Pirelli: All-new tyres on the way

Wednesday 03-July-2013 08:05

The tyre problems that have plagued Formula One this season may soon be a thing of the past as Pirelli confirm they will introduce all-new tyres from the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The decision had already been made to provide teams with Kevlar-belted rear tyres for this week's race in Germany, but a longer-term plan has now been put in place as well.

The decision followed 48 hours of detailed analysis by Pirelli at its Milan headquarters, and the news that the Italian firm has reacted to the problems at Silverstone with a major rethink of its current policy - and a new product - will no doubt come as a relief to many.

The Budapest race later this month will debut a brand new tyre that features a combination of the 2012 construction with the 2013 compounds, and the new products will be tested at the forthcoming young driver test at Silverstone on July 17-19.

Teams will also be banned from swapping the left and right tyres around, and strict limits will be imposed on camber and tyre pressures.

Pirelli believe they have pinpointed the exact reason for the numerous tyre failures at Silverstone - a result of a combination of factors that were unrelated to the delaminations it encountered earlier this season.

They claim that a combination of rear tyres being swapped (which put undue pressure on the wrong sidewall), low tyre pressures, extreme cambers and high kerbs at Silverstone - especially from The Loop - contributed to the failures.

To help avoid such an issue in the future, Pirelli have requested that it be made mandatory that real time tyre data - including pressures and cambers - is made available for its engineers during a race and that limits on pressures and cambers be enforced by the FIA.

"What happened at Silverstone was completely unexpected and it was the first time that anything like this has ever occurred in more than a century of Pirelli in motorsport," said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery.

"These incidents, which have upset us greatly, have stressed the urgency of the changes that we already suggested - which will be introduced for free practice in Germany on Friday.

"We would like to acknowledge the willingness of the FIA, FOM, teams, and drivers to act quickly to find an immediate solution to the problem.

"In particular, the adoption of winter tests, arranged with the FIA, that are more suitable for tyre development, and the possibility of carrying out in-season testing will contribute to the realisation of tyres with increasingly improved standards of safety and performance."

Hembery also maintains that there are no safety issues with the current Pirelli tyres as long as teams use them correctly.

"I'd like to re-emphasise the fact that the 2013 range of tyres, used in the correct way, is completely safe," he said.

"What happened at Silverstone though has led us to ask for full access to real time tyre data to ensure the correct usage and development of tyres that have the sophistication we were asked to provide and extremely high performance that has lowered lap times by more than two seconds on average.

"While we wait for a change in the rules, we will introduce tyres that are easier to manage."

Some of Hembery statements, particularly his assertion that it was how outfits used their tyres that caused the Silverstone failures, has led to speculation that the friction between Pirelli and the teams was intensifying, but Hembery hastily issued a statement on Tuesday night denying any such rift.

"Contrary to the impression that some people have formed, I would like to underline the collaboration and support that we are receiving from the teams, drivers, FIA and FOM," he said.

"In no way are we intending to create arguments or attack anybody. We have taken our responsibilities upon ourselves as our press release indicates.

"But not having full control over all the elements that impact on the use of the tyres, we need everybody's contribution. With regard to this, we are receiving the full support of all the parties involved, for which we are very grateful."

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