Pirelli explains Spa punctures amid Michelin return speculation

Michelin F1 tyres

Michelin F1 tyres

Pirelli revealed that metal debris, not a tyre design flaw, caused the rear failures and cuts seen at Spa-Francorchamps during free practice on Friday.

The latest tyre problems revived memories of June’s tyre-exploding chaos at Silverstone, and reportedly pushed the drivers back to the brink of boycott.

But Pirelli said on Saturday morning that the punctures had been traced to a piece of metal debris on the circuit that had fallen from Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus.

Motor sport boss Paul Hembery told reporters: “There are certainly no tyre-related issues.

“We’ve seen no signs of fatigue and from our point of view there’s no reason to be concerned.”

Media reports said that the Pirelli investigation has allayed the drivers’ fears.

But it hasn’t stopped rumours that Michelin, reportedly backed politically by FIA president Jean Todt, is poised to return to Formula 1 to replace Pirelli in 2014.

The BBC said that the French marque has already held talks with the governing body, while a Michelin spokesman confirmed the company is still “interested” in F1 but would want a shift away from the new era of heavy tyre degradation. (GMM.)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Boycottthebull

    This is a Michelin / FIA con job. The reason for Pirellis fast wearing tyres is that was the were TOLD to build. Michelin has stepped forward now that they would supply tyres with the secret proviso that the soft tyre rule specs be abolished so they can then step in and say see how wonderful we are over Pirelli our tyres dont have the same problems. The average F1 punditt cant seem to grasp this concept and simply blame Pirelli for everything. They would easily believe this con being perpetrated by Michelin and the FIA and for all Pirellis troubles to build a decent tyre that neither the FIA or the teams would let them they would be seen as a crap tyre manufacturer. If Bernie and the FIA go along with this they they have such even lower than I though even they were capable of.

  • McLarenfan

    @Boycottthebull: I don’t trust Jean Todt & Michelin at all the other thing is that Michelin want to go to 17inch rims. I would say that Michelin & Pirelli in a war would be good as Paul has already said this season and last they would happily go to war but the flack that Pirelli is taking is not fair at all.

  • farizY

    Why blame Pirelli, last time I checked, they were told to build such tyres by the FIA.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Tire war?

    Who’s gonna stay with Pirelli after this year?