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Tyre swapping ban hurt Mercedes - Brawn

ESPN Staff
July 9, 2013 « Injured cameraman expected to make full recovery | Sauber facing 'difficult time' - Kaltenborn »
Mercedes had been swapping its tyres from left to right to ease degradation © Sutton Images
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Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says Mercedes struggles at the German Grand Prix are partly linked to the tyre swapping ban put in place by Pirelli.

To extend the life of the tyre, several teams were running the right rear-hand tyres on the left of the car and vice-a-versa. Pirelli believed this practice was part of the reason for the blowouts at the British Grand Prix and banned it for Germany, saying the asymmetrical construction of it tyres is not designed to be interchangeable from left to right.

Despite Hamilton's blowout at Silverstone, Mercedes appeared to be on top of its tyre degradation issues with Nico Rosberg taking victory, but in Germany, when the swapping ban was in place, the degradation issues returned.

"The construction of the tyre has changed and I think the ability to swap tyres before was a good way of offsetting the stress of the tyre," Brawn was quoted by Autosport. "You could use it in qualifying and then swap it, and have it in a different condition for the race.

"You cannot do it with these tyres, and I think we were back into going over the limit of the temperature of the tyres and suffering from it. The first half of the race was pretty horrible. In the second half, the fuel weight went down, it got a touch cooler and we got back in the window again.

"The times were respectable, so it shows how critical we are. On high fuel at the beginning of race when we were trying to push we overstressed the tyre, and we need to find solutions to overcome that."

At the next race at the Hungaroring Pirelli will bring a new construction of tyre based on the 2012 tyres Mercedes struggled with last year.