are basically stuck with unsound tyres. The main obstacle is the lack of appropriate testing with current cars.


I don't think Pirelli themselves have really done a great PR job on it though. At the moment, the overriding opinion seems to be that Pirelli are to blame for all of this. Given that's simply not the case, it seems a bit odd that Pirelli have pretty much been allowing all the crap to fall on them. Maybe just more recently they've been pushing back a bit, but not really in any kind of effective way.

Maybe they can still redeem themselves to the F1 viewing masses a bit if they now basically put their foot down, sort out the problems, and can say, "See, this is what we wanted to do all along, but we weren't allowed to."

I also suspect Pirelli, or whoever is 2014's tyre manufacturer, might somewhat have the sport by the balls a bit. Pirelli aren't going to want to cop another year of this, and no one else is going to take it for them. Regardless of talk of Michelin or whoever else being interested, it surely wouldn't be on the same terms. No one in their right mind would look at how much crap Pirelli are taking now and say, "Yeah sweet, we'll have some of that."


"'I wonder how close Pirellis bosses are saying “sod this, we are off” as its a pr disaster and must be harming their brand.'"

This. So much this.

It would be very interesting to see that happen. It would be the first time since when that someone actually told F1 to sod off? Expect a tire war if they do. Seeing what's happened to Pirelli, I'd be surprised if any other maker wants to come in as sole tire supplier. Multiple suppliers, with conservative, long-wearing compounds may be the only solution if Pirelli does pull out.


Yup. If they're not careful the teams will be going to Quickfit for their tyres next year.


I would like to recommend Bassett's as the replacement supplier for Pirelli. The specification would demand the control tyre be made of liquorice to guarantee high degradation and be of solid construction to enhance safety and reduce manufacturing difficulties.

In order to maintain unpredictability, a small explosive charge should be included in each rear tyre, with a given number to be detonated by a random computer program during each race. The solid liquorice construction would remain driveable safely (at low speed, despite some deformation, en route to the pits.

Used tyres could be melted down and used to make Red Bull.


I think the black ones with the white centres would make good tyres!


Made me smile at work 🙂

Good effort !

I was thinking wooden tyres.


Brilliant, right up Bernie's alley.


Just so you know, that wasn't meant to sound as rude as it did 🙂


At least some good will come out of this I guess (unless it gets swept under the carpet yet again...)


Swept to the kerb. No carpets in F1.


Swept under the astroturf perhaps?


Apparently Pirelli specify right and left tyres this season.

There was a story earlier in the season of some teams (Merc) switching them because it gave a performance boost. If this is still happening then its not entirely Pirelli's fault.

A similar thing happened last season (or 2011) with teams setting the front wheels at an angel greater than Pirelli advised.

Too what extent are teams simply running tyres too far outside the manufacturer's spec?


Anything with treads are bound to be directional and therefore handed.


Inters and full wets, sure, but these were slicks: No tread.


Teams will naturally pursue any performance advantage they can get, the trouble is that because we are now using tyres that behave little better than party balloons the sport has jow to suffer the consequences. We need proper durable tyres for such an aggressive sport and get back to proper full on racing.


Tyre pressures too apparently.

Tornillo Amarillo

Next race, Germany:

"On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded seconds after launching. Seven astronauts, including a civilian schoolteacher, perished... The decision had been made to go ahead with the launch, despite a near disaster on an earlier Challenger flight... Were key NASA administrators ignorant of the danger or cavalier about the lives of the astronauts?"

From the book "The Social Animal", by Elliot Aronson.-

all revved-up

Excellent point.

I thought there was good reason for the race to be stopped on safety grounds.

What if Kimi or Alonso had been hit in the face when the tyres exploded in front of them.

But I must admit - as a fan enjoying the drama of the race, it would have been an emotional let down.

Still - who are we, as those who are being entertained, to demand that the lives of others are put at risk? It's just a sport for entertainment - it's not life and death.

Why allow mere entertainment to take precedence over the lives of other fellow human beings?

Are we, in today's instant gratification age - so callous?

Tornillo Amarillo

It's a problem of "Conformity" in Social Sychology, according with that professor.

If something bad happens, it will be easy to see the cause and the danger AFTER the event with an official investigation.

Good Decisions have to be taken BEFORE those bad things happen, in safety grounds, listening to safety experts.


Mother of 2 kids just died at cirque de soleil Vegas. Yes, people die to entertain. It's not death that we want. But I do think danger and chance of it...yes, we want that. It is not PC to say perhaps, but death is a necessary ingredient in F1. Just much less of it being put into the mix.

F1 is supposed to be almost a gladiator battle. In our bicycle helmet wearing 5 point child seat foam protected air bag world, we tend to forget this.

Grayzee (Australia)

nice analogy.........what happens if one of these exploding tyres sends a car into another and a driver gets killed?


Pirelli are in a deep mess. They arenn't able to build safe tyres even though they break the rules doing illegal testing sessions. Time to give the Job to a really good tyre Company. Bridgestone, anyone?


What did you call the Pirelli tyres from two seasons ago? They were hardly unsafe, they rarely blew or delaminated. Last years's were almost as good, if slightly less durable.

You miss the entire point, in your rush to be an "internet knowitall". Pirelli can and have built great tyres. But by midway through each season the teams manage to figure them out, and we go back to 1 stop races - which is not what the FIA wants. So the FIA has called for less durable tyres each year Pirelli is in the sport...and Pirelli responds...while the FIA eliminates testing. And now we have reached the limit of load factors that these tyres can sustain in high-speed corners.

And anyone that forgets the experience with Michellins at the US GP has a very short memory, or is very young. It isn't about the manufacturer, it is about the specs the FIA set.


"midway through each season the teams manage to figure them out, and we go back to 1 stop races – which is not what the FIA wants."

If the FIA wants more than one pit stop per race (which I think is a irrational desire) then the FIA can and should mandate more than one pit stop per race. They should NOT whisper in the year of the tyre makers that perhaps they should make dangerously non-durable tyres in a roundabout attempt to reach the same goal.

And Pirelli is under no obligation to go along with whatever nonsense the FIA suggests. They are responsible for their own bad actions.


We need a to fix the problem now. We won´t have Bridgestone nor Michelline next race. So Pirelli needs to come up with something this Friday.


Sure. Off you go to Japan and get Bridgestone to sign a contract to supply tires starting in January 2014 for a series where in-season testing is all but banned, the teams cannot even find a brewery, much less organize a piss-up when it comes to agreeing on what car Bridgestone will be able to use for their own testing, and where they have to negotiate contracts with each individual team.

Let us know how it works out.


There has to be a majority decision. It is not acceptable that one or two teams can veto a move to produce safe tyres.


A strong buzz, those in the know believe

Michellin is ready to return to F1.

Don't believe the talk of being to late for

the 2014 and the FIA being stuck with Pirelli.


Sweet. Michelin have never made an F1 tyre that's not fit to race on.


Yep. Really felt for you and Martin that day at Indy, it was a total farce.

Wasn't just then though. All through Michelin's time in F1 their tyres were traditionally softer than Bridgestones. Most of the time it wasn't a problem, but I remember they really cocked up their intermediates and handed every race with changeable weather to Bridgestone, whose inters also worked well in the dry and vice versa.

Not that any of that matters if they are asked to put cream cheese on a wheel for people to drive on at 200mph.


James, pretty sure your sarcasm meter needs adjustment...




my thorts precisely James.


Wasn't there a race at Spa a few years back where there were a series of tyre problems?


Ha ha ha. Short or selective memories all around.


Bring back Goodyear - they were quietly supplying tyres for 45 years without once making the headlines!


Wasn't Mansell on Goodyear tyres back in Adelaide in 86???


Good call!


1 word. Nascar.

Goodyear has plenty of issues.


One question James: if the young drivers test is going to be transformed into a tyre safety test, how will this affect the ban of Mercedes, especially considering the following 3 points:

- the 2 Mercs have been hit by tire issues; Hamilton's tyre exploded and Rosberg's hasn't been in good shape either

- Pirelli would probably learn more with Mercedes than with the other teams as the already have data from the recent test.

