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Vettel scathing of Pirelli

NEWS STORY
23/08/2015

Sebastian Vettel launched a scathing attack on Pirelli following today's Belgian Grand Prix.

Speaking in the wake of a high-speed failure which cost him an almost certain third place, but possibly much more, the German hit out at the tyre manufacturer.

“Things like that are not allowed to happen, full stop,” he told BBC Sport. “If it happened 200 metres earlier, I am not standing here now. I don’t know what else needs to happen.

“I think it is the sort of thing that keeps going around and no-one mentions. It is unacceptable.

“If Nico tells us he did not go off the track, he didn’t go off the track, why should he lie to us?" he added, referring to Nico Rosberg's insistence, despite Pirelli's stance, that his spectacular failure was due to failure of the tyre and not the result of running over something which damaged the tyre.

“It is the same with me, I didn’t go off the track, out of the blue the tyre exploded, and as I said if this happens earlier than I am f****. It is not acceptable.”

Whilst Rosberg's failure happened at Blanchimont, one of the fastest parts of the Belgian track, Vettel's failure was as he began the long climb up the Kemmel Straight. However, just moments earlier, the German had driven through Eau Rouge, one of the most notorious corners on the calendar.

Pirelli, on the other hands, insists that today's failure was down to Ferrari and its strategy.

"It was at the end of wear life," Pirelli 's Paul Hembery told reporters "Any tyre in the world, when it gets to the end of its wear-life, you're going to have a problem.

"He'd done 28 laps. We thought the strategy would be based on two or three stops, as the majority did, but they clearly felt they could make it work with one stop. They obviously felt that was feasible.

"Wear life was indicated at around 40 laps, but it's an indication and race conditions can change that, and some factors involved in racing mean that sometimes it's not a precise datum. Other teams were taking a different direction.

"Rosberg's was an external cut, this was pure wear," said the Briton. "The images show the carcass was still intact.

"If the race was one lap less, he'd be on the podium and we'd be calling it a genius move, sometimes the margins are very fine," he concluded. "It's tough, but he's a driver, he's been out there and he's frustrated that he's only one lap away from getting a result. So I'm not going to criticise him for that."

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1. Posted by Darvi, 25/08/2015 11:01

"Odd that Vettel didn't think he'd been off the track. He was all over the kerbs at several places (as were most of the other drivers) including Eau Rouge, and then his very worn rear tyre let go, just after he climbed all over the kerb at 175mph. At the time he was using a tyre for longer than anyone had tested on Friday and longer than Pirelli had anticipated them being used for. And they did all this after Rosberg's tyre had failed in FP.

Rather than criticise Pirelli, maybe Mr Vettel should ask why Ferrari were willing to risk his life with a fairly ambitious and untried strategy. Maybe he should also look at the TV coverage to review just how often he had all four wheels off the circuit and then decide whether he left the track or not. The force that goes through a tyre hitting a kerb at that speed is massive, don't blame Pirelli, it was the team's abitious strategy that was to blame. "

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2. Posted by Jigsaw, 25/08/2015 1:25

"Whatever happened, I sure would not want to be the one driving while doing 175 kph and suffer life threating injuries trying to prove having limited wear tires are good for racing. Driver safety always comes first. I don't understand the logic of making teams change tires so often makes racing more interesting or exciting. I guess the idea is to see who pushes the envelope until someone gets killed trying see how long they last. Then say we need to make tires safer after the fact. Makes no sense to me. Whoever is responsible for this needs to rethink it. Let's make it safe because no one likes to see anyone injured. Please!!"

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3. Posted by Paul RB, 24/08/2015 12:58

"A consumable item, by its very nature can never be completely predictable. That said, the margin between degradation through wear rendering further usage impractical and complete and sudden failure ought to be considerable. This is particularly so with items like tyres on high speed machinery. In fairness to Pirelli they are given a tough task to achieve high performance while maintaining a limited “usable” life. Coupled with this are the vagaries of kerbs, debris and the like which brings in a whole set of, to all intents and purposes, immeasurable variables. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to expect that a tyre with a race expectation of say 25 laps should go a very considerable distance further before ultimate construction failure, the penalty for over use being the loss of race performance.
In a way this highlights one of the many artificial constraints being applied to modern day F1, which is so rule bound that it limits the ingenuity of the past. The rules make the cars clones of each other with money being the governing factor of who produces the best clone. With that in place the spectacle element then depends on a whole raft of gimmicks to try and inject some variation – multiple compound short life tyres, each of which must be used, DRS, to counter the fact that aero generated turbulence severely limits close racing and similar issues. In any other world where would you consider that designing a tyre that only last 100 miles (in a 180 or so mile race) represents good engineering? That’s not a criticism of Pirelli, who are merely doing what is asked of them."

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4. Posted by francis-n, 24/08/2015 1:39

"With too much wear you just lose grip. Vettel still had enough grip to stay in front of Grosjean. Surely you don't expect the tyre to explode. Ridiculous."

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