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Teams still pushing for 2018-spec tyre switch

NEWS STORY
27/06/2019

From the start of the season - though interestingly not during pre-season testing - a number of teams have complained that they are finding it impossible to get their tyres into the right operating window.

This season, Pirelli's tyres feature a thinner tread in a bid to end the overheating and blistering seen in 2018, however a number of teams complain that the higher operating window is making it more and more difficult to turn their tyres on.

To make matter worse, the only team that really appears to be working correctly with its tyres is Mercedes, which Pirelli insists is simply because the German manufacturer has done a better job with its car.

The teams are due to meet with the FIA and Pirelli tomorrow morning in a bid to have the tyres return to the 2018-spec thicker tread, but for this to happen would need the agreement of at least seven teams.

As ever, there is disagreement between them, for while the likes of Ferrari, Haas and Red Bull want to revert, Alfa Romeo and Renault have their doubts, while McLaren, like Mercedes, appears to be working well with the 2019-spec tyres.

If enough teams (seven) vote in favour of the switch, the 2018-spec tyres could appear after the summer break.

Asked about the move, which comes days after the situation was seemingly brought to a head in France as teams continued to struggle, Sebastian Vettel was clearly in favour.

"It would be an element to try to mix things up," he said. "We struggled a lot more to get the tyres into the window for qualifying and race this year. For us, it is pretty clear, but everyone has their own opinion."

Title leader, Lewis Hamilton, doesn't agree.

"Last year you had to manage the tyres to a temperature which means you have to do more lift-and-coasting, you had more blistering, it was a lot worse.

"You couldn't do, for example, what I was able to do in the last race, or even in Montreal," he continued, "where I was able to push behind Seb. You couldn't do that on last year's tyres, particularly the thicker-gauge tyres."

Describing talk of the switch as another "example of different teams pushing for different things for their own personal goals rather than for the sport", Hamilton insisted that the sport must “find solutions that work for everyone, if possible, and not for individual gain".

Referring to Pirelli's claim that all the teams got to try the 2019-spec tyres in Abu Dhabi, and basically all started out with exactly the same info as Mercedes, Vettel said: “We didn't drive last year's tyres and this year's car, with the current pecking order...

"It's a fact that we struggle more this year to get the tyres to work, to get the tyres in the right window, than we did last year. It's as simple as that.

"I don't know what is the intention going forward, we'll see what comes out tomorrow morning and I think we'll take it from there."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spartacus, 27/06/2019 19:28

"This comes down to one thing. More testing and practice sessions. Also, I would like to see the C1-C6 designation from Orange to Pink back in the mix since it is easier to interpret than the current."

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