- the penalty would be much harder now for Mercedes as the other teams could now use their race drivers

Could the Fia overrule the judge's decision based on safety reasons? Have you heard any noises from the paddock?


Sorry to bring this possible and negative aspect. What if it´s raining? The test is in Silverstone. Chances of rain are always high. What´s plan B?


If regular drivers test the tyres, then it can't be called a young drivers test and Merc can't be excluded. The independent tribunal only excluded them from the young drivers test.


Good thinking Ross


They would miss it

Unless safety angle was pushed

But that would open a can of worms


Perhaps after the lastest news (Autosport) they could participate:

"The FIA is ready to allow Pirelli to use a 2013 Formula 1 car in its private tyre tests in a bid to overcome its recent problems, AUTOSPORT has learned.

Although the governing body took Mercedes to the International Tribunal for its running of a current car at Pirelli's post-Spanish Grand Prix test, it is understood that it is now prepared to ease testing restrictions on safety grounds."

Must be a tough one for Jean Todt to decide.


And Bernie said apparently:

"They can use what they like. No restrictions. None at all, so they can do what they want."


Why would they miss it? It wouldn't be a YDT any more would it?


Personally if the decision were taken to do that, then the ban should be lifted as the test would no longer be for young drivers which the FIA could do very easily, but I doubt Pirelli have brought the appropriate tyres to Silverstones. - These things are planned and don't just happen in an instant.


All too true! The FIA are responsible for these tyres, they were NOT Pirelli's idea, they were made according to what the FIA specified. When Pirelli tried to solve the problem with the help of Mercedes the FIA hauled them into court to be 'disciplined'. If there is one body that absolutely can not claim they have acted for the safety of the drivers in 2013, it is the FIA. In fact the FIA have not just sat and done nothing to solve the driver safety/tyre problem, they have been an active obstruction to Pirelli finding the solution.

What did the teams pay all that money to the FIA for from last years championship? For them to gaze out the window while a blindingly obvious safety issue has gone on for 7 races?


"The FIA are responsible for these tyres, they were NOT Pirelli’s idea, they were made according to what the FIA specified."

I'm glad to learn that somebody has the FIA tyre specifications in front of him. Can you publish them here for the rest of us?

Peter Freeman

Good point Steve... All the news reports about how the FIA contracted Pirelli into the sport can not be deemed to be true and reffered to unless one personally has the origional documents.

The Farcical Idiots Association has a job waiting for you too.


Can you show me the quote by the FIA that said "make exploding tyres for us"?


Surely by asking for tyres that degrade quickly there by that consequence is a danger of them blowing.

The problem is Pirelli having made errors manufacturing have no way of fixing things because no one can agree on the solutions. Typical F1 farce!

Hopefully now though Ferrari seem keen to change so things will now happen.


No that makes no sense. Degrading in performance does not mean falling apart, it just means the tyre gets slower over time.


So you admit yourself Pirelli made errors they should not have made. Unless FIA asked Pirelli to make errors, then FIA is blameless.


Nothing to blame Pirelli for. They don't get the data they need to make something save, because F1 rules doesn't allow testing with a current car and therefore you will never have 100% accurate information. The solution is rather simple. Allow inseason testing to a certain extent.


They only race 22 F1 cars every second weekend for 6 hours each.... Not enough data ay? They are incompetent suppliers.


your forgetting its not their program though, so even though there is data, how useful is it? Was it Ross Braun how said no data is better than bad data


Because they didn't know squat about the tyres so cant accurately measure everything ie a certain element of guess work


How is it bad data to do hundreds of real laps at real f1 circuits with current 2013 cars?

Also - Ross Brawn would tell any convenient lie @ that tribunal to save his skin.


They are not incompetent, they simple are working in the dark to a directive that should have never happened. Ecclestone and the FIA are at fault not Pirelli.


Let's see what others think?


Safety problem? Shouldn't it be drivers job to select appropriate speed and lines through the corners?

There was no problem with blowing out tyres during the first half of the season. If it was just an overheating issue, then the tyre needs no changes.


those drivers have driven over those curbs for many years without tyre failures until sunday.

the problem is that a safety matter was taken to democracy rather dictatorship.

the fia should dictate to pirelli to use bridgestones bullet proof tyre spec with less rubber on the tread to last the number of laps they want them to last instead of putting the drivers lives at risk they way they're doing.


If they need to run experienced drivers, why not just run 2 cars per team? No need for the young guns to miss out.


Well now is the time for in season Pirelli tests with current cars and drivers. It looks like Ross Brawn(AMODC) was right to take the risk of a repremand to test for them.

The other teams who declined need to rethink their stance. And maybe those who feel their team of choice will suffer really need to look at the bigger picture.

it was a miricle no one was hurt badly today. It would be crazy not to allow todays cars to test in conjunction with Pirelli to try and sort this issue out.

As it appears more and more downforce seems to be the line of thought with most teams to try and stop these tires from sliding and ripping themselves apart, a soloution which appears to be even more detrimental to these tires.


James, do the teams not see any merit in the theory that the blow outs were caused by running over the kerbs? They showed a close-up of the Turn 4 kerb on the BBC and it certainly looked pretty sharp.


The teams and drivers were blathering on after the race about how the circuit is the same as last year, the kerbs are the same etc. etc.

Circuits change over time. Asphalt wears, kerbs move. In addition, the cars are continually evolving. Some of the cars are probably generating more downforce since the start of the season. Downforce has to be absorbed somewhere to stop the cars bottoming, and F1 cars are not noted for their soft, large-travel suspensions. The tyres are left to absorb a lot of stress and force, especially in high-speed corners.

So, my response to the drivers is...stop blathering and start thinking a wee bit more, and maybe start asking your team bosses when they can actually, you know, agree on decisions related to tyre safety.


And what effect does blowing hot exhaust gases in the tyres direction have?

Didn't Ross Brawn say that there were cuts in one of the rear tyres taken off Rosbergs car at a pit stop? I wonder how he thought that happened!


I demand immediate action over RBR transmission failure. Meeting Tuesday? 🙂

Things fail. F1 is too reliable. Drivers fear nothing of their equipment. I really enjoyed the danger and drama of this GP. DC said it best...track is defined by white lines. You use the kerb, you pay the price. What's wrong with that?


I think you're persistently underplaying the safety element here. I too wish for the odd attritional race but a failing gearbox is one thing; simple punctures, one could argue, are also one thing (remember when Williams had a problem with that a few years back because of their rear-wing cutting into the tyre) but a tyre that explodes is a different kettle of fish because you could have bits - including metallic bits - flying off the car straight towards other drivers. I thought Kimi Raikkonen had a near-escape when he got hit by JEV's debris.

It's important not to rule out the kerb being the issue to be fair, and in that case (i.e. same tyres only sharper kerbs) maybe drivers could be more careful. But the indications are that the kerbs have been the same at Silverstone for several years, other circuits also have jagged ones and it hasn't caused any issue in the past.


If there had been no safety car, we would have had at least 7 tyre explosions. Three top drivers that were fortunate to pit just in time were:





Also, as DC reminded us delicately, race track is between white lines.



My point is not "don't drive on the kerbs".

My point is "if you drive on the kerbs, there may be consequence. Enter at your own risk."

I don't see why this is not acceptable really. You have a clear choice, blown tire or 1s faster lap time. Just like you have a choice on the freeway, speed and perhaps get away with it, or get a ticket.


Why didn't DC drive between the lines in his time? That man talks a lot of sanctimonous nonsense (especially about something called "car energies" Lol!).

I'm sorry, but the BBC's regular F1 crew (aside Eddie Jordan) is dissapointing and embarrassing.


Great. Maybe they should have also not driven on the kerb here? Is that possible?

Hey, my head hurts every time I hit it against the wall? Well...maybe, stop hitting it instead of blaming your forehead for hurting?



Here's DC merrily cutting the kerbs:


...And at Silverstone too!


He should put his money where his mouth is.


I can't understand where you are going with this. The drivers have used tose very same kerbs as they used them Sunday for the last decade plus (14 years to be exact).

Why should they suddenly stop doing that, because of the fear of Pirelli's wretched 2013 tyres? Any driver who avoids the kerbs will lose a full second per lap.


