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GPDA enters tyre row

NEWS STORY
27/08/2015

The drivers' union has demanded an investigation into the two high profile tyre blow-outs in Spa.

With every day that passes, the fall-out from last weekend's two tyre failures at Spa appears to grow, furthermore it is becoming more political.

The Grand Prix Drivers' Association, effectively the drivers' union, has now entered the fray, its president, Alex Wurz, who now races in the WEC, where Michelin is the main supplier, demanding an end to blow-outs.

"As drivers, we strongly believe the end of a tyre's performance window can and should not be a tyre delamination in the form of an explosion," he told BBC Sport.

"I believe there are technologies which prevent such sudden delamination," he continued, "but for the short term we need to give Pirelli the freedom and support to introduce any measures they declare safe and fit for F1 racing."

Wurz revealed that in the wake of last weekend's failures, and with safety once again in the headlines following Justin Wilson's horrific Indy Car accident, the GPDA is seeking answers from both Pirelli and the FIA.

"We request their utmost attention to the tyre blow-outs at Spa. We need to work together to get on top of such safety concerns."

Whilst Pirelli is carrying out further forensic investigations, the company insists that neither Spa failure was down to the construction of the tyre or an inherent fault, rather an "outside source" in Nico Rosberg's case and team strategy in that of Sebastian Vettel, who yesterday reiterated his faith in his team.

"It needs to be said that we have seen tyre failures throughout the history of F1 and racing," said Wurz. "This is not desired, but we are aware of the difficulties tyre manufacturers face because of ever-evolving lap times and forces.

"It is the management of and reaction to such failures, and the development of better, faster and safer tyres, which F1 shall and must embrace and even demand. This is for the safety of the drivers but also for feeding safer technologies into road tyres."

Other than "ever-evolving lap times and forces", Wurz omitted to mention outside interference, namely the powers that be dictating to Pirelli how its tyres should perform, essentially in terms of 'spicing up' the sport. Then again, it is Pirelli's fault for allowing this to happen, for it was inevitable that they would always be the fall guys.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by petes, 28/08/2015 22:18

"Chris Balfe covered it pretty well in his weekly newsletter, paras 2 and 3.
His is a particularly unique viewpoint as no one else has put such a view across, so is a refreshing change and one I completely agree with."

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2. Posted by scf1fan, 27/08/2015 17:45

"@Spindoctor . . . I'm sure "RBR" could have predicted Vettel's tire failure . . . if this was 2014. (Or maybe H.Marko was that shadowy figure slinking around the Ferrari garage!! ;-)

Mountain out of a mole hill if you ask me . . . (Parts AND drivers will fail from time to time in F1.) If there really is a Michelin influence in all the uproar, that really would be rich!"

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3. Posted by Paul C, 27/08/2015 15:50

"Untested F1 tires are a real hazard. Stuff the paranoia about testing and collecting data (oh the horror) giving the testing teams an unfair (?) advantage. F1 teams are worried about a dynasty backed by tire testing like the Schumacher Ferrari era. If this is true, let Manor & McLaren-Honda test the tires. FIA also needs to dump the season component limits to make testing possible."

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 27/08/2015 11:25

"@RootGinger It would appear that RBR had insufficient data to predict Vettel's tyre failure, so to answer your question: "No those tests aren't enough"


The final paragraph of the article neatly summarises this whole mess, which is itself a microcosm of the wider malaise affecting Formula One."

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5. Posted by RootGinger, 27/08/2015 10:12

"The Winter tests and the three practice sessions at every race aren't enough habentsen?"

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6. Posted by habentsen, 27/08/2015 9:53

"Can we please have track testing back so people can actualle prepare for the race?

F1 without track testing is Dangerous."

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