Formula 1 responds to tyre exploding crisis by allowing more testing

Pirelli tyre technicians at work during the British GP weekend

Pirelli tyre technicians at work during the British GP weekend

The world of Formula 1 has already begun to respond to the crisis triggered by Sunday’s tyre-exploding British Grand Prix, with the sport’s bosses agreeing to unlimited testing in order to get the problems ironed out.

Earlier this year, because Pirelli insisted the problem was merely aesthetic rather than a matter of safety, a few teams blocked moves to introduce a new tyre to stop delaminations.

DPA news agency said the most powerful men in Formula 1 – Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt – met at Silverstone and arranged for Pirelli to be able to conduct two three-day tests.

Formula 1 chief executive Ecclestone said Pirelli can even use 2013 cars, even though the Italian marque’s recent test with Mercedes was heavily frowned upon by the FIA.

“They can use what they like,” said Ecclestone. “No restrictions. None at all, so they can do what they want.”

Jean Todt with Bernie Ecclestone

Jean Todt with Bernie Ecclestone

Red Bull designer Adrian Newey, hitting out at those resisting teams including Lotus, Ferrari and Force India, blamed the Silverstone chaos on their “short-sightedness”.

“It’s a sad state of affairs but such is the nature of F1, really,” he is quoted by the Telegraph.

However, Lotus team boss Eric Boullier has reacted immediately to Silverstone by insisting that because it is now a safety issue, the team will no longer block any changes.

And Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary said on Monday that Ferrari and Force India have also now acknowledged “that safety came before their own competitive interests”.

Nonetheless, Force India owner Vijay Mallya has been quoted as questioning the seriousness of the tyre explosions, while Lotus’ Alan Permane pointed out to Auto Motor und Sport that Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean had no problems at all on Sunday.

Vijay Mallya at Silverstone

Vijay Mallya at Silverstone

Force India sporting director Otmar Szafnauer added: “We had no problems. Maybe it’s because we adhere strictly to Pirelli’s guidelines regarding tyre pressures and camber.”

The most immediate issue for F1, however, is how to react to the Silverstone crisis just days ahead of the next race at the Nurburgring.

A step in the right direction is the immediate decision to relax F1’s strict testing rules for Pirelli.

Sir Jackie Stewart is quoted by the Daily Mail: “They’ve got to open up the regulations and do as many tests as [Pirelli] needs to drive in order to feel comfortable that their tyres are durable.” (GMM)

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  • Spartacus

    The Mercedes test doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

    Pirelli get to do two three day tests with whichever cars they want. Wonder which teams will that be? Ferrari and?

  • =El Presidente=

    Yeah and only MB will suffer punishment.

    This is a worthless Championship this year. no value what-so-ever for the fans. Only some dollar-vallue left.

    =bloody shame=

  • BBto

    Pirelli changed to kevlar belt?

    Steel belt -> Delamination, not blowouts.

    Kevlar belt -> Note delamination, yes blowouts.

    If you look all the pictures from UK GP there are no rest of steel belt and you can see something similar to kevlar in most of them…..

    You can see the info about this on Marca sportpaper online

  • hahahaha

    like Hyde in that 70’ies show always says: “it’s all a conspiracy man!” 😀

  • Empee

    “Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean had no problems at all on Sunday.”

    Was Permane yawning when debris from Vergne’s blowout was
    thrown at BOTH his drivers?

  • WayneUSA

    Wonder what Mercedes and Pirelli had cooked up for Silverstone? Seems the ILLEGAL test did accomplish something (a win?).

  • KC

    “only MB will suffer punishment”

    Only MB broke the rules.

  • coefficientf1

    If these tyres suited RB9 Adrian Newey would be up in arms at the suggestion of tyre modifications. It’s highly disingenuous of him to seize the moral high ground and criticise teams for something which he would have done himself if necessary to retain an advantage.

    Remember him sulking about the ban on blown diffusers all year last year? It’s like he thought if he complained enough they’d let him put one on Vettel’s car to cheer him up. Just Vettel’s mind you!!

    Honestly, this “sport” is becoming a joke! It’s more like WWE than the F1 I remember and used to love!!

    Mansell, Piquet, Williams, Silverstone. That was proper racing!