I know you desperately want to keep the tyres cause you fear SV will win with harder rubber, but you just lost yesterday. The tyres will be changed now, people have been driving on the Kerbs at GPs for years, tyres randomly exploding is a new thing.


So just because drivers have been driving on kerbs for years makes it right and means there shouldn't be consequences for doing so sometimes?

I'm not so sure.


I've posted this on the race report but I feel it needs repeating here:

Canada 2010 was made exciting due to the tyres falling apart due to an overly abrasive surface, damaged by frost the previous winter, and a very hot day. When the FIA asked Pirelli to repeat those conditions they couldn’t make the tarmac more abrasive or the air hot at every track, so they had to make the tyres more sensitive to high temps and the rubber less resistant to shearing forces so that it wears.

The FIA and the teams are the ones who will not allow Pirelli to test the tyres on a current car for meaningful distances and in varied conditions. When Goodyear, Bridgestone and Michelin were suppliers teams tested for thousands of miles at multiple circuits on different cars. Bridgestone were known to turn up at Fiorano with enough tyres to go through potentially hundreds of different construction and compound permutations for M Schumacher to try. The test mileages pre-season were near to a full season’s mileage per team. The tyres were near-perfect.

Pirelli are being asked to produce an inferior product and then not allowed to test it correctly on some of the most brutal racing cars around. I have every sympathy for Pirelli, they were doomed from the start.


Did anyone else see the report Gary Anderson did after the race when he went to turn four and showed the 50mm height difference between the rumble strip and the green run-off concrete, which produced a sharp ridge? Clearly Pirelli have some issues they need to sort out -- but we should not jump to conclusions that it's all their fault. They're working blind to some degree and it seems are not being given the support they need to sort the issues.


Maybe this incident with the tyres will bring the whole sport closer together, as I think it is becoming fragmented by too many agendas.

Grayzee (Australia)

fragmented? you mean just like the tyres? 🙂


Honestly, didn't these failures produce some awesome slow-mo replays?


No chance. It's always been fragmented by too many agendas - fragmenting tyres isn't going to change that!


'there's no such thing as bad publicity'. Not anymore.


Really? I think if a team of surgeons were currently working to re-assemble a critically-injured driver, we would be seeing meetings on Monday instead of Wednesday...


Honestly, that hasn't been true for a while.

Regardless of where the blame actually lies (whether its with Pirelli, the kerbs, the FIA, the teams, or Captain Kangaroo) after this Pirelli will need an army of smooth talking politicians just to break even.


All that needs doing is either revert to the 2012 spec or introduce the tyres Merc tested.

There's been too much dangerous clowning in the hope of presenting a circus.

I'd wanted Pirelli gone, but after the damning judgement by the tribunal days ago, that now seems pretty much impossible without the FIA paying hefty fines for all sorts of legal reasons. I don't think Todt will dare go there.


"I’d wanted Pirelli gone"

So you think another tyre manufacturer could do a better job of making the requested high degredation tyres - bearing in mind that no team will agree to tyre testing or changes to tyres because it might give another team an advantage! The problem is BE, the FIA, and the teams. If you were a tyre manufacturer would you want to produce something with those restrictions. Get real!

Personally I hope Pirelli tell F1 where to go - now that would be interesting for next year. No tyres = no racing.


If I were a tyre manufacturer, I wouldn't sign up to a programme that would question the excellence I stand for. Pirelli not only signed, but took on the role with relish; at every grand prix, we had Paul Hembery in front of every TV camera, joyfully delivering race strategy predictions and what not - all based on the particular version of tyre rottenness for that track.


Oh, and sneaky by Dominecalli. Use the race drivers. Wonder what Merc would make of that then.

Cheatsers cheat

Not as sneaky as Mercedes intentionaly cheating knowing it could not be proven they did it intentionally and would get a light punishment.


"Race winner Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso both reported that they too had suffered problems, but luckily for them it happened close to the pits and so did not end their race."

Vettel was also among the lucky ones who changed tyres in the nick of time.


Well, if the YTD is overtaken by a Tyre test based on a safety issue, then technically, Mercedes cannot be excluded from it - as the test is now significantly different from what is ws supposed to be; hence the ban will be invalid.

Merc have always argued that the tyres used in their "secret" test were for 2014 and they had no idea of the compounds. They also argued that they did not compile any significant amount of data from the test. The International Tribunal did NOT contest these points with them.

The FIA are really going to be in a bind about this, as Merc will certainly not take it lying down.


"Merc have always argued that the tyres used in their “secret” test were for 2014 and they had no idea of the compounds."

Rosberg said otherwise.


In fact if they do make it a tyre test in the interests of safety and then force Mercedes to not be present, then that would have to be negligent on their part as after all, it is in the interests of finding a solution to a safety issue that has affected Mercedes as recently as yesterday. And in simply calling it a safety test and not a young rivers test day, that would in effect rule them in as far as being present as they are only banned from the young drivers test. Either way, 2012 tyres please. They worked ok.


I doubt they have enough 2012 tyres in stock to take to Germany. As they are not meeting until Wednesday, they also won't have much time to react to any decisions. Pirelli are in trouble.


All unused tyres are ground up after every race.


Everyone beats up Pirelli but if they were clever they could spin the outcome of today to their advantage by agreeing that the situation is 'unacceptable' and that a major contribution to their solution of what they have to be fair been asking for, in season representative car testing.

For example, there are 19 races and 11 teams, each could be given a post-race 3 day tyre test during the season with pirelli under the same scope as mercedes.


F1 has always been a tabloid but never at the cost of drivers lives. The teams, FIA and Pirelli are all equally to blame for what they've made out of this sport. A tire falling quite literally to pieces in less than 8 laps ?!! How do you even tune down your quality control that low ? Will any motorsport fan ever buy a Pirelli tire ever ? Incredible !


Everything in F1, including tyres, are supposed to help development of road equivalents. If my road tyres lasted 50km, I'd be switching pretty quickly.

Therefore, I suggest that the 2014 tyres be required to last 20,000kms. In other words, teams will be given one set of hard and one set of soft tyres which must last them the entire season.

Good luck 😉


@zombie: "F1 has always been a tabloid but never at the cost of drivers lives"

Sadly there was most definitely a time when the very real risk to the drivers' lives was seen as an intrinsic part of F1 and its public attraction. So much so that when Jackie Stewart started his push to improve safety he was widely accused of not being brave enough (an accusation he regularly disproved).

Thankfully this attitude is gone and the sport is immeasurably safer, but don't forget that it took the deaths of Ratzenburger and Senna at San Marino '94 to bring-in the modern levels of safety. Now it's so safe that some fans may think it's always been this way. Check out the history my friend - it's fascinating, inspiring and heart breaking.


So many silly statements in this it's hard to know where to start.

Todt demanded tires with less rubber on them to make them wear out faster but thinner tires get punctures more easily. Its not difficult to understand unless you are willfully being obtuse for political reasons. IE a French guy wants to push out the Italians for his French friends.

And the line about how the "teams were not able to reach a unanimous decision to approve the new tyres." Not able is a rediculous phrase. They were able to agree if they wanted to. They could have all agreed on the new specification for Silverstone but two teams blocked the change and Lotus and Ferarri should be called out.


Look at it from Lotus , Force India point of view. They've never had a problem with the tyre and have spent countless millions setting up their car to successfully work on the tyres. Is it their fault the other teams have not been as successful or even dangerous on the tyres. Their argument might be - hey guys drive slower and you won't have any problems 🙂 .


That make no sense - both teams are doing well on the rubber they have used so far this season. I doubt they will suffer from a more robust construction of the tyre.

But Alonso's near miss passing the Sauber could have been very serious, lucky for him he commited to the right and not the left - imagine what would have happened if he'd got slapped by the carcus of the blown tyre of the Sauber?

F1 is not a blood sport.


Im just saying there are many facets to the argument. I've never wanted these tyres ever. But all this does is highlight what most solid followers understand - The FIA have backed itself into a corner by having rules limiting testing and tasking Pirelli with extremely edgy tyres that not even Pirelli have enough info to understand. It's one or te other Not both- & Pirelli should have strength to say- we must test Fully or we don't supply.

