• Pirelli tyre row

Pirelli strengthens tyres for Germany

ESPN Staff
July 2, 2013 « Tyre misuse caused blow outs - Pirelli | Drivers 'a strong unifying force' for McLaren »
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Pirelli has confirmed it will make changes to its rear tyres ahead of the German Grand Prix before reintroducing 2012-style tyres at the Hungarian Grand Prix following its investigations into the reasons behind its blow outs at Silverstone.

The Italian tyre company stressed its original 2013-spec tyres were safe and blamed incorrect use of the tyres and high kerbs for the dramatic failures seen at Silverstone. Nevertheless, it will still bring revised rear tyres to this weekend's race at the Nurburgring with Kevlar belt material rather than the steel that has been used so far this season.

Pirelli wanted to make the switch in Canada after several delaminations earlier in the season but was vetoed by Force India, Lotus and Ferrari. It tested the Kevlar belt tyres during practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in the hope of introducing them in Britain but was again blocked by the same three teams.

The front tyres will remain the same as the ones raced in Silverstone and the rears will still feature an asymmetrical design, which Pirelli said the teams put under undue stress last weekend by mounting the tyres the wrong way round in the pursuit of performance. That practice will be outlawed in Germany before a symmetrical construction is introduced in Hungary.

The Hungary construction will be the same as the one used throughout 2012, which Pirelli says "ensured maximum performance and safety". The tyre company is also confident it can run the 2012 construction safely without access to live tyre data, which it doesn't currently receive from the teams but it is hoping to get in the future.

The compounds on the tyres in Hungary will still be the softer ones used so far this year and so should still see degradation over the course of a race. Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Pirelli will test the 2012-style tyres at the Silverstone test from July 17-19, which was originally meant for young drivers but has now been handed over to race drivers to gather tyre feedback.

"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," motorsport director Paul Hembery said. "These incidents, which have upset us greatly, have stressed the urgency of the changes that we already suggested - which will be introduced during 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."