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Technically Speaking: Tyre Swapping

FEATURE BY MATT SOMERFIELD
03/07/2013

Yesterday's statement from Pirelli insinuated that the teams should shoulder a proportion of the blame in regard to the spectacular tyre failures we witnessed at Silverstone at the weekend.

One of the criticisms from Pirelli was the teams’ use of their tyres on the wrong side of the car. The 2013 construction, if you didn't know, features a metal band as part of the construction rather than the Kevlar band used in 2012. This steel band wraps diagonally across the tyre so the diagonal / seams run in a different direction dependant on which side of the car the tyre is run.

The teams swiftly realised that, dependent on their own configuration, using the tyres on opposing sides of the car would operate the them differently thermally giving rise to a tactic used up and down the grid. Pirelli can only recommend that its tyres be used in a certain direction (although they would like their recommendations for tyre orientation, pressure and temperature to be regulated by the FIA) and the barcode found on the side of the tyre indicates the true orientation of a tyre.

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