Yesterday VJ Malya was still talking about " speaking with his legal people" about changing tyres although common sense must surely prevail for the safety of all. I was quite distressed with JeV 's failure because more than half that belt came off & flicked up whilst Kimi was overtaking Grosjean. 50m nearer and god knows what may have happened. As it was he was still showered with debris. The other issue Im really puzzled about is why the track marshals & Charlie Whiting are taking a far more relaxed approach to debris. We have seen many incidents this year with Carbon Fibre flying within the first few laps with no safety cars !- next lap round and you have tyre delaminations - it's just crazy- a quick sweep and its all good! It happened on Sunday with Romains front wing right in the middle of the track and someone else's a bit further back.


sorry , meant Mclaren.


He "demands." Yeah, right. What a joke.

What a clusterF - the incompetent FIA caused all this with their ridiculous rules not allowing the tire supplier to use a current car for testing AND requiring ALL teams agree to changes. And now its an emergency. They couldn't organize a one-car funeral!

"...including the FIA imposing a change on safety grounds"

AS IF they actually KNEW anything to impose!

I've said it a million times already: Pirelli should just bail. All they are receiving for all their efforts is unwarranted bad press.


+ infinity Rich C, All this has been the FIA's fault, brought on by the absolutely stupid rules governing the supply of tyres and testing of such , Pirelli are baring the brunt of the FIA's unsafe and unusable rules for tyres in F1 if Pirelli were my company I would be livid at this public showing of our brand, I really think Pirelli should walk away from F1, then other suppliers should dictate terms that should have been in place to produce a safe tyre that can satisfy F1 cars fully in performance and still wear reasonably quickly.

As for the race nothing made be happier than finger boy rolling to a stop, then Mark Webber showed us that he can drive and drive hard!


And Domenicali said everything *except a plain, simple "yes" in case you didn't notice.


I bet no one, including the FIA, will accept that if there was a proper avenue for Pirelli to test then this problem wouldn't have occurred..

I can't wait to see what the new cars & engines do to the tyres in winter testing next year...


Dumb bureaucrats. They can demand and make meetings as much as they want. Only thing that can sort this out is some common-sense testing. Let Pirelli try out few things to strengthen their tires without reverting to kevlar. Then bring few solutions to test and let all teams pound around for a few days in Barcelona in the height of Summer and we'll see what works and what doesn't work.

This talking won't really do anything to help with what is a pretty tangible problem.


tha farce continues. they should never have been allowed to proceed with tyres like these.

the 'spectacle' is a total sham and during the entire race i was wondering what would be going through the drivers minds, knowing what could possibly happen to them if they suffered a 'blowout'at these massive speeds!!! pirelli cannot shirk from the blame. no one put a pistol to their head. they make the tyres, they carry the can.

F1 is no longer the so called 'pinnacle' as they like to promote. what we are seeing is a fake attempt at crass popularism falling to pieces, literally


Blame the part time, casual fan, wanting instant entertainment.


It's the pinnacle of motor sport not American Idol.


Exactly Kenneth- Ive only been saying this for 2 years.


Whilst I have sympathy for Pirelli's predicament they haven't exactly helped themselves. They've had tyre tests with certain teams: Ferrari, Mercedes and I believe soon to test again with Ferrari. How can the teams trust what Pirelli is doing is fair, transparent and safe?

The bigger fallout is that they've produced tyres that literally explode in the wider publics' eye [I'd imagine viewing figures were quite good for this GP?]. Next time you need tyres what brand will you use on your own car?


I am going to buy a performance set of SUV tyres (yes, high-speed rated SUV tyres, figure that one out) and my choices are Continental or Pirelli. I will be buying the Pirelli, and yes I watch nearly every race and quali session and participate actively both here and Planet F1.

There is a REASON why Pirelli P Zeros are on more exotic and supercars than any other make. They know how to make great tyres...if the FIA will let them.


Yeap Ferrari will be testing after Germany with the 2011 chassis and 2013 wings as Ted has reported.

Is that true James?


Sorry. I missed the Ted´s report. Is that an aero test, tyre test? What did Ted say?


Rumoured tyre test is with an 2011 Ferrari in 2013 aero trim.

Check the link @ 1'30" -> 2'20".



The FIA and Bernie have made Formula 1 a laughing stock.

Teams build cars that have to last forever (in racing terms). The FIA decide it's necessary to bring in a banana skin factor in the form of tyres that cannot survive more than 80 miles of racing - even less should the immensely powerful engine be used to it's maximum. The clever teams work out ways to overcome the tyres in 2012, so the FIA tell Pirelli to make even worse tyres for 2013. F1 race at the fastest track in the warmest weather of 2013 and the tyres can't take it.

What a surprise. You couldn't make it up.


Who pays for the tires?


The teams pay for their tires, they all have individual contracts with Pirelli. Apparently that is one of the issues holding up an official confirmation of Pirelli supplying F1 again in 2014. Pirelli has yet to agree terms with all of the teams for 2014.


Yesterday, I would say Lewis paid the highest price.


I really think the race should have been stopped, it's a miracle no one was injured out there today. If someone had been injured (or worse) after so many blow outs, God only know's what the implications would have been. Someone would have ended up in front of a judge, and what would they have said when asked why didn't you stop the race when drivers, marshals and possibly spectators (unlikely I know) were in the firing line. I honestly don't think there is a satisfactory answer. I know you can argue 120,000 people showed up, but what would they rather see, a race stopped on safety grounds, or a serious injury (or worse). I can accept there would have been moaning fans, but safety is paramount, and if something had happened, 99% would have said it should have been stopped (as would everyone who comments here and anywhere on F1). Someone, be it Pirelli, the FIA, Bernie, Charlie, Team Managers or the Drivers should have demanded the race stopped.

I now seriously question the safety of the Drivers under the FIA's leadership, and someone should be made accountable - its appalling!

My view is devils advocate was played today, and we as a sport got away with it, and thats the only thing I take away from the British GP (the track is not to blame btw). I keep reading views stating what a great race it was for all the wrong reasons, that makes me very angry!!


Just as a further point, they all knew it was wrong as they ran into a high powered meeting straight after the event. I also think Adrian Newey knew something had to be done (he looked very worried to me). I also believe the great Sid Watkins turned in his grave, and there is no way he wouldn't have said something!!


If the YDT is turned into a Pirelli tyre safety test with possibly protype tyres that eventually will be used for the remainder of the season and driven on for a large part by current championship drivers, then Mercades have really been delt a more severe punishment than it first appeared. This could set them back a bit, BUT them may argue that legally it's no longer the YDT so they are still permited to take part in at least the day's allocated to tyres. Would have to be a clever lawyer to put that kind of spin on the situation LOL, Ross Brawn is a genius when it comes to off track manoeuvres mind you so I would imagine the thought has at least crossed his mind.


But Mercedes have ALREADY taken part in "a Pirelli tyre safety test with possibly protype tyres that eventually will be used for the remainder of the season and driven on for a large part by current championship drivers".


All this would do is give all the other teams equality with Mercedes.


Obviously the situation at the British Grand Prix was not good; but can we say with any certainty that this was purely a Pirelli problem and not a perfect storm of marginal tyres, sharp kerbs, high track temp. and tyre pressures set too low.

I don't feel that we should vilify Pirelli and the FIA for this issue. Part of the problem is that even if they wanted to change the tyres the teams have resisted. It seems that it will take a major safety issue for the sport as a whole to wake up and change things.

It is a problem and it can be solved and I for one acknowledge the significant improvement in racing over the past few years. I don't want to go back to the last years of the Bridgestone era with 1 stop races and no overtaking.


This is just more F1 political gamesmanship.

For some reason Pirelli need more data to develop their tyres, as in, fairness they have operated in an extremely limited test environment since they rejoined F1 as a tyre supplier, compared to previous suppliers like Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear.

The in season testing ban has hurt F1 and is a supposed cost reduction measure, yet the new engine formula for next year is costing teams a fortune.

It's time to allow in season testing with race drivers and forget pointless young driver tests. The benefit of testing can be seen by Mercedes much improved recent form, it's only natural that practice improves performance.

