Pirelli tyres saga still causing conflict in the Formula 1 paddock

Pirelli tyres at Nurburgring

Pirelli tyres at Nurburgring

A new row is brewing in Formula 1, as teams contemplate the next change to the specification of Pirelli’s 2013 tyres.

After the tyre dramas of the British Grand Prix, Formula 1’s official supplier rushed  new Kevlar-belted rear tyres into service, in Germany.

Pirelli had intended to debut an all-new tyre for Hungary and beyond, combining the 2012 tyre construction with the 2013 compounds.

But world champion Sebastian Vettel hinted after winning at the Nurburgring that the tyre design that teams will actually race in Hungary is yet to be completely decided.

Lotus, competitive with the Nurburgring-spec tyre, is happy to keep things as they are.

“This was a great race,” team owner Gerard Lopez told Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper, “showing that the tyres performed much the same as in the first third of the season.

Lewis Hamilton suffered a blow out while leading at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton suffered a blow out while leading at Silverstone

“If the tyres change radically, it really affects the credibility of the sport. At least now, no one can argue that these tyres are unsafe,” he added.

Force India, on the other hand, had no problem with the original Pirelli tyre, but struggled markedly in Germany with the Kevlar construction and the new rules banning rear tyre-swapping.

And now, the Silverstone based team is dreading the switch to the 2012 tyres.

“If we return to the old carcass,” said sporting director Otmar Szafnauer, we lose our entire advantage about how we use the tyres this year.

“We designed our car specifically for the 2013 tyre specification.”

He told Auto Motor und Sport that Force India was the first team in 2013 to discover the old trick of rear tyre swapping, complaining that other teams triggered the ban by combining the practice with running extreme pressures and cambers.

“We never ran with low pressure or too much camber,” Szafnauer rued.

Now, Force India is hurriedly tweaking its car to see how it works with the 2012 tyres, which will be tested for the first time at Silverstone next week.

“I am afraid that these tyres will mess up everything,” said Szafnauer. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

Content on GrandPrix247.com by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • =El Presidente=

    We all have to accept that Formula1 is as honest as the government (no matter where you live)
    It is one big maze of lies, speculation, framing and rigging.

    No biggy to me btw, as i just enjoy watching cars driving in circles, but i can not say i still consider it “motor-racing”

    Superkarts-series.. thats pure motor-racing. with considerably higher risks also.

  • MacStar227

    I hope these changes benefit Ferrari because they’re struggling :)

  • KC

    Funny stuff – Lotus were bending the rules by “tyre swapping” and now they’re crying they can’t do it any more!

  • CedarCreek

    There was no rule or regulation against tire-swapping, and it was tacitly approved by Pirelli who knew it was going on and raised no objection. Hembrey just said a couple of days ago that Pirelli had thought that tire-swapping was not a problem until they started looking for excuses for building a tire that failed catastrophically. Lotus bent no rules.

    I am also sad to hear only that most posters just want their team to gain an advantage rather than wanting a tire that puts all of the teams on an equal footing. The drivers and cars are supposed to decide the championship, not a new tire design introduced halfway through the season.

  • WayneUSA

    I agree with CedarCreek.

  • Joe Kinnear

    Nothing’s wrong with the tires. Just the cars that can’t cope with them. Just like Ferrari back in the years where tire changes were not allowed.. Renault were the kindest, and ended up winning (Fernando).

  • KC

    “There was no rule or regulation against tire-swapping ..”

    There was no rule or regulation against using camber angles outside of the Pirelli recommendations – until some teams started doing just that and the tyres stated blistering, at which point the FIA ordered that everybody had to treat Pirelli’s “recommendations” on camber as law. This was in 2011, for those with bad memories.

    The FIA could, and should, have simply banned this tyre swapping nonsense as soon as problems appeared. They did not do so because they were afraid it would help Red Bull. Which is a pretty pathetic reason on their part- they are SUPPOSED to be a neutral party, not trying to help some teams and hurt others.

    “Lotus bent no rules.”

    By that definition no team has ever bent the rules.