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Pirelli Announces Causes for Numerous Formula 1 British GP Tire Failures

Incorrect tire mounting, low tire pressures, extreme cambers and curbing are to blame

Toni Avery
Jul 2, 2013
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    The Details:
  • Pirelli announces causes for numerous Formula 1 British GP tire failures
  • Tires were mounted incorrectly, tire pressure was low, extreme camber and curbs were to blame
  • Changes will be made to the tires before the German GP, but compounds will remain the same
  • Pirelli will use a Kevlar construction replacing the current steel structure and re-introduce the belt of 2012

As you may have read in the article on the Formula 1 British GP results, race teams and fans alike all wanted answers for the numerous tire explosions that took place last weekend. Pirelli has finally announced its reasoning behind the tire failures as three distinct causes:

Rear tires were mounted incorrectly: It seems for the several drivers that experienced tire failures mounted the right rear tire on the left or vice versa. Because these tires have an asymmetric structure, they are not designed to be interchangeable. And because the internal and external sides of the tire are designed to deal with specific loads, switching sides causes certain parts of the track to become harsher on tires than normal.

Low tire pressures: Tire pressures were either excessively low or lower than the indicated amount by Pirelli. This results in more stress the tire has to endure on track.

Extreme Cambers and high curbs: A particular turn at Silverstone (turn 4), was the cause of most of the tire failures at the race. Not only because it is a high speed corner, but also the angle of the curb itself is extreme and could cause tire damage, and in the case of several drivers, did.

And while these failures did occur, Pirelli underscores the importance that the 2013 tire range does not compromise driver safety if used in the correct manner. No driver was injured in any way during the British GP, but drivers were forced to retire as a result of the failures. To ensure something like this does not happen at the upcoming German GP, Pirelli will use a Kevlar construction replacing the current steel structure and re-introduce the belt of 2012. This is to ensure the most stability and road holding. While the structure will be replaced, the compounds will remain the same throughout the 2013 season.

Following the announcement of the cause of the tire failure, Paul Hembry, Pirelli Motorsport Director commented, "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. 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 tires, 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."

    FASTEST TIMES OF THE DAY BY COMPOUND:
  • First- WEB - 1.33.401 (medium), ROS - 1.33.531 (hard)
  • Second- ALO - 1.34.090 (medium), HAM - 1.34.159 (hard)
  • Third- MAS - 1.35.273 (medium), ALO - 1.34.386 (hard)

    LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE:
  • 28 laps (Hamilton- hard)
  • 24 laps (Di Resta- medium)

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By Toni Avery
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