Jean Todt, though an improvement on his predecessor has been disappointing as FIA President and his faux anger tonight does little to convince me otherwise. The FIA knew there was serious tyre issues and should have acted before now, it's just good fortune no one was hurt today.

On the other hand Pirelli must be raging at the debacle their current F1 contract has become. It's a complete brand and marketing disaster.

We always hear F1 referred to as the pinnacle of Motorsport and high tech engineering excellence, well that may be so from an engineering perspective, but from an organisation and decision making point of view it's a shambles. While today's race was very interesting and made great television, it was in reality excitement woven from farce and unnecessary risk.



Great insight as always.

With all of the fuss and media hype around Pirelli's tyre blowouts, I think the media is missing a massive momentum shift in this years World Championship.

Can you please run an article on Mercedes now being confirmed as a Title Challenger and one of the leading teams?

Their qualifying pace is unmatched, and now they have proven that they have the race pace which is capable of beating or at least matching Lotus/Ferrari & Red Bull.

Some facts that prove this:

-Three Mercedes front row qualifying lockouts.

-Hamilton was actually building a gap on Vettel until his tyre failure.

-Rosberg was cutting Vettels lead before Vettels retirement, and was able to increase his pace to fend off Webber at end of the race

-Hamilton's tyre failure sent him to the back of the field + half a lap of driving back to the pits + damaged floor, and he still had the pace to finish 4th and was close to Alonso.

-They have now been competitive in race pace at Monaco, Canada (Which were dismissed as low tyre wear tracks), and now proven at a high degradation track like Silverstone.

Congrats to any team that finds a competitive edge, but when achieved through a controversial/illegal test then this leaves a bad impression of the sports integrity.


Or maybe they are benifitting from Hamiltons input/feedback and his 0.5secs

Some may scoff, but who remembers the 'Too many buttons on the steering wheel' thread, so many ridiculed.

Mercedes are a force now.....sucks to be Paddy Lowe right now.


Merc have had the tyre issue for three years, that is 36,000 Km race distance not including free practice and testing. In that time they did not learn anything about their tyre problems yet were able to fix it in a 1000 Km test run by Pirelli where they were not able to make any adjustments or change any parts on the car. Really, that's what you believe?


That's right, they haven't been able to fix it until they performed an illegal in-season test.



People will only see what they want to see. Myself included 🙂


Some very good points, but sadly they're going to be on the back-burner until this thing is resolved (and I use the term 'resolved' very loosely).


todt and fia stated Tyre specs afore pirelli made the tires then with earlier problems pirelli then test to sort it out and fia fine them for i legal testing now todt demans a fix to it why the did he punish pireli when they tried a solution


I think Gary Anderson and Kimi are right when they blame the kerbs. You can see the rubber at the edge of the kerb when it was examined and for a professional F1 circuit it looked like shoddy workmanship to me. Only the tyres on the left failed and when drivers were told to avoid the kerbs there was no further failures. You dont have to be a genius to work that one out. Paul Hembrey was corect in not jumping to that conclusion even in the face of the knee jerk reactions from fans and the Sky crew were particularly pathetic in my opinion. Paul Hembrey is a professional and wanted to wait until he had the whole story. Of course the gutter press, which these days is most of them as they try to compete with everyone online with an opinion, is having a field day.

This is very unfair to Pirelli who have done a great job for F1 and up to now it has only been those teams who didn't do a good job over the winter and their fans who were complaining.

Nobody is listening to those teams who have done a good job because good news is no news.

I see little reference to Kimi's comments, even though many regard him as the fastest and someone who calls it as he sees it, they chose to ignore him in favour of sensationlist overeaction which is more to do with their own egos than the real facts.

Pirelli designed tyres to do what was asked of them by the FIA and they have put a lot of excitement into the sport under very difficult regulative restrictions. Now they are are being blamed because a contractor was too bloody lazy to finish the job when he laid the kerbs. The edges I saw being pointed out by Gary Anderson have no place on a race track and a certain amount of blame must be aimed at whoever inspected the track before the race.

I realise the price of giving everyone an opinion online is this type of mass overeaction. It is still worth it in the long run but it's time people learned to wait for the facts before reacting. No matter how clever or witty they think they are, to go off on a rant without having all the facts is just plain dumb. I am sickened at the way Pirelli is being scapegoated and I wouldn't blame them if they told the lot of them to go to hell and pulled out of F1 before the end of the year. But they wont because they are a respectable and professional company and should be appreciated for what they have done in F1.


How many years have Silverstone held an event - I like Gary Anderson, I love his views on the race weekends and he never ceases to impress with the cut off times in quali.

But on this he his talking rubbish - the punishment forces and stress these tyres should be able to take, that kerb was not the issue.

A blow out were a tyre explodes its not even the 1st time we have seen this, this season, at high speed and you want to blame a curb?


When I saw the tyres explode on Sunday the first thing that came to mind was there was an issue ontrack. This was based on watching F1 for over 40 years and my own experience in engineering. GA and Kimi simply confirmed my own suspicians.

This has been also confirmed by the initial results of the inquiry http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/108479. Of course the tyres had a part to play because they are designed to be marginal at the requeat of the Fia. The problem and solutions were clearly pointed out by Gary Anderson and just because in your opinion he's talking rubbish that doesn't change. The criticism of Pirelli is completely unfair in this situation and is based on knee jerk reactions from their detractors. Had there been no sharp edges on the kerbs there would have been no failures. Sharp edges of any kind have no place whatsoever on a race track. Tyres have exploded in F1 many many times over the years without this reaction. Sometime they have exploded because the driver pushed them to the limit but I never heard them being criticised or accused of dangerous driving. I am a Ferrari fan and I was dissapointed to see Felipe and the others have their race comprimised but as it has been pointed out the driver will use every inch of track available as long as it's in the rules. The rules allow that part of the kerbs to be utilised therefore they need to be safe. Those sharp edges were the main problem and the cause. The vast majority of the reports I have seen in the press asre sensationlist and inaccurate and can be completely ignored. I will leave the last word on this to Joe Saward http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/tyres/


Every race a walk round of the circuit is performed by Charlie and his crew checking kerbs drain covers asphalt gutters etc exactly for safety issues nothing was found on the silver stone walk round. One other point even though the drivers were told to avoid the kerbs they didn't. A driver is hard wired to take the path of least distance and alonso at the end of the race said he didn't avoid the kerbs even after being told. Lets wait for the data and stop the blame culture. To be fair though If I was Pirelli I would say stuff this for a game of soldiers ; )


The tyres are a component of the car and like all components it's stretched to the limit. The tyres are made to the specs requested by the Fia and Pirelli have done a good job in difficult circumstances. They have been pushing for more relevant testing for 3 years and no one is listening. It's disgraceful the way they are being scapegoated IMO.

My comments regarding the kerbs are echos of Gary Anderson and Kimi's comments and I stand by them. Regardless of how many years Fernando claims to have been driving over them the edge I saw on the kerb has no place on a race track. They were an accident waiting to happen. If Pirelli had been allowed to introduce the changes they had in the pipeline the failures wouldn't have happened. If the teams hadn't run marginal pressures they wouldn't have happened either. The kerbs were the final straw in the mix but as GA pointed out if they had been smoothed by a grinder there would have been no issues. As Kimi pointed out when they are that sharp it doesn't matter what tyre you are on. I doubt any driver could claim to have driven over them for years as they are clearly a relatively new installation.


What my last comment didn't say was that I agree with bobdreeds 🙂


when drivers were told to avoid the kerbs there was no further failures.....

Really, what about Sergio Perez towards the end of the race?

I am not totally disagreeing with you and, no doubt, the teams and drivers have their own part to play - running tyres in reverse, low tyre pressures and excessive camber etc - but it's clear the tyres are too fragile and need to be toughened up.


This is the result of Pirelli's investigation, of course it wont make any difference to those who have been attacking them because facts are not what they base their rants on.


"Meanwhile its investigations has shown that left-to-right rear tyre swapping, as explained here some weeks ago, was one of the factors at Silverstone, having previously not been concerned about teams using that tactic.

It also says that teams were running excessively low pressures and extreme cambers, and adds that the Silverstone kerbs were another factor. It says that its tyres are perfectly safe if operated correctly."

