• Monaco Grand Prix

Pirelli supports no tyre changes under red flag

ESPNF1 Staff
May 31, 2011 « Hamilton apologises to Massa and Maldonado | »
Tyre changes were allowed on the grid © Sutton Images
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Pirelli believes a rule tweak could have created a more exciting finish to last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were shaping up to challenge race leader Sebastian Vettel, whose tyres were severely worn, when the race was red flagged following a three-car pile-up. During the stoppage the drivers were allowed to change to fresh sets of tyres, taking the pressure off Vettel.

Acting as a steward in Monaco, sports car driver Allan McNish told the Guardian that tyre changes are not allowed under the same circumstances at Le Mans.

"Even if you have bodywork damage you can't repair it, you've got to restart the race as you finished, so that if you've got a good strategy or a bad strategy, you have to restart as if nothing had happened," he said.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli's motor sport director, admits it might be a good idea if F1 adopts a similar rule.

"I had a lot of people shouting at me from the boats around the harbour, saying 'Why were they allowed to change?'" he is quoted by The Sun. "It took away something from the race. I don't really understand why they are allowed to change tyres. It was a shame."