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Drivers remain concerned by tyres

NEWS STORY
03/09/2015

Ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Pirelli, who's HQ is just a few miles from the legendary Monza track, claimed that following its investigation into Sebastian Vettel's tyre failure on the penultimate lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, it had concluded that the failure was due to damage caused by track debris. The Italian manufacturer also reiterated its belief that limits should be placed on the amount of mileage each tyre completes.

"The most important point is that obviously we have been looking into the issue we had very clearly and Pirelli has been supportive and very open in the discussions, so I think that's the most important thing and we need to make sure that we learn from that," said Vettel, who was scathing of the Italian company in the wake of the incident.

Pushed harder, he said: "I was obviously one of the two cars that had a failure during the weekend in Belgium. I'm not sure about Nico. But from what I mentioned before, it has been very professional, the way it was handled. It was taken very seriously. And obviously our target is to improve the situation.

"I think it's natural that you always try to improve your product. I think if you look at the cars, if you talk about the cars today, the cars are quick and so on, and the cars are safe. They're surely safer than they have been 30 years ago but there is still room for making them safer: we still have accidents and so on and still some things can happen. It's a one-way street: you want to make progress and keep making progress. So I think that's more important than any sort of press release, the feeling that I got when I spoke to the engineers and spoke to Pirelli.

"It is not acceptable to have a blow-out at that sort of speed, out of the blue," he continued, "and I think that's what I said also after the race, so there's nothing really to add. But, as I said before, I think the investigations that have been going on, the stuff that obviously has been analysed and talked about, explains some of it, maybe not all of it yet but it's still ongoing and obviously, as I said, the most important thing is that we make sure that we make progress. At the moment, from Pirelli's side, it looks very very professional, they handle it with extreme care, and I think things are going the right way.

"There are some short-term changes, he added, "if we talk about tyre pressures, for example. We obviously see how it feels but if that's a short term reaction within those couple of days or weeks that we've had, that's one thing. Then obviously long term I think we need to understand properly what happened. I think it's very clear that everybody is trying to do their best. I think we had a situation a couple of years ago which wasn't acceptable and there was immediate change and we didn't have problems afterwards so you can see that the professional approach does work and usually leads to the right result."

Those "short term changes", which include running higher tyre pressures - thought to be 4 psi higher at the front and 3 psi higher at the rear - don't impress Lewis Hamilton, who warned of "disaster".

"In terms of putting the pressures up, I don't personally think it is the right way," the world champion told reporters. "I don't think any of us have tried five psi more in these tyres because they are not designed to have five psi more. We work in a range, which is the optimum range, so we will be moving out of the optimum range of the tyre and that will mean we will be using a different part of the tyre so there will more wear, less grip, and it is going to be a disaster.

"So, I hope they don't put five psi more, a couple is okay. In Belgium, we had a very difficult corner which is Eau Rouge which takes a huge amount of g-force and pressure on the tyres, which I am sure did not help. Here, you don't have that."

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1. Posted by Greybeard, 04/09/2015 9:32

"I expect that Ferrari and their number 1 driver will now apologise to Pirelli as publicly as they castigated them.

(No I don't - Pirelli are to blame for everything, aren't they?)"

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