Pirelli wants the FIA to regulate pressures and cambers in the future.


Pirreli doesn't know what is the cause for their exploding tyres but they are sure it isn't caused by Pirreli. Ludicrous are Pirreli.

I have always said that Pirreli don't know what they are doing. Pirreli have no idea what their tyres are doing or why they are ding it. Pirreli do not understand how to make tyres that work let alone tyres that are faster and degrade or slower and last longer.

Some people call the racing exciting because of the tyres but it is not by design it is because it is a tyre lottery.

I see parallels with Pirreli and Ducati. Both companies sell products on spin, gimmicks and mythos rather than technical and scientific superiority. People are now seeing these two brands for what they are.


James if it's not longer a YDT test, then presumably Mercedes will be allowed to test? The ban referenced the YDT, and presumably Merc can veto any in season testing.

Did Red Bull suggest the race should've been red-flagged during the race when Vettel was leading?


"presumably Merc can veto any in season testing."

God, the hypocrisy!


Waitaminute James... didn't Pirelli just get a test with the cheats/winners Mercedes? Haven't they already done dome testing therefore? Is it possible this was brought on by teams pushing the limits and not following guidelines in the first place? I'm kinda liking these tires... its a bit of modern F1 with a hint of wacky races. Think this isn't purely a tire problem... Hope the tires stay unchanged for this weekend.


Two quotes from Paul Hembrey (back to back mind you) from http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2013/6/14743.html

'At the moment, we can’t really say much more until we have fully investigated and analysed all of these incidents, which is our top priority. However, we can exclude that the new bonding process, which we introduced at this race, is at cause for the tyre failures we have seen today.'

We don't know for sure it was or wasn't, but we know for sure what it wasn't. Hmm.

To Pirelli and the FIA:

Find the cause of these problems.

Find a solution and DO IT.

Let Pirelli test WITH CURRENT EQUIPMENT so that messes like Silverstone don't happen again.

MAKE decisions FOR the teams - they themselves are incapable of it.

Sorry for shouting, but it's really not that hard is it?


To be fair to the FIA, they did grant permission for the tyres to be modified - so long as it was for safety grounds. Pirelli won't admit there is a safety issue (presumably that's a touchy subject from a PR perspective) and this means any modifications require unanimous agreement from all teams. Given the teams cannot agree on anything, due to self interest, we go round in circles.

Hey ho, I guess it gives us all something to gossip about 🙂



From Jean Todt:

“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.”

"To allow the FIA to take all necessary actions to ensure safety, approval will also be sought for a change to the technical regulations to allow in-season modifications to tyre specifications to be made without the unanimous agreement of all teams."

Maybe they have actually been listening, and maybe (hopefully) the circle does end 🙂


Maybe they have actually been listening, and maybe (hopefully) the circle does end 🙂

Hoo-bloody-ray! 😉


There were no exploding tyres in the GP2 support race btw so could it really be the curb issue?


Much greater loads in F1 than GP2? I don't know, just guessing, but it seems reasonable.

Stone the crows

This is a bigger fiasco than the 2005 USGP, and I do not think that the blame can be laid upon Pirelli. They've been asked to produce a product without adequate means to do so, and when they proposed a safer tyre some of the teams refused on the basis of lost performance. The drivers are very fortunate that none of them were struck by a large piece of tyre carcass flying through the air. Regulations and avarice did this, not incompetence.

James, someone else posted about a previous thread that reported that some teams were gaining an advantage by swapping left and right rear tyres. Where any of the tyre failures today on cars with swapped directions? What else could be different about this track than others that would put stress on only the left rear? Thanks for a great site, its the standard for F-1 on the internet.


Personally I'd still put Indianapolis as the #1 fiasco, solely for the fact that at least we actually got to have a race at Silverstone.

The teams might run different pressures for the left and right sides (I couldn't say for sure) but these days is there actually any physical difference between a left and right tyre?


Bernie, FIA and Pirelli....guilty as charged.

Meet for what?

Make the tires go 2 laps more?

Point fingers at one another.

Adress the problems right now, it's so obvious!!!

Get it done by Hungary at least.

Even after the secret test Lewis was pissed off.


Great for mercedes! Now that its no longer officially a "young drivers test" they can attend! Lol.


Here's what Kimi has to say about it. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/07/02/raikkonen-suspects-sharp-kerbs-caused-tyre-failures/ I suppose people will attack him now as they have everbody who pointed a finger at the kerbs even though they were the main factor in causing the failures. Sceptism from FA and others is all very fine but the facts say otherwise and anyway those kerb don't look like they are 12 yrs old to me so their comments are irrelevant. Silverstone has just had a major revamp in tha past couple of years and I sure thats the age of the kerbs. Other series do not put the same stresses on tyres as F1 either. Not grinding down the sharp edges is just sloppy workmanship. They were a problem waiting to happen. They have no place on a racing track!


Good one.


i think it would be pragmatic go and look a bit further back in time, at the prelude to this comic opera.

by the latter half of '12 the tyres were holding out and we saw some great racing. then the request for 'trash' tyres. tyres that would last 8/12 laps only! what on earth were they smoking when they made that decision?

this constant blather about creating a spectacle is quite pathetic really. motor sport is dangerous enough without exploding tyres for whatever reason.

i have very little sympathy for pirelli in this. they hsve been far to clever and it is now all blowing up in their fsce. they always had the inalienable right to refuse to build tyres that may be dangerous or totally inadequate but they chose to do otherwise. when asked if they were going to revert to longer lasting tyres hembery said, 'what do you mean? do you want red bull to run away with the championship again?

surely this comment lends itself to an aquiesence that the tyres were deliberately tweaked to suit another agenda.

they should have simply said no to any further compound alterations and left it at that.pirelli went along for the ride and now they will have to pay the price.


So the Merc test is about to be front and center again, I would think.

The complete and utter incompetence of the FIA is mind blowing. I know you seasoned F1 fans are used to this with [mod] Mosely and his favored pets but I had no idea it was this poorly run.

First Ecelstone is brilliant in his divide and conquer management style. Keeping these teams and the FIA from being able to govern the sport for this long has been pretty shrewd on his part. From setting up the board in a manner that is totally under his control to not having a true governing body it is a control freaks fantasy. All this from a beginning position The Borgias Pope Alexander VI would be green with envy if he were alive now.

The FIA and Pirelli and FOM (i think that is right) all have egg on there face. This was completely avoidable. James I listened to the stream of your post race analysis on BBC and I heard all about the curb for turn 4 I think it is. While that curb is probably what damaged the tires that does not mean the tires were blameless. The US broadcast had a real good shot of Sebs tire and it was not pretty. No tire should be that soft.

Back to Merc, as I understand it the ruling from the IT was purely political. I say that because Merc apparently had permission from Whiting so they were in the clear. Pirelli had permission via their contract although there is some question as to whether they had give proper notice. So the IT really should have done nothing since they probably have no jurisdiction over Pirelli and Merc had implied permission. Yet they had to do something to make the other teams happy and to excuse Ferrari for their test at the same time. Of course if they did something severe to Merc they would very likely end up in a real court where they would be enjoined from doing anything and possibly had to pay damages. Not to mention be under the threat of discovery, deposition, and subpoena. That had to be avoided at all cost while trying to prevent a revolt from the other teams. Then you have there crazy ruling that Pirelli couldn't change the construction of the tires unless the teams agreed to it. Who is running this show? Do the stewards have to g to get the teams to vote unanimously for a drive through penality? Wait Alonso did get an unsafe release today as well as his other transgressions.

In the end they need to change the tires and change them for good.

Jean Todt has to go. He and he alone have been at the heart of the past 2 tire scandals. Indy 2005 and now Silverstone 2013. Both could have been avoided but in both the interest of a single team or a couple of teams outweighed the sport.

There I think I just landed on it, there doesn't seem to be anyone looking out for the good of the sport. That is sad.


Ferrari and other Bridgestone runners were absolutely correct in their protest against altering the track just because it did not suit Michelin runners. Bridgestone brough safe tires, Michelin did not. Why punish Bridgestone for Michelin's errors ?

Having said that, if Michelin, Bridgestone and Pirelli were all competing together, the former 2 would have Pirellis for breakfast,lunch and dinner !


That is my whole issue, the inmates are running the asylum in F1. It should have never been up to the teams what to do. The decision should have been made the governing body for the good of the sport.

Surely you do not suggest that Indy 2005 was good for the image of the sport. Especially not in the US where many see it as less than manly racing and filled with cry babies.


Now now that one I agree 100% 🙂


A lot of what you say is true, except for the fact that Jean Todt was only Team Principal at Ferrari at the time while Max Mosley was President of the FIA.

You might argue that Todt contributed by letting Ferrari race on the Bridgestones when the Michelin shod opposition pulled out, but that race was basically free points for Ferrari - and any team principal worth his salt would have made the same call.


Right and Ferrari vetoed making a common sense change to the track under the direction of Jean Todt.



Thats the biggest story of the weekend, and no one is talking about it. The "reprimand" and ban from YDT is a joke, Merc have transformed their race pace and tyre degradation issues since Barcelona, and I am sure that this was part of their normal development (without the secretive test), right??? LMAO

Great work FIA, a slap on the wrist when a team is found guilty of cheating!!! It's a slap in the face to all other teams that work hard for ingenuity and innovations within the rules.


No no no, you're completely wrong. Take note of this interview question to Rosberg and his answer:

'Nico, do you think that without the Montmelo test Mercedes could be winning races like now?'

Nico: 'For sure, yeah. Definitely.'

See? You must be wrong 😉


The FIA and Pirelli need to take respinsibility For this farce.The way I see it is that the teams should test /use the 2012 Kevlar based tyres immediately if possible.

Except for Mercedes and Ferrari who have already carried out their secret/ private/sneaky tests- they can only use young drivers to test safety.- this would give their young drivers a fair go and both teams a satisfactory basis for safety going into Nurburgring. Keep in mind the other 9 teams will happily verify their safety :).

Im still mythed that Mercedes with all its brain power and 3 years now-can't do what the likes of Force India and Lotus have done in this regard.

James, has Pirelli ever said to the teams and FIA - they cannot guarantee the integrity of the tyre during the season. I find them very weak for not standing their ground with the FIA by saying they wont compromise the itegrity of their product- which is exactly whats happened. Especially going from marginal tyres last year- to softener ones again this year ?. I just find it bizarre that the FIA can keep pushing in this direction. If it wanted mixed racing all they had to tell Pirelli was to use a wider range of last years tyres- ie Soft and Hards, even super softs - their still better than this years. I know they took a fraction longer to warm up, by this year the teams have found more downforce and heat up anyway. This constant thrust to re-engineer entertainment is just garbage..It's the Sport that suffers !

This highlights Webbers timing on leaving is perfect !


James and we wonder why Mark Webber is leaving.

He is probably tyred of Pirelli not being able to get a grip of the situation without falling apart.

I've said it in previous posts about Pirelli and brand was already on the skids but this last race is likely to blow up in their face!

What's the next thing FIA are going to pick up from Super Mario Racing?

Maybe they can have bonus points for avoiding obstacles (tyre carcasses) and pick up special bonus items for speed boost (DRS)...

Oh wait they have already done that.

I hear Alonso is already preparing for next years regulations by growing a mustache!


James, do you have any idea what the FIA demand of the manufacturer in their "tyre specifications"? The FIA after all are not the tyre specialists here, Pirelli are. I wonder to what degree do the FIA dictate what Pirelli do with the tyres.

At least now we're finally talking about some on track testing again. With all the fuss made about safety in F1, all the load and crash tests involved, it's absurd that the only point of contact the car has with the road (not counting the Lotus) is basically tested twice just before the season starts, and in entirely unrepresentative conditions that the sport then makes an effort to avoid all season.

It's amazing this sport is still going really...


Regardless of what Pirelli were asked to produce in order to "spice up" the racing, they as a manufacturer have a duty to produce a product that is safe. Even if it can be demonstrated that the raised kerb edging was a contributing factor the tyres should not have disintegrated in the manner they did.

What will Pirelli supply for the German GP?

Whether the teams agree to the tyre change or not, if Pirelli supply the same tyres knowing there is an issue with their safety for the German GP and somebody gets hurt due to a tyre failure, somebody high up in Pirelli will have free room and board courtesy of the German government.


German track is not same as the british track not as many long speed corners therefore less stress on the tyres even the naughty teams who run low pressures ; )


F1 has strayed too far over the line between sport and entertainment. Yesterday was a farce and the entire season has no value due to the artificial races.

F1 has chased the casual audience and forgotten what it was supposed to be about.


"F1 has chased the casual audience and forgotten what it was supposed to be about."

Finally... someone who I can agree with, all these casual fans need to bugger off and watch 20/20 cricket... and leave the test matches to the fans.

I hope you people don't mind a cricket analogy?


Kerbs bite. Just a reminder of the possibility. Everyone needs a good nap and a reminder that they saw one of the most action packed and dramatic races so far of the season with a killer finish.


Dear James & All,

It is obvious that FIA & Pirelli are panicking. What do you think about the following suggestion?

2 compounds only - 1soft, 1 hard.

Compulsory use of both, at least for 10 laps each.

Minimum 2 pit stops.


There is absolutely no problem with 4 compounds - 2 to be races at any given circuit. I cant see why any compound can't last 20 laps with a performance diff of say 1 sec. All Pirelli have to do is select say soft & hard on certain tracks or whatever . What we had late last year was perfect - WHY THE HELL DID THEY CHANGE IT. All they had to do was mix them up a bit more this year because eveyonen was dirty that Pirelli were so conservative after Singapore - that's it.. The Kevlar construction is obviously better and more reliable.


Awesome...except they've got to last 10 laps...


wow. just saw the video of the FIA approved curbing that has apparantly not been previously ridiculed as being stupid and dangerous by Pirelli, the Teams, the drivers, the media, sponsors, the FOM, and now the fans???

it does not seem possible to me that this curbing design had nothing to do with the F1 joke of the day. it certainly gives the appearance of being being fully capable of cutting a flexible, distorting, oscillating, spinning and sliding tire.

of course, this is conjecture at this point. while I have decidedly not been a fan of nor user of Pirelli since 1973, I suspect their forensic analysis will correctly show the FIA, Teams, Silverstone, and drivers all share heavily in the complicity.

instead of the drivers staging a boycott, I believe much more long-term good would come of Pirelli boycotting F1 until F1 get their stuff in order...


The whole F1 tyre situation is completely daft. As we know the current regulations demand limited tyre life and given the number of sets allocated per car/race for a 19/20 race season that's a scandalous waste of material. F1 is afterall trying to be eco-friendly with smaller fuel efficient engines next season. Lets get back to flat out racing and return F1 to its rightful place as a platform for the development of safer long life tyres.


This tyre situation is now a critical safety issue and unless dramatic changes are enacted THIS WEEK - which may not be feasible - it is highly likely the drivers will (rightly) choose not to drive in Germany.

Yesterday's race was a sickening display of putting sporting spectacle and commercial considerations before people's lives. The race should have been stopped. Simple.

It's all too easy for pundits and fans and the seething mass of commercial interests hooked into this sport to pontificate endlessly on these tyre failures, but it is the drivers and the marshalls at trackside who are in danger here. Sure, motorsports have always been dangerous - as tragic recent events at Le Mans and North America have sadly demonstrated - and drivers know there is a risk every time they step into their race-car. But this is different. Tyres are a standard supplied component and should be safe for use.

A meeting on Wednesday will do little to allay fears as that is too close to the German GP to enact any substantial changes. Changing the YDT to a full-on all-team tyre test can certainly help matters and should happen, but again, it is too late for Germany.

There is a genuine moral dimension to this issue now which the sport would be foolish to ignore. Knowingly risking young men's lives and well-being for the sake of sporting spectacle is hugely detrimental to the image of the sport, and if a serious even fatal incident was to occur in these circumstances, could even jeopardise its very survival.


Not tires but bubble gums, and some clever dicks advised to use soft and supersoft for this race, appealing that Pirelli is backing Merc and RBR.


That's what happens when you an Italian company to make tyres that is "filled with drama". LOL


"Pirelli’s Paul Hembery did little with the media after the race, save for an interview with BBC TV".

I believe he also told Sky the same thing.


I really feel for Pirelli who have tried everything to try and get things fixed. All they have come up against are barriers whether from the FIA teams or drivers who are all driving there own agenda.

I can't see why people are criticising them when they have clearly been trying to fix the problem. The only mistake they have made is building them in the first place but all they have done since us try and fix things. They must be thinking why they bothered in the first place!


Interestingly the picture of Vettel's tyre seen here


and assuming this is a rear left, the profile of the cut is similar to the profile of the kerb highlighted by Gary Anderson on the BBC.

I can't see timescales allowing a change of tyre back to the 2012 spec or any other similar action. All I can see happening pre Nürburgring, is a frantic replacement of similar kerbs, and a proactive safety car for quick removal for any debris resulting from a collision.

Ultimately the FIA have to be responsible for this mess.


FW14B thanks for the link. At last some real evidence to look at, rather than a zillion rabid comments. A number of press comments in the past about Red Bull running lower tyre pressures to get better performance, possibly many other teams now follow that route. This would definitely put more stress on the shoulder/tread/sidewall joints. F1 tyres have a stiffer tread/carcass structure than a road tyre. More movement in the sidewall than the tread. Couple that with the sharp kerb and you have a reasonable hypothesis.


The drivers walk the track on Thursdays? Is it just to get some exercise or do they actually look at which bits to avoid?

The kerbs are outside the white lines and aren't part of the race track, they shouldn't be out there anyway. But since they don't get penalised, they straighten the bends.


It is ridiculous to blame the kerbs for the tyre explosion and delaminations. Whilst the kerbs may indeed have caused the punctures/delaminations, the main responsibility obviously lies in the construction of the tyre.

F1 cars have always raced over kerbs since tracks were purpose built for racing; and tyres should be avble to stand up to this punishment. It is bit like saying there should be no need for crumple zones in cars, as the drivers should not be crashing the cars in the first place.


I recall M Schumacher being one of the most diligent in his track inspection. I think it was either James or Murray when commentating, who said that he inspected every part of the track-side where his car might end up. Even checking the depth of gravel, and whether it was compacted. I remember seeing him testing the limits of adhesion both on-track and just off-track, during early practice.


Lot of comments 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 & 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.

With regards to the kurb, Im not buying it.

The kurb 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 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.


To add.

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.

Im not even sure why as it makes the tyres more prone to suffering cuts because there's then less give in both compound & construction.

It also makes tyres run hotter which also makes them more prone to overheating.

The change from kevlar to steel belt was a completely unnecisary change.


Hang on a minute. Weren't all those tyre failures more to do w/ the layout of Silverstone's kerbs rather than the Pirellis (short) lifespan?

On a similar issue a couple years back, Gary Anderson said it best when drivers were complaining about the kerbs in turns 10 - 12 of the Singapore race track being too high: it's the nature of the circuit, the driver can always choose not to go through them. Tyres don't get cut/sliced due to high loads. Sure its durability comes into play as to when (and how spectacular) it will deteriorate once the damage has been done, but it certainly didn't inflict that sort of damage (cut/slice) to itself in the first place.

The drivers were warned multiple times to be careful of the kerbs, yet they continued to drive through it aggressively. It's like being warned to watch out for Monaco's barriers, but you continually brush them lap after lap and later on, after a failure, complain that your car's suspension wasn't sturdy enough to take all that bangin'!

Also, didn't Alonso also suffer a slow puncture in Spain this year after also cutting his tyre? And the only thing that kept him going was the fact that Pirelli reinforced the structure of their sidewalls at the start of the year? Frankly, all this clamour for more "durable" and "safer" rubber are mostly from teams who failed to adapt to this year's tyre specifications and are using this instance to (falsely) underline their position.


"Hang on a minute. Weren’t all those tyre failures more to do w/ the layout of Silverstone’s kerbs rather than the Pirellis (short) lifespan?"

To limit the tyres lifespan Pirelli are using softer compounds & different constructions & this has made them a lot more prone to been cut than before.

The kurbing at silverstone was unchanged this year & drivers were running the same lines over the kurbing this year that they have used the past few years without problems.

the gp2/gp3 drivers were also using the kurbs as were the porsche supercup & a few months back the wec cars.

the tyres should be able to withstand normal loads & should be able to withstand been driven over the same kurbing thats been there for years & the same kurbing that has caused zero problems in other racing categories.

there has been a lot more cut tyres this year than other years & that can only be down to pirelli's softer 2013 compounds & more aggressive construction.


I agree with Horner and Domenicali that Formula One drivers, not young drivers, should be piloting the cars at the Young Drivers Test. If they are not, Mercedes will have received yet another advantage in their secret test. Moreover, if the Silverstone weather doesn't cooperate (when does it ever?) there may be very little data from testing. Perhaps the FIA should force Pirelli and Mercedes to make all the data from Catalunya available to all the teams. Mercedes obviously learned something, look at Rosberg with no tire degradation and Hamilton able to work his way to fourth place instead of falling back through the field like they did prior to secret testing.

The FIA and WMSC are in shambles. The FIA is doing everything they can to keep Merc on the grid as a competitor, including a "reprimand" for Rosberg. Red Bull should appeal the decision to the FIA. If the FIA had any cojones they'd investigate and overrule the stewards, invoke a penalty and award the victory to Webber. Are they truly afraid to lose Merc and go down to nine teams next year?

And what are we to make of the WMSC stating that the weekend after Montreal next year is off limits to a New Jersey Grand Prix because it conflicts with the US Open Golf tournament.

Some "fans" might want to attend both events.

No doubt it's the poor NBC brass who want to schmooze in the F1 paddock and in the golf tents. Bernie can easily schedule quali and the race for 11:30 AM or Noon, golf coverage doesn't start until 2 PM Eastern Time. NBC thinks so much of F1 that they broadcast the dopers from the Tour de France live over the weekend and pushed F1 to tape delay. The race tape was scheduled to start at 11:30 AM Eastern, but they didn't tell anyone they were delaying it for 15 minutes. When F1 fans tuned in at 11:30 they were greeted by someone doing a sports update, showing the podium finishers from Silverstone and telling viewers that Vettel had retired from the race. Bernie should tell them and the WMSC to shove it.


Two comments....

1) I found the suggestion that RBR (and I assume others) have been running tyre pressures well below Pirelli's recommendation quite amazing.

I suppose the devil is in the detail as to whether it is a specification or recommendation. Equally, the concept of running tyres in their incorrect rotational specification for a performance gain is equally amazing.

I cant imagine that teams would drop any other component (that had safety implications) below it's technical spec.

While I'm sure teams have been doing this with tyres for many years, perhaps these types of issues contribute to problems with this new generation of tyres.

I want to see F1 push technology to the limit, but not at the expense of risky engineering. Perhaps this is an area that needs to be added to scrutineering?

2) To echo someone else's comment re the Lotus suspension issue that they have been running for the last two seasons, How can this have been missed by scrutineering? It begs the question, "what else is being missed"?

Chris Anderson

Even though my favourite driver is currently leading the world championship, I have to say this is the worst F1 season I have ever watched. There is too much emphasis on tyres, and a lot of manipulation going on with it.

I blame it on the whole of F1. They took the word show too far. I am one of a few fans who does not mind seeing the fastest car win. If that means little over taking than tough.

Sport can't always be thrilling and exciting. I don't see Football changing there rules every season just create better TV

What we have now is stupid, and dangerous.


I think the most important thing now, even before looking for who to blame, is work fast in solving a potential disaster should anyone get injured because of the tires.

Lets not forget that after Germany and Hungary, we have Spa and Monza coming, and I'm sure both drivers and teams will think twice before running there with these tires.

People will say that there is enough time to fix the problem before then, but whatever the solution or solutions proposed, they will have to be tested to make sure there will be no more safety concerns, and only after that the new tires will be manufactured.

Really, I don't think there is any time left before doing something, as I would hate (not enough of a word)to see somebody injured or worse because of the delamination or an explosion of a time at full speed in one of those circuits.


Another nail in the coffin of my interest in modern F1. This is what happens when you try turning a sport into a pantomime bernie!


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