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F1 needs to change approach to tyre safety - Webber

ESPN Staff
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Mark Webber: "In this environment, at this level, you have to have a product that is durable" © Sutton Images

Mark Webber believes Formula One tyres should be subjected to tougher safety tests in the future following the multiple blow outs at the British Grand Prix.

Pirelli said the failures at Silverstone were a result of teams pushing the limits with its tyres, but Webber thinks the tyre supplier has to be prepared for teams to take their product to extremes.

"In this environment, at this level, you have to have a product that is durable and functional at all venues we go to and under all circumstances," he said. "Pirelli know the teams who push the tyres to the limits and they have to be ready for that going forward, but safety is the number one. The teams have very strict rules on construction, crash tests, all these things, which we have to meet every year, and they are tough tests, so we need to make sure the suppliers are doing the same."

Webber said the drivers' attempts to promote safety had occasionally got lost amid the teams' pursuit of performance .

"We've tried to in the past, but the normal fun and games come into it," he added. "People have an opinion because it's in their own best interests, but safety is a different argument. Performance is one thing, but when you have safety involved then you have to find the right way for all of us. Silverstone was a very dramatic and extremely unsafe scenario for all of us."

After the race Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey said the blow outs at Silverstone could have been avoided if teams had agreed to change the specification of the tyres when Pirelli asked them to. Webber believes Formula One should pay more attention to the senior engineers in the paddock, who have dealt with death in the sport in the past.

"When you've someone like Adrian Newey who in the past doesn't forget what happened at Imola in '94 [when Ayrton Senna died driving a Williams]," he added. "So people get pissed off, it's serious and Adrian gets very worried. People can believe what I say when I say these things aren't small for him. He's a clever guy, and he gets as emotional as any of us, so these things need to be handled correctly, and Pirelli will handle them correctly. If Adrian has an opinion on something, especially when it's a safety factor, then you have to respect it."

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