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Hembery all for track limit crack down

NEWS STORY
15/07/2016

Pirelli Motorsport boss Paul Hembery is in favour of the FIA's crack down on drivers who exceed track limits, but at the same time further muddies the waters as to why Sebastian Vettel suffered his tyre failure in Austria.

In the moments following the German's crash at the Red Bull Ring, Pirelli tweeted that the culprit was most likely debris.

The Italian manufacturer subsequently backed down on the claim before launching an investigation in partnership with Ferrari.

Amidst claims, denied by Ferrari and Vettel, that perhaps the German's stint was too long, Pirelli, despite little of the tyre remaining, thereby hampering its investigation, concluded that debris was indeed the most likely cause.

Vettel remained unconvinced, and speaking at Silverstone said: "To make an analysis was not easy because there was not much left of the tyre. But what we've got from Pirelli as explanation was that debris caused the damage.

"In such a case, what can you do?" he continued. "It was a pity because at that point in the race it looked pretty promising for us."

Asked if Ferrari's strategy was partly to blame, he said: "I don't believe so, and in hindsight, if it really was debris that caused the tyre to go bust, it could have also happened in the second lap and not necessarily after 25. So I don't see that our strategy had anything to do with what happened."

Curiously, on the eve of the British Grand Prix, Pirelli recommended limits on the number of laps each compound could be run for, suggesting that it too had doubts that debris was the out-and-out culprit.

Speaking to the official F1 website, Hembery has caused further confusion by claiming that the crackdown on track limits, which led to controversial new kerbs in Austria, could have played a part in Vettel's failure.

"There were four cars' suspension that broke 'out of the blue' and they were also due to very high loadings on the suspension," said the Briton. "Of course, the tyre is part of the suspension, so it is very likely that whatever is loading the suspension was loading the tyre as well.

"The difference to other places in Austria was also the kerbing that was put in place to discourage drivers from exceeding track limits," he continued, "and there has been quite some discussion over them recently.

"We have seen in Silverstone that one of Lewis Hamilton's lap times was cancelled because of exceeding track limits and I think it is a very wise thing from the FIA to start enforcing it, as it was not followed in the way it should have been.

Referring directly to Vettel's issue in Austria, he said: "Well, it was a longer stint that Sebastian was doing compared to the majority of other teams, but that really wasn't the issue. It was more related to external factors. That is something that we have understood, Ferrari has understood and that we have explained to the FIA.

"I think we all will have a better understanding moving forward," he continued. "If the FIA sticks to the plan of enforcing track limits and we see more and more of such kerbing, then we will develop a test to simulate that to see how aggressive you can be in that scenario.

"If we make it such that the tyre resists every single lap going over the yellow kerbs we will end up building bigger ones. I was joking with Bernie that he should build little walls inside the corners. We manage in Monaco to avoid them and he was very keen, as I said that he could probably sell advertising on them!"

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by father guido, 21/07/2016 2:17

"The definition of track limits is nothing new. It was called Gesamtstrecke."

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2. Posted by Yeyox02, 15/07/2016 20:08

"Michael Schumacher once said: Pirelli tyres=Raw eggs. Where Bridgestone Firestone is?"

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3. Posted by NS Biker, 15/07/2016 16:25

"Drivers will always be close to the edge. That is what they are hired to do and that is what racing is all about.
Enforcement does need to be consistent (not just more consistent, but totally consistent) and some will take this as Draconian.
As they said about the notorious prison guard .... "He's mean, but he's fair. He's mean to everyone.""

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4. Posted by nonickname, 15/07/2016 15:18

"A wall is number 1 and a ditch full of water is number 2"

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5. Posted by vectis, 15/07/2016 14:09

"race control measured which corners provided a time saving and the drivers knew which corners they would be penalised for cutting ...and that was applied
in practise and in qually some sailed close to the wind and lost the lap ....in the race it would have been too costly "

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6. Posted by edllorca, 15/07/2016 13:11

"Instead of curbs that break cars you need 2-3 meters of a very slippery surface followed by the usual runoff surface. Physics (which is incredibly consistent by the way) will dictate when a car exceeds track limits because the car will spin out. that spin will cause enough time loss that the driver will see the benefit of staying on track. This will work in practice qualy and race always the same. Just like the old days. Amazing how they cast about for artificial solutions these days when anyone with a reasonable memory knows the answers from how it was done before F1 became so strange."

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7. Posted by jackois, 15/07/2016 12:24

"Track limit enforcement will only work when you take the question of time gained out of it & monitor every corner properly. Silverstone was a hotchpotch of some people penalised, some people having no punishment whatsoever & I don't recall anyone getting called for it during the race.

It's a bit like the pushing and shoving, shirt pulling and so on at corners in football. Until referees behave consistently it'll continue."

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