• Malaysian Grand Prix

'Stray marbles hurt' - di Resta

ESPNF1 Staff
April 11, 2011 « Ferrari targeting China upgrade | »
Paul di Resta secured his second consecutive points scoring finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix © Sutton Images

With tyre wear a focal point, Paul di Resta has said that he was hurt by flying marbles during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Over the race weekend a large amount of little chunks of rubber built up off the racing line in Sepang. Discarded from the heavily wearing Pirelli tyres, concerns had been raised that it would hamper overtaking as drivers would have to drive over them and lose grip. Di Resta, however, said that they also caused him pain as they flicked off the tyres.

"Come the end of the race, it gets difficult to overtake," di Resta told the Daily Telegraph. "The other big thing is that they kept coming up and hitting me in the hands. In the middle of a fast corner, these lumps of rubber would be smacking into my hands as I turned the wheel. Rubber is not the softest material and if it got you in the right place, it could hurt."

Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembrey said it was the first he had heard about the complaint, and that if other drivers had the same problem it would be a difficult one to solve.

"I have not had those comments from the top three [finishers] but if it's an issue, we will have to confront it," he said. "There was a lot of overtaking though. We will have to analyse all the overtaking manoeuvres but the marbles have to go somewhere and that is a difficulty for us."

Malaysia winner Sebastian Vettel backed up di Resta's claims, and said it could lead to some interesting souvenirs for fans at street circuits.

"There was a lump (of tyre) that was suddenly in the middle of my visor," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "They're like bullets fired from the car in front. Imagine Singapore or Monaco, where a fan could suddenly find a piece of tyre